10 Surprising Ways to Organize By Color

Photo by Kelly Brask

Photo by Kelly Brask

Did you know that color is one of the first details our brains process when reading an image? It’s no wonder that professional organizers and productivity specialists often use color as the basis for easy systems for organizing our homes and our busy schedules. Here are some inventive ways that you can use color to save time and create a more beautiful living space:

Limit your Palette: Simplify your systems, and time spent searching, by stocking a very small range of colors.
1. A restricted palette of black, white, and nude undergarments is easy to coordinate and works perfectly under any color article of clothing.
2. Ever get frustrated while searching for a matching sock – or pillow case? What if all of your socks (or linens, or towels) were the same color? There would be no need to sort, and finding a pair, or the matching set, when you need it would be so much easier.

Get Loud: Using vivid colors strategically will help you find things you need very quickly.  
3. Paint the tops of your keys in different colored nail polish to easily distinguish your front door key from your office one.
4. Organize your financial paperwork in green bins, baskets, or file folders.
5. A brightly colored smartphone case will help prevent your phone from disappearing into the dark recesses of your purse.
6. Organize the contents of your diaper bag using colorful pouches. Diapering supplies go in the large red pouch, snacks and feeding in the blue pouch, and toys in the yellow one.

Teach Responsibility: Color can help you transform the entire way your busy household functions.
7. Get the whole family on board with your organizing efforts by assigning each child a color. If their toothbrush, lunchbox, backpack, towel, bathroom cup, pencils, supply pouches, and laundry bin, etc, are all in their corresponding color, you will always know who forgot to pick up their towel or put their pencils in their backpack. 
8. Use color to keep track of everyone’s schedule. Place a family calendar in a central location. Use the assigned colors to make sure papers are turned in on time and each child is where they need to be when they need to be there. Most digital calendars have color options as well.

Liven Up Your Space
9. Blur the line between art and function by organizing your books by color. 
10. Choose a hue and organize your office supplies and files with colorful desktop accessories by companies like Poppin (www.poppin.com) or Scout (http://www.scoutbags.com). 

Bonus tip: Don’t waste your time organizing Legos by color. I’ve yet to encounter a child who chooses pieces based on color, rather than size or shape.