Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Color Coding - WFMW

Meet my new best friend!

As we've added more children, keeping up with everyone's things has become harder and harder. At Christmas we bought the kids some identical gifts and needed to be able to tell them apart. The boys have blankets that I made last year so we decided to carry the colors of the blankets over into other parts of their lives. The only downside - Kent says  they're going to have an aversion to their color when they're grown! I say, once they don't live here I don't care how they keep up with their stuff. :-)

It started with cups. I purchased these here. They were inexpensive and came in enough colors that I could have a different one for each of 7 children and have other options in the future. I ordered 6 of each color. I also decided to purchase them with lids and straws for use by Henry (3) and Mary Claire (2). Mary Claire still uses a sippy cup if she needs a portable drink. She doesn't drink enough for me to be comfortable not allowing a cup in the car. At home, she uses her pretty purple cup with lid. Liberty (10 months) doesn't quite have a handle on sippy cup usage so she'll wait a bit before getting her polka dot cup.

After cups, I started to realize all the ways duct tape could make anything color coded. Here I fixed water bottles for a picnic. Now I could know who drank theirs, who left the bottle on the ground/ in the van. It also ended the "Eww, gross! Someone got food in the water!".

I also color coded the coat racks by the back door. Even Mary Claire knows where each person's coat belongs. Each child gets two knobs with a piece of their duct tape in the middle. Griffin and Ben are very close in size and were fighting over jackets. Duct tape to the rescue yet again! I placed a piece of tape over the label. Since it's a jacket, the tape doesn't touch skin (due to the shirt underneath) and there is no more yelling "That's mine!".

 Pencils seem to disappear around here. I cut small pieces of tape and labeled those as well. I also decided to start charging the kids when they can't find a pencil. If they need another, they have to buy it from me. They also have to pay one another if they use someone else's pencil. It's amazing how our pencil consumption has drastically dropped.

My latest use for color coding is snack cups. The girls already had cups with their names. Liberty's {far left} is from The Shifty Fox. We have gotten tons of compliments on her owl insert. Mary Claire's cup {far right} came from The Pink Llama Shop. I love the combination of the pink and green. {I know the owner's of both boutiques personally. I can't say enough about the quality of the items you will receive if you order from either lady!} Though these are technically not the girls' colors they have their names so they are good enough.

The other cups came from Aunt Kristen. At Isaac's birthday party the "loot bag" was a snack cup the kids could fill with rainbow colored goldfish. The colors matched up perfectly for the boys. Since Madisyn is nearly 12, I let her use a baggie.

The best thing about the snack cups is once again, the arguments it ends. Each person gets their own cup. When it's empty, it's empty. No more "He got more than me!, She didn't share!, He spilled it!". Each person is responsible for their own. I also told them that if they lost their cup, there would be no snacks next time. Anything that keeps me from having to keep up with their stuff is a winner in my book.

Want some more great tips? Head over to We Are That Family and join in the Works For Me Wednesday fun!

works for me wednesday at we are that family

You can also checkout Raising Homemakers for some great homemaking tips.

{It sems I am frequently asked how I do various tasks. I'm a member of a wonderful online community and have friend who are always willing to share their successes {and failures}. I plan to share a few of the things that work for me over the next few weeks. Most of my ideas are not original creations, they have morphed from places like Pinterest and Facebook. There is no reason to re-invent the wheel and I'm more than willing to share how I made it work for me. If you would like to know how I do something, leave a comment, send an e-mail, etc. I'll be more than happy to work up a post on the topic. You can e-mail at Stacy at .}


  1. We color coded everything too and each child has a day of the week to do special things - get the mail, answer the phone etc. Worked great.

  2. We have special days to sit by Daddy at supper, but I never thought of the other ideas! I will have to try those out. Thanks for sharing!