After Saturday’s simple tape suggestion, PJ and I have been talking about our favorite tricks for marking items. Here are a handful more tips for identifying items in your home and workspace:
- Separate new and used sponges by cutting off corners — straight from the package is good for dishes, one corner missing is good for counters and the table, two corners off and it’s perfect for cleaning spills off the floor.
- Reader CatServant recommended in the comments section to Saturday’s post something similar to the sponge method, but for other cleaning supplies: “I put a band of duct tape around the handle of any cleaning object that has been ‘demoted’ to ickier jobs: old toothbrushes now used to scrub the bathroom, old dish brushes now used for scrubbing out plant containers, etc.”
- After folding the top and bottom bed sheet and one of the pillow cases, many people will then use the second pillow case as a sack to hold the other three pieces. It makes storage simple, and it’s easy to grab the sack from the linen closet when it’s time to make the bed.
- We continue to love Alex’s suggestion of putting removable dots on small kitchen appliances to track which items you use over a six month period, and which ones you don’t. Label all small appliances and then only remove the dots when you use an item. At the end of six months, take to charity any appliance that still has a dot on it.
- Reader DG e-mailed recently to suggest using strips of blue painter’s tape to label fabric items. Great for labeling sets of sheets so everyone knows which set works with which bed, great for putting reminders on backpacks, and great for marking clothes to identify which ones you haven’t worn (like the kitchen dot suggestion). Since the painter’s tape can be pulled off the item, stuck to the lip of a shelf, and reused for many months, it’s an extremely low-cost marking system. One roll of tape can last for many years.
- If neighbors, co-workers, and/or friends have a tendency to borrow tools and not return them, scratch your initials into the metal with the tip of a screwdriver.
- Large families often benefit by using colors for each child — a simple dot on an item’s label made with a brightly colored Sharpie instantly says whose item is whose. Older children should be lighter colors (yellow, orange) so if an item is passed down to a younger child, the dot can easily be colored over with the next child’s color (red, blue).
What simple marking strategies do you use in your home? Share your marking methods in the comments.