With three sons close in age, it’s not always easy to sort out what toys, clothes, and sports equipment belongs to whom. A few years ago, I hit on an idea that helps me organize all their stuff and also lets me know at a glance who left their wet towel on the bathroom floor.
I’ve assigned each one of my boys a color and buy bedding, towels, school supplies, cups. and sometimes even toys accordingly. Now, when I find a wet swimsuit on the laundry room floor or an errant cup in the family room, I can tell at a glance who needs to pick up after themselves. When school backpacks are lined up at the door at night, I can see right away who still needs to gather up their homework. I even keep color-coded folders in the kitchen for permission slips, party invitations, etc. so everything I need is right at my fingertips.
As my kids have gotten older, it’s been interesting to watch them adopt the system in their own lives. They’re getting old enough to make some decisions for themselves, but still almost always choose “their color” whenever it’s an option. While wandering through the grocery store recently, one of the employees offered us balloons and, of course, the boys chose red, blue, and green. I got yellow. Why should kids get to have all the fun?