I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

Color-Coded Homeschoolers

One of my biggest energy wasters is finding and having to deal with miscellaneous school or craft supplies lying around with no one to claim them except the mysterious "child" I seem to have inherited...a little tot named "Not Me."  I've never personally met this child, but he leaves quite a mess in his wake.

A few years ago, I decided that color-coding each child's school/art supplies would ensure its "ownership" if it suddenly went missing or was out of place.

Color coding homeschool belongings for organization-The Unlikely Homeschool

So, at the beginning of each school year, I outfit each child with supplies in the color of his/her choice... everything from scissors to notebooks to pencils and erasers.  Now when something is left lying around, I know exactly whose it is and who needs to be encouraged to put it back in place.  

In addition, I never have to label notebooks or folders.  Although I know that my kids would recognize their own personal belongings no matter what the color or design, I'll admit that I never would.  Now I can just open the school cupboard and instantly pull out the exact item that I need without looking for a name or distinguishing picture.  

This color-coding worked so well, that I now apply this same principle to other items throughout the house...toothbrushes, dishes (The kids use a kid-friendly set from IKEA that contains all the basic colors.), laundering items, etc.


  1. We were just talking about his yesterday because we have a youngun who thinks everything belongs to her and so she is constantly eating, drinking or using other peoples stuff and we can't get her to understand that it is not hers. Not sure how well the coloring coding will work with her since it is all hers.

  2. Love this idea...now I wonder if I can find supplies in 11 different colors...

    1. Oh my...that would pose a bit of a logistical problem. I have two friends that each have 12 little ones. I wonder what they do to keep track of it all?! I'll have to ask sometime.

    2. Get those wonderful roles of different colored duct tape and label everything Sharon

  3. We do this too... each person started with towels (though the colors have changed since then) as that was where Not Me liked to hang out the most. Then cups, school supplies, etc.... They even each have their own travel/toiletry bag in their color...all the accessories (shampoo bottles, soap container, etc. too!)Ok...I'm a little bit of a nerd, because I actually find this exciting! LOL! ;)


  4. omgosh I thought I was just an odd ball... I have always done this for my kiddos... my thought was the same as yours... the "Not Me" child lives here too, they must be twins... always making a mess around here.... I have an orange, blue, and purple kid... I know whos is whos just by glancing... so much easier to direct the clean up....

  5. Thats is something I was thinking of doing. Then u know who didnt put there plates or cups in the sink or hang there towels on after baths

  6. When my boys were born, I immediately assigned colours to them. My older got green, since I found this darling Mickey baby blanket that was green when i was pregnant (we still have it, and use it). My second one got yellow. He was a preemie (aka 'surprise') and when we went shopping for clothese the day he got out of the hospital, the only clothes to fit him that weren't pink dresses were these tiny yellow suits! I was kinda glad it didn't end up with blue and blue, since they have enough blue clothes between them!

  7. This is fabulous. I also already have the towels (though our colors have changed as well...) and on all of their charts and papers, they each have an assigned color, but I'd never thought of assigning the colors to their stuff! This would make mealtime, schooltime, anytime! much easier around here. Fortunately each of my five girls has a different favorite color...none of which, surprisingly, is pink. ;)