6 Back to School Hacks With the P-Touch Label Maker

Reading Time: 3 minutes
ptouch
Image: Brother

Every August heralds the return of the dreaded school year. With only two kids, you’d think it’d be easy to tell their things apart, yes? No. Instead, we are faced with regular discussions in the vein of, “He’s using my colored pencils” or, “She wrote in my binder.” Also, it never fails that they get very similar presents from our extended family. This means we label a lot of school materials, storage containers, and other odds and ends. This year was made easier by a new P-Touch label printer from Brother.

Now, our family doesn’t do stickers very well. We all hate them for the same reasons: sticky residue and wet/torn paper. Thankfully, the acid-free labels are sticky enough to work well, but don’t carry lots of excess adhesive. This means that I take off labels, when necessary, without worrying about residue. The labels are all laminated, so we also don’t have to worry about the labels discoloring, tearing, or warping if they get a little wet.

After an epic quest to label everything we could think of, the kids and I found some labels more useful than others. Our top 6 ways to use the P-touch are easy enough to share:

  • Identify your stuff

    Image: Rory Bristol
    Image: Rory Bristol

    When using similar containers for several people, label the containers to prevent confusion.

  • Find the right shoes

    Image: Rory Bristol
    Image: Rory Bristol

    Shoe storage can be a real pain. There are dozens of shoes in our home, so labeling the many boxes can make the shoe-hunt a little easier, saving precious morning minutes.

  • Find your supplies

    Image: Rory Bristol
    Image: Rory Bristol

    It never works to say “In the organizer.” You will just get more questions. Instead, label the organizer’s drawers, so you can say “read the labels, please.”

  • Language immersion

    Image: Rory Bristol
    Image: Rory Bristol

    Learning gendered nouns in other languages can be hard for English speakers. Practice seeing the correct articles each time you retrieve a bowl!

  • Re-purpose great containers

    Image: Rory Bristol
    Image: Rory Bristol

    Quality boxes are a precious thing in any home. Too many games come in awkward boxes, or no boxes at all. Other games, like Smash Up, come in great boxes, just to be put into the Big Geeky Box. Don’t let the great extra box go to waste!

  • Make-it-simple-silly

    Image: Rory Bristol
    Image: Rory Bristol

    It’s a dangerous thing to let your kids use your dice. Not because they can break (because good dice are nigh-indestructible). It’s because kids put things away in a rush. Make it simple, silly! Little labels can make a big difference for young people.

The P-Touch runs around $25 with the current back-to-school sales on Amazon. As with all life hacks, simple changes can make a big difference, and creativity can make your life fabulous. Good luck with school year 2015!

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