Write only your child's last name on items that can be reused for siblings down the road.
Tip for school supplies: write your last name on items that can be reused for siblings
On hard items I'll carve the name in. ie: expensive TI calculaters. Pull the cover off the battery compartment and grab a tiny screwdriver or whatnot and carve the name or initials in there. It's out of sight so it doesn't cheapen the look of it, but you're covered. Permanent marker can easily be wiped off such items with a bit of rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover.
Oh, and I wanted to add that for personal household items (books, dvds, etc) I take advantage of the freebie Vistaprint address label deals and just mock them up to read "Property of the Noyes Family". That way if we lend something out or the kids bring a movie to their friend's house or something it's pretty clear. I know we have a few movies that I'm pretty sure aren't ours. I'll organize the bookshelf they're on and go 'wait a minute....where the heck did this one come from?' oops lol
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