Lost property across the lifespan

By Stuck On You

According to a recent US survey, we waste on average 2.5 days per year searching for lost stuff, and spend up to $50 per year replacing them. Misplacing things is not just a child's game. We continue to lose things across the lifespan, sometimes in increasingly novel and exciting ways.

THE BABY YEARS

Who knew that the simple act of leaving the house with your tiny bundle of joy would require a HUGE bundle of provisions? There's that fancy-pants pram you begged your hubby to get and now can't admit you don't know how to use. Then there's enough costume changes to put a Madonna concert to shame. Not to mention a plethora of bottles, nappies, dummies, towels and baby food.

Once you've squeezed that monstrous pram out the front door, you've got distractions of the wider world to contend with. Throw in exhaustion and a touch of baby brain and you have a sure fire recipe for lost things.

Perhaps you're in the bus, plane, train or cafe. You're so busy smiling apologetically at other patrons for the screaming baby/protruding pram/funny smell emanating from the direction of your child's bottom, that you fail to notice that you've dropped a blanket or three.

So what's your best chance of those bundles you've dropped returning to you? Labels of course! We have labels for everything – bottles, toys and jackets. In addition to labels, we have a huge range of baby-specific personalised products and mementoes such as bibs, onesies, and birth announcement cards.

THE TODDLER YEARS

That helpless little baby is now on the move, walking, talking and doing other social-media-worthy things. Fun times, right? Not necessarily.

The discovery of newfound agency over one's own body can be accompanied by a host of bad decisions. One of a toddler's favourite activities is throwing their beanies, gloves and shoes into the wind, sparing little thought for the money you'll need to replace them (not to mention judge-y comments you'll be forced to endure from passers-by about why your child appears half-dressed in the middle of winter).

Those discarded hats, socks and shoes may float around the ether for eternity - however, clear labelling gives them a fighting chance of returning to you.

The icons next to their names means that your little ones will always recognise their labels, even if they can't yet read their names.

It's not all serious business. We have fun stuff for toddlers too such as personalised story books, activity books, name puzzles and name blocks, among other things.

THE PRIMARY SCHOOL YEARS

WHOOOOOAAAAAAAAAA. This is the first big step to the adult world. Suddenly your child is in an environment where they have to assume more control over their belongings.

You would think that this extra responsibility for them would mean less responsibility for you as a parent. The sad reality though is that until child labour laws return to 19th century standards, YOU are still the one who must fork out the money to replace THEIR lost things. And in a chaotic environment where there are other children possessing similar-looking gear, there WILL be lost things.

Occasionally you can save yourself some dough under the guise of 'tough love', for example, replacing the expensive licensed pencil case they lost with an el cheapo version from the dollar shop, or refusing to buy another Shopkin (which you're secretly glad they lost anyway).

However, some replacements are unavoidable. This is particularly true for uniform pieces, which are among the most commonly lost items for school children.

The best solution? Well I won't keep you in suspense. It's once again LABELS! Our range of labels and personalised products for school students is huge, including our handy Value Packs which cover your needs in one hit.

We also have other cool-for-school stuff like our bestselling Bento Boxes which will be a hit in the playground (and come home empty every time).

THE HIGH SCHOOL YEARS

Adulthood is looming. How exciting, for not only them but also for you! As parents, you can relax knowing that they're always making mature decisions about their lives and never misplacing their things.

NOT.

Lost things take on extra meaning when your kid is at high school, especially as they tend to have (and lose) more expensive stuff such as mobile phones, tablets and huge textbooks. You as parents are likely to still have to shoulder 100% of the expenses associated with replacing their lost things. The day that they can legally start working cannot come fast enough (after which you might still need to convince them to get a job, and to not spend all their money on selfish and useless junk).

We can't do much about their general decision-making processes, but we can certainly help them not lose their things.

We have a new range of sophisticated designs that are appealing to teens and tweens, as well as basic designs that consist of just a name.

THE ADULT YEARS

Welcome to adulthood. No excuses now. If you lose your things, mum and dad won't bail you out anymore.

You'd think this knowledge would provide sufficient motivation to not lose one's things. However, an exploration of Lost and Found Offices around the world has proven otherwise. Here is a by-no-means-exhaustive list of items around the world have been lost by adults (or at least we hope/assume they are adults).

• Dominatrix outfit
• Tombstone
• Jar of bull semen

A minor investment in labelling would've helped get those things returned to the loose hands that misplaced them.

For adults, it's not just about not losing things. It's also about organisation, especially once you have a family. We have labels that are useful for labelling items in the kitchen, laundry, garage, home office and much more.

Note: The views and advice expressed on this blog post are those of the author and are not representative of the Pregnancy Babies & Children's Expo.

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