Let’s be clear – the playroom at our house never, ever manages to stay neat and tidy. Every couple of weeks I burst in there, huffing and puffing, and tidy it up – exasperated by Olive’s complete inablilty to keep it under control.
When I invested in the Ikea Expedit bookcase last year, I thought all my organisation dreams had come true. Vertical storage would mean mess stayed off the floor. I carefully put everything away and sat back proud of my achievement. Within a week it was all over the floor. The cycle started again.
When I couldn’t even get to the cupboard to get my xmas decoration storage boxes this week I decided to tackle the problem in another way.
Olive is about to start school in a couple of weeks and is learning to read words. I thought if I labelled the boxes in the unit, it would be easier for her to find things (my pet hate is when she looks for something and in the process upturns every single box).
I’m also hoping that it will work in reverse - when it comes to ‘tidy up time’ the end of the day, knowing which boxes to return the toys to will empower her, helping her to take some pride in her play space.
I’d been wondering for a while what would be the best way to label the boxes – Ikea Drona boxes designed to fit the Expedit series – which are covered in a soft, felt-finish fabric. I was considering making labels and velcro-ing them to the boxes but I also wanted the flexibility of changing the labels easily.
Then I stumbled over these re-adhesive chalkboard labels from Martha Stewart Home Officeand I knew I’d found the perfect solution.
A small word of warning: Place the labels carefully. On smooth surfaces you can remove and reuse these labels but once they’ve touched this fabric, the lint will stick to the label if you peel it off and you wont be able to reuse it. I tried washing it – inspired the Schticky ad I keep seeing on TV – but that didn’t work.
I ended up buying more boxes to completely fill the bookcase, which I’m sure you’ll agree, looks pretty amazing right now.
As soon as I’d put everything into their right home, the rest of the playroom sort of fell into place. Olive couldn’t wait to get in there and play, and come bath time did help pack up the toys. She also did a little dance and was only too happy to pose in front of her organised toy storage unit.
expect know that it wont be perfect every day, but by labeling the boxes I think I’ve made it a little simpler for both of us and perhaps a little bit prettier too – I mean, is it ever too early to introduce your daughter to the world of Martha Stewart….?
Just to be clear – this is not a sponsored post. I purchased the labels and storage unit myself and wrote about my experience without any expectation of commercial consideration. Just sayin’.