Color Coding Works for Me

You may not know this about me but I have an anal, OCD, perfectionist side. It’s kind of what made me a good engineer. But God has used my husband and my children to help me get over most of it. Having 5 kids in 6 years and living with others that have ADHD is just God’s way of helping me get over myself. But, I have to confess that my kids have their own individual colors.

It all started 5 years ago when the Karate Kid was diagnosed with 34 food sensitivities. He was 2.5 at the time and was a toddler garbage disposal. If food was left on a plate unattended he was going to consume it. I had to be able to quickly glance and see if he was eating from another’s plate. When in Wal-Mart one day I spotted  plastic colored plates, cups and bowls and the idea was born. The Little Gymnast is red or pink, Karate Kid is blue, Little Bit is purple, Curious Monkey is orange, Sidekick is yellow and we have green for visitors.

Five years later we have expanded from 3 to 5 kids and 3 of them have different food sensitivities. One can’t have peanut butter, one can’t have almond butter or peanut butter, and one can’t have almond butter. When the children come to the table to eat they know which plate is theirs and they don’t accidentally eat from the wrong plate. When they leave the table I know who didn’t clear their place without having  to remember who sat where today or listen to blame game.

The color coding has spread beyond the kitchen now. I have found file boxes in 4 of their colors for their schoolwork. My most exciting find was colored laundry baskets in the back to school area last year at Wal-Mart. I’m not the best at folding and putting laundry away right out of the dryer. When laundry comes out of the dryer it gets sorted into their baskets. When I do fold I can work on one child’s clothes at a time folding them and putting them away. And the kids know if they can’t find clothes in their dresser the next stop is their basket in the living room. And now they only have to look through one basket, it’s the one in their color.

Other things that I have found in their colors include lunch sacks, sandwich containers, scissors, sharpie markers, card stock, binders, pencil boxes and pencil pouches. I haven’t gone as far as bath towels but that’s next.


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