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Uses for a sharpie

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

Sharpies make it easy for you to permanently leave your mark.

Sharpies make it easy for you to permanently leave your mark.

There was a time when the words sleepaway camp were synonymous with the purchase of an indelible-ink marker. Over and over you labeled all the possessions piling up for camp, wishing you had ordered printed labels?or wishing you hadn’t because they failed to adhere to your child’s particular camping gear. That’s where your sharpie came in, marking the bathing cap, laundry-bound sheets, the soap dish and books along with all the other fabric items that responded uncooperatively to labels. (Please note: sharpie is used as shorthand for any brand of fine-pointed indelible-ink marker, not to suggest a particular brand.)

 

Sharpies in the Kitchen

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There are, however, so many uses for a sharpie that you should keep at least one on hand at all times. Let’s start in the kitchen. While there may be special markers for labeling foods in your freezer, a regular sharpie works fine. If items tend to get lost in your freezer, use your sharpie to note the date as well as kind of food. Sharpies write clearly on plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Use one to write cooking or storage directions on food you take to a new neighbor. A sharpie can also make sure that the dish you bring home from a community potluck or church supper is really yours. Before preparing your casserole, salad or dessert, write your name on the bottom of the serving dish. If your community event features a dynamite, hard-scrubbing cleanup crew, your labeling may need to be renewed before the next celebration, but you and others will know you’re labeling the right dish.

 

Sharpies in Other Rooms

 

There are many uses for a sharpie in other rooms as well. Label the bins or baskets your children use to store playthings with many small pieces. This is especially helpful for children learning the letters of the alphabet and learning how to read. ‘Let’s put the blocks in the bin with the big B’ is a better guide for children than just ‘Get something to put these in.’ Gradually your child will learn to read the labels back to you. Helping to print new toy labels also gives them a good writing experience. Sharpie labels can also be used to provide permanent signs for older children: ‘When you feed the dog,’ ‘Locking the basement door,’ and ‘Do you have your key, lunch money and homework?’ are reminders you can take off the nag-list and help your child feel more self-sufficient. And because sharpies write on many surfaces, labeling jackets, boots and backpacks insures that what went to school comes home from school, with no it-looked-like-mine mixups. Grownups have those mixups, too. Use your sharpie to personalize any luggage that will ride an airport carousel. All you have to look for is your own little graphic or personalized tag.

 

General Labeling with Sharpies

 

Sharpies are ideal for labeling anything likely to be exposed to moisture or extreme dryness. Thus one of the major uses for a sharpie is marking boxes or other containers for moving or storage. Sharpie ink resists fading and smearing. Because sharpies now come in a variety of colors, color-coding boxes by room (blue for living room, green for the den) provides a quicker, smoother move for both moving-company employees and new homeowners. Boxes arrive in their right locations without endless repetitions of ‘where do you want this?’ and ‘upstairs, upstairs, oh wait, I can’t read what’s in this.’

 

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Sharpies in the Cellar and Garage

 

In the cellar and garage, there are more uses for a sharpie. Tools that may be shared with others need your name in clear letters to assure return. Big organizing bins full of mysterious little boxes and bags benefit greatly from the labels ‘screws and hooks’ or ‘electrical,’ an important consideration in the argument over whether the endless items in the basement are ‘junk’ or ‘stuff.’ This labeling won’t necessarily prevent you from running out of cup-hooks, but at least you’ll know when you’ve run out! Keep a sharpie within reach as you accumulate new hardware and other necessary items.

 

The Fuse Box

 

A sharpie is also the ideal choice for jobs you only want to do once?which brings us to the fuse box. Often conducted in less-than-ideal circumstances, such as the sudden failure of the fridge, labeling the fuse box often deteriorates into long-distance yelling, ‘Is that it?  Now?  Well, what DID go off?  What?’ Use a sharpie and the results will last.

 

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