Color-coding changed my life. If that’s not a nerdy thing to say, I don’t know what is, but it’s totally true.
It started with portfolios, which I use to keep a homeschool record of each year. (I use a method similar to this, but for elementary and middle school, I just keep one folder per kid with everything in it.) I always buy the same colors: pink and purple for my daughter and blue or green for my son, just because those are their favorite colors. After a while, I started buying my sticky flags in the same colors—we do a lot of book-based learning, and it was so much easier to glance at the markers sticking out a book and to be able to quickly tell the pages I’d marked for my 3rd grader and the pages I’d marked for his big sister. Then, I realized that a little colorful tape would make it harder for them to blame each other for disappearing pencils, so I wrapped a little pink or blue washi tape around the ends of their Black Warrior pencils. It was amazing how much more responsible they felt for their pencils when certain ones clearly “belonged” to them. After a while, I started buying all their school supplies in the same color sets because it made them easy to keep up with. And finally, I bought purple and green pens, which I used to plan their schedules and keep homeschool notes in my bullet journal and on our family calendar. (I should do a post on bullet journaling one day because it really revolutionized my homeschool organization and solved my hunt for the non-existent Holy Grail of Homeschool Planners.)
But we didn’t stop there: I’m almost embarrassed to admit it, but we now have a whole dinnerware set with different colors for each family member. (If the purple cereal bowl is still in the sink when lunchtime rolls around, my daughter knows she’s got to wash it before she can ladle out her bowl of soup. And no one steals my coffee mug anymore!) We have color-coded towels (which everyone, including me, is better about remembering to hang back up) and color-coded water bottles. It simplifies things—you know with a glance whose towel ended up in the middle of the hall or who left their pencil on the porch. And somehow it makes me feel organized—or at least, less unorganized, which, for me anyway, feels like big progress.