Organizing Ideas: Color Coding and a Labeling System For Kids

DIY Color Coding and Labeling for Kids

Organizing ideas for kids are essential for a mom to keep things in order. We talked to a mom of 5 who got everything in control when it comes to keeping things organized. Her secret? A DIY color-coding scheme and labeling system for her kids’ items at home. Something all moms can easily do and be super happy about!

Deidre Turner, mom of 5, shares with Bright Star Labels:

As a mum of 5 little kids, I’m a huge fan of color-coding kids’ things, I really believe it makes life easier for me and the kids. I am a tad obsessed with color-coding, as you can probably guess.

What is a color-coding scheme?

Color-coding kids’ stuff is where you assign each child a color and buy items in that color so they can easily identify what belongs to who.

Organizing Ideas

What are the benefits of a color-coding scheme?

  • Own fewer items overall, 1-2 things in each child’s color.
  • Kids take responsibility for their items more easily. It is much simpler for little kids to take their dishes to the kitchen and hang up their towel when they can easily identify which items are theirs based on looking for ‘their’ color.
  • Easy for parents to see at a glance who has been leaving their dishes/towel lying around!
  • Easier sorting with items like socks, jocks clothing, etc when you can see the color at a glance.
  • No fighting over who gets what color. This was seriously the biggest benefit for me, my older twins used to argue endlessly over one particular green plate, assigning colors eliminated these arguments completely.
  • Rainbows make people happy (I just made that one up, but my rainbow shelf makes me happy)

Who benefits from a color-coding scheme?

If you have 2 or more kids, you’ll benefit from color-coding, the more kids you have, the easier it makes life to have a system like this in place.

I started color-coding when I had my 2nd set of twins over 2.5 years ago (I had 5 kids in 5 years), I figured I was going to need to level up if I was going to keep up with 5 little boys!

I didn’t do all this overnight, I’ve bought things gradually and added things I color code over time.

Picking colors:

Organizing Ideas

To pick the colors I went with easy-to-find primary colors, red, green, blue, yellow, and orange. I have all boys so steered away from pink and purple, however pink and purple are easier to find than yellow and orange. So if you’ve got a girl (or boy) that loves pink or purple, those are great colors to use. I’ve found the 4 easiest colors to find are green, blue, pink, and purple.

To decide who had which color for which child, I went with the favorite colors for the older three kids. The younger 2 just got assigned a color at birth.

The kids’ colors are as follows:

Mr. 8 twin 1: red

Mr. 8 twin 2: green

Mr. 5.5: blue

Mr. 2.5 twin 1: orange

Mr. 2.5 twin 2: yellow

Mr. Green recently told me that his favorite color is now purple, but I’ve instituted a ‘no changing colors’ rule as I’ve already bought all his stuff in green.

What Items Do You Color Code?

Organizing Ideas


You can color-code anything really, towels, dinnerware, and name stickers are a good place to start.

Here is a list of the items I have color-coded, I’ll list the brand next to them so people can find them if they want:

  • 2 bath towels (mine are the Pillow Talk Urban Range)
  • 1 face washer (Pillow Talk Urban Range)
  • 1 toothbrush (Caredent Kids Junior Sparkle Toothbrush)
  • 1 laundry hamper (eBay cheapie)
  • 2 plates (1 divider plate, 1 normal-RePlay)
  • 2 bowls (1 small, 1 large-RePlay)
  • 2 cups (1 sippy cup for the younger 2-RePlay)
  • 1 double snack pod (RePlay)
  • 1 drink bottle (Nike)
  • 1 Personalized Bento Lunch Box from Bright Star Kids

Organizing Ideas

Organizing Ideas

Organizing Ideas

  • 1 Personalized beach towel (Yellow Duck Baby Gifts)
  • Approximately 7 pairs of undies (Big W, but the orange and yellow ones are hand made by my very talented friend as I couldn’t find these colors in-store)
  • Approximately 7 pairs of socks (If I can’t find the right colors, I just buy black or white in a size that fits multiple kids)

Other Things I Use Color Code Scheme For:

Organizing Ideas


Approximately 20 hangers per child (I color-coded their hangers by buying colored dots from Officeworks and sticking them on wooden hangers from Kmart). Kids’ clothes are hung on their color-coded hangers straight out of the washing machine to save folding.


While I don’t color code the kids’ clothes, I do draw a dot in their color on the tag of their clothes so I can quickly identify who’s clothing is whose. This is handy when you have several kids in similar sizes as I do. When the clothing is passed down, I just draw the next kid’s colored dot next to the first one and so on.


Organizing Ideas

  • I have chalk pens in each child’s color which I use to write their appointments etc on my planner board with (chalk pens and board from Daily Orders)
  • Folder dividers in their color to easily identify each child’s section in a folder of important information (bank statements, birth certificates, etc). Instead of having 1 folder each, I consolidated all 5 kids’ paperwork in one folder. (from Officeworks)
  • Ring binders in their color containing their daycare and school achievements. (from Officeworks)
  • I know this list is pretty extensive, but what you color code is up to you. The products I really recommend from experience is everything RePlay (recycled and really durable), my boys are rough with their stuff and the RePlay items still look like new after 2 years. Plus they have an awesome range of colors. Also, Nike drink bottles are the bomb, my boys destroyed every other type but these ones are really sturdy and don’t break or leak and come in a good range of colors.

My kids love their color-coded items and like all the things I make them in ‘their’ color. I never have any fights or issues with this system with my kids, it works great. Even my 2-year-olds know their color and can get their towel off the hook and carry their bowls to the sink.

How’s that for organizing ideas for your kids? We hope that  Deidre’s color coding scheme and labeling kids’ items have inspired you to keep everything super organized.  You can even use this tip to teach your kids a life skill by taking responsibility for their own stuff.

Love Organizing?

If you think that a  color-coding scheme helps you and your kids keep everything organized at home, you can also do the same for their school items. Check out the blog article about How to Label so you’ll never worry about lost property. 

Looking For Ways Personalize Your Kids’ Items?

We’ve got our Ultimate Labels Kit to help you get started in organizing your kids’ items and more. Getting ready for school? We’ve also got School labels for your kids! Personalize anything and everything for school. These are all made in the US and shipped super fast. You’re going to want to label everything to stay organized!