I was with my 3 kids in the Dollar Store over a month ago. We were shopping for birthday party supplies.
This was during our major move in and settle season – trying to only bring into the house the things that we need, to live simply and holistically with our life’s purpose.
So buying a bunch of cheap storage bins wasn’t on the list. (Always shop with a list in that store or you’ll end up with a total over $40. That’s 40 items! Everything is $1.)
But as we walked in circles, my daughter being the ring leader of our little band, I noticed multiple different organizational bins and containers all in the same colors.
Color-coding has saved my sanity so many times that I immediately began thinking in code. I started to formalize what bins I would need to contain everything from markers to stuffed animals. I imagined where the “home” for each bin would be in our home and realistically (as much as I could for imagining) thought about my routine and whether I would use a bin for the purpose I was imagining.
All systems were go, so I asked my kids – which color do you want to be your color? And the rest is history.
Here’s what I color code:
- Water bottles
- Lunch containers
- Bins on the stairs for items that belong in their rooms
- Containers for craft and school items
- Notebooks for school work
- Pens and pencils
- Bullet Journals
- Toy and personal item bins
I found an amazing deal at Walmart (which I only shop in 1-2 times per year, so I think this was miraculous) in the check out aisle for glass water bottles for less than $4 each and silicone containers – in their colors! (You’ll notice the green water bottle is missing in the picture. We are also working on not losing things – also why a $4 water bottle is my happy place.)
Caution: Do not pick a child’s color and then buy all the things in that color. Have a place and purpose already picked out for any item before bringing it into your home.
5 suggestions for color-coding:
- I love my colorful cart for color-coding my children’s work and subjects (seen here). Last year, my color code wasn’t per kid, but per subject. This system worked well, and we will continue with it for this year – changing the items inside the drawers to reflect our new work.
- Towels. This has been on my list of things to color-code, and I already do it to the extent that I can with the towels I already own. I would like to be able to purchase new towels (who doesn’t like new towels?) eventually to reflect their color within the house.
- Count the cost up front before even beginning to code. For me, this color-coding only cost an additional $6. I was already buying school supplies, so making sure I had “green, blue, and red” pencils wasn’t a matter of buying extra.
- Use Washi Tape to code things that can’t be a specific color. I have black notebooks for my kids that I was sad wouldn’t be coded, until I remembered that I have blue and green Washi Tape – just measure a piece that will run the length of the spin and I’m all set. Proof that you don’t need new and fancy to establish a color-coded system.
- If you’re going to be collecting items for your color system over a period of time, then choose colors that are always available. I chose primary colors because they are usually available at the Dollar Store.
I couldn’t find many articles to refer you to on this topic – so please share with me what you find helpful in color-coding!
Other helpful things:
- Today on Simple Homeschool there is a giveaway for the Teaching from Rest bundle – the book, journal, and audio conversations on the topic with some spectacular experts. From the post: I’ve been down this new-year-of-homeschooling road a few times, and I want to tell you the secret for setting out for a new school year with mindful intention that has the staying power to carry us through the year– that will get us through that November slump and even the February burnout that threatens us year after year. (You should click here to read the rest and enter to win! Good luck! Or maybe just buy it here and then give away your freebie to a friend and keep each other accountable.)
- Don’t forget to mark your calendar for August 25th! This is the one-day-sale of Crystal’s course Make Over Your Mornings. In review of this course, I would say that this course will do more than make over your mornings it will make over your thinking. I needed a major help in my processing and decision-making – this course was that help. Read my full review here.
This is Day 19 in the #31Days to #Back2School series; check out Day 1 and the Index by clicking here.
Break life’s tasks into manageable chunks: download One Bite at a Time by Tsh Oxenreider today!
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