Life in a small house with a husband and 5 little boys can be total mayhem. I learned pretty quickly that I was going to need organisational systems if I was going to survive the chaos and get out the door for work in the mornings. My morning routine consisted of microwaving my coffee repeatedly, changing dirty nappies, making the thousandth ‘choccie milk’ and digging madly through mounds of clean washing while screeching ‘where are your shoes!’ at my 5 year old twins, while they stared absently at the TV, one sock on, school shirt inside out and half a jar of Nutella plastered across their faces.
I’m sure you’ve all been there.
Enter colour coding.
I got very much into Marie Kondo last year and did a lot of tossing and donating of items that didn’t bring me joy. Plenty of things I kept because it was functional, but was constantly frustrated at the never ending cleanup. I would ask the kids to help, and give directions but the more stuff they had, the less inclined they were to help clean up. Perhaps they were as overwhelmed with the mess as I was. Requests to pic up after themselves were met with ‘it’s not my towel/plate/cup’. The fairies were messing up my place apparently (insert eyeroll here). So I started Googling what other large families did and stumbled across colour coding. This is the very simple idea that each child has their own colour in a variety of items and is responsible for it. With 5 kids I needed 5 colours. Not having any girls, I went with red, green, blue, yellow and orange. Orange was a bit tricky to find, but I was able to source everything I was after online.
My boys now each have in their colour:
1 face washer
1 cutlery set
1 drink bottle
toy storage (for the older 3)
1 laundry hamper (this will be mainly used to fold clean laundry into so the boys can put their own stuff away).
As a full-time working mum I need to have systems that run well when I’m at work. Our house is small and needs to be well-organised to prevent it all turning to chaos fast. On top of having a seriously pared- back wardrobe for each child (5 winter, 5 summer and 5 transitional outfits) I’ve culled a lot of what we own down to much less. The idea of the kids having their own colour is that they are responsible and accountable. It’s easy to see who is not putting their belongings away and it’s easy for them to find and care for their own things. Already I’ve seen positive results, with the kids automatically taking their own dishes to the kitchen sink and hanging their towels up on the towel hooks.
At a glance I will be able to tell who has left their stuff lying around and it will eliminate the ‘that’s not my plate’ type excuses and arguments about wanting a certain plate or cup.
I’m feeling positive about this system and will introduce more colour coded items as we go along. I’m loving the ideas on this page!
Anything else people colour code please add below so I can get more ideas 🙂
Here’s where I bought these items if anyone is interested:
Towels and face washers: Pillow Talk Urban range https://www.pillowtalk.com.au/pillowtalk/en/Categories/Bathroom/Towels/Urban-Towel-Range/p/ESSAURBAN15
Cups, plates/bowls and cutlery: the brand is ‘Replay’ (100% recycled plastic). https://www.littleearthnest.com.au/collections/replay
Tooth brushes: Caredent https://www.caredent.com.au/product/junior-sparkle-soft-toothbrush/
Laundry hampers: bought off eBay https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Foldable-Pop-Up-Laundry-Soiled-Clothes-Mesh-Basket-Hamper-Storage-Bin-HBASK01/151308187358?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&var=450438289830&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649
I got everything online as I couldn’t find the colour range I was after locally.
Happy colour coding!