The OCDiva: Color-Code Your Life!

Welcome, fellow OCDivas! Welcome also to all you aspiring OCDivas out there. If you're new to this blog series, you can catch yourself up here–or you can just dive straight in with these awesome organization tips from my cleaning lady turned kindred spirit and OCDiva blog contributor, Crystal. Let's get to it…

Bins, boxes, baskets and more, in all sizes and colors galore!

Sometimes I feel that the “C” in OCD is replaced by another word for me: Color-coding.  That’s right.  My life often revolves around Obsessive Color-coding Disorder.  What this means for me, is that I like everything to match within its own category, room, etc.  Even my clothes must match, inside and out.  If my socks are blue, my underwear is yellow, and my outfit is pink and black, forget about it.  I wouldn’t even be able to leave my house, or walk around in it all day, for that matter.  I would spend all day being bothered by the fact that everything didn’t match.  As crazy as this may–or may not–sound, I have found a way to turn this into a GREAT organizational skill in my life.  Today, I would like to share some tips on how this skill can also come in handy to keep all of you organized as well.

When I say everything must match, I do not mean everything in my whole house is one color.  I mean that everything within each category matches.  For example, let’s say you have 3 kids.  Each kid’s room is a different color (or color scheme), and each kids will probably tell you their favorite color is you ask.  Their favorite color is probably already in their room, so everything you get to organize, will match.  This favorite color is what I would use to organize all of their things in their bedrooms as well as their playroom or basement area.

Let’s pretend their favorite colors are blue, green, and pink.  This means that every bin, decorative box, basket, etc. that you buy to organize their things and get them up off the floor, will be in those 3 colors.  You can go one step further and actually put labels on them as well (electronics, hair accessories, toys, etc.), but the colors alone will help make it easy for them to clean up fast.  They each have their color, and all of their stuff goes into that color bin.  This is especially great when they a little and still learning where stuff goes.

This method works for other rooms in the house as well.  If you have a theme (wine, chef, country animals, frogs, beach, etc.) or color scheme in your kitchen, laundry room, living room, bathroom, or any other room, it will make is very easy to choose bins or baskets to keep things put away and out of sight.  If you do not, or if it’s a very general color scheme, that’s okay!  You can use anything that you like to match to your rooms.  They have bins available in all colors, even neutrals, as well as baskets, rustic looks, sleek & shiny plastic, and even fur!  Yes, I have actually seen these in the stores.  Whatever you choose, it will keep things looking nice and uncluttered, and it makes for super easy clean-up if you have last minute guests coming over.

The other thing that these bins are good for is storage.  Sure, you can make sure to label at least 3 sides of every box you put away so you can read what’s in in no matter how you put it away.  However, an easier way is just to color code it all with different color Rubbermaid bins.  For me, I use this for holidays the most.  All Halloween decorations are in orange bins with black lids, Christmas is all in red and green bins, Easter is in purple bins, Valentine’s Day is in pink and white bins, and St. Patrick’s Day is in bright green bins.  I realize everyone does not go as crazy for holidays as I do, but it’s just an example.  You can do this for kids’ items, seasonal items, or anything else you want to put away rather than throw away.  If you are afraid you won’t remember, keep a list somewhere in your home or on your phone indicating which colored bins are for which items.  It’s still easier than digging through every box when you want to find something.

The last thing I use this system for is storing my kids’ clothes.  I actually use clear, see-through bins that roll right under the beds, dressers, etc.  I do put a label on the top of the pile inside each of the bins, so I know which size clothes are in there.  I can see right through the top of course, and nobody can see all the stuff inside because they are slim enough bins to hide out of sight.

So that is how I use my color-coding obsession to keep things neat, tidy, and out of sight.  I would rather see shelves with nice, decorative bins on them, then piles of stuff lying around on those same shelves.  The clean appearance makes me feel more organized, even if I do have too much stuff in some of those bins.

Here is a short, summarized list to help you get going with this.

  • Start by finding bins, baskets, decorative boxes, etc. that you like and that match the rooms you intend to organize.
  • If you have children, assign them each a color to put all of their things away in.
  • Label your boxes or make a list of which colors have certain items in them.

For example:

  • Red-Christmas
  • Yellow-Summer items
  • Blue-Winter items
  • Brown-Tools

You can make the list as long or as short as you need, depending on how much stuff you have to store in your home.

  • Remember that you probably cannot convert your entire home at once! This is a process that takes time.  I started converting my holiday stuff over years ago, and it didn’t all happen at one time.

That’s it!  Hopefully you will find some of this to be useful to you in your own life if you need a little help getting organized and have trouble figuring out where to start.  Sometimes one small idea, step, or instruction is all we need to help us get started in making a difference for ourselves.

Crystal's Headshot


Crystal is a mother, wife, animal lover, and detailed cleaner. She loves gardening, wine, silly picture socks, and dressing in themed costumes for Halloween with the whole family. Connect with her on the Top of the Fridge Cleaning Facebook page!

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