We have so much kid stuff, I've finally decided to create a dedicated playroom in our home to keep things generally corralled to one area.
With the added space to play around, we've been having little parties and inviting friends over more often to hang out with Some Boy and Sidekick. It is SO cute to see them developing their own relationships. But as much as I love my friends…I'm pretty sure all their children are kleptos.
Our kid stuff has slowly started wandering off, heading out the door with various acquaintances. It's certainly not intentional and no fault of the parents, who are overwhelmed with keeping track of overflowing diaper bags. Little kids just have no concept of personal possessions, often glomming onto whatever lunch box or sweater happens to be nearest to them.
I've seen it happen with Some Boy at other people's homes: he'll spy a plush toy featuring his favorite character. Since it's so familiar, he determines it must be his. We get home and I notice a suspiciously new-looking toy amongst our items, but can't figure out where he picked it up. Mostly I just hope it wasn't squirreled away at a store when I wasn't looking!
How We're Keeping Kid Stuff Around
After replacing some favorites a few times, I've started putting names on everything.
Stuck On You sent us a label pack featuring iron-on labels for clothing, stick-on labels for shoes and a variety of different-sized labels for possessions. There are certain clothing items that get lent out a lot (formal outfits and costumes in particular) as well as sentimental favorites that I want passed down to all of my boys, so I make sure that those are clearly identified as ours.
The labels can all be personalized with favorite colors and icons. The boys are obsessed with construction and digging, so we opted for a tractor.
They're dishwasher and microwave-safe, so friends can stop holding onto my tupperware indefinitely. Seriously sister, I want my casserole dishes back.
Poor Sidekick, as the second child, is pretty used to having his stuff taken away. I once saw him willingly offer up his favorite toy to a complete stranger! So I got him his own lunch box set, complete with construction characters and colors that he picked out.
His nickname is well-known so no matter whose house he leaves this behind in, the parents will know where to bring this back.
As the school year starts up, have you been losing track of your kid stuff? Reign it back in! You can find inspiration for personalized labels and get clever storage ideas at Stuck On You's Facebook page, Twitter or Pinterest.