Organizing is tons of fun, but organizing with color takes it to a whole new level! Whether you are organizing a closet or home office, there are tons of easy ways to brighten up any room in the home. While the folks at Color-Coded Organizing love to use color, we also love to color-code (hence the name). Below are a few ideas on how to bring color and order to your everyday spaces.

Use colored nail polish to color-code your keys

Use colored nail polish to color-code your keys

Color-Coded Keys – Are you carrying a key ring with a spare key to your cousin’s house in New York or your parent’s beach house in Florida that you seldom visit? If so, you probably have hard time remembering which key belongs where. First off, clear the key clutter! There is absolutely no reason why you should carry spare keys with you at all times. Only carry keys on your keychain that you use on a daily basis. All other keys should be stored neatly in a safe place within the home.

An easy way to color-code keys is by applying a dab of colored nail polish to the top each key. Use different color nail polish for each key. For example, apply a dab of blue nail polish for the spare key to your parent’s beach house in Florida. Blue symbolizes the beautiful ocean the home overlooks! What color do you think of for your neighbor’s home? How about the spare key to the office? Just use the color that works best for you.

Color-Coded Labels – Everyone should own a label maker. While most label makers work well and get the job done, our favorite label maker is the Brother P-Touch 1880. Tape for this label maker is available in over 20 colors, patterns, and sizes to make labeling a fun project for everyone! Consider using colored tape to label the following areas in the home:

Red Tape – Hazardous or poisonous outlets & objects
Blue Tape – Your son’s toys and drawers (HINT: Store small toys sorted by type in clear shoe boxes. Label both the box and the shelf where it belongs)
Pink Tape – Your daughter’s toys and drawers (HINT: Label each dresser drawer in your child’s bedroom to teach them where each item belongs)
Yellow Tape – Important boxes or bins
Green Tape – Outdoor items such as garage and garden items

For larger labels, consider using colored duct tape which is available at most hardware and craft stores.

Use colored markers to color-code your calendar

Use colored markers to color-code your calendar

Color-Coded Calendar – If you live a busy life, tracking appointments and events for yourself and your family can be challenging. Whether you’re using a digital calendar or a daily planner, consider color-coding your schedule with the following color scheme:

Red Marker – Appointments
Blue Marker – Meetings, Children’s Play Dates
Green Marker – Events (Parties, Sports, Gatherings)
Purple Marker – Holidays, Birthdays, Anniversaries, Occasions
Orange Marker – Errands, To-Do List

If you’re managing a schedule with children, try selecting a different color for each child. For example, Molly’s dentist appointment and softball game should be marked on the calendar in pink while Peter’s Boy Scout meeting and hiking trip should be marked on the calendar in blue. Color-coding the calendar is a fun way to ensure you never miss an important meeting or outing again.

Use colored folders to color-code your filing cabinet

Use colored folders to color-code your filing cabinet

Color-Coded Filing System – Filing can be a tedious task if you don’t have an effective system in place. Using colored file folders to differentiate the types of documents being stored makes filing a whole lot easier. When using a large variety of colors, you may want to create a key to remember the type of documents each colored folder holds. Consider using the following color scheme in your filing cabinet:

Red Folders – Important / Vital Documents (Birth Certificate, Medical Records, Deeds, etc)
Orange Folders – Annually Updated Documents (Policies, Regulations, etc)
Dark Blue Folders – Tax Archives (Tax Returns)
Light Blue Folders – Annual Tax Documents (W2, 1099, Deductions, etc)
Green Folders – Monthly Documents (Monthly Statements, Petty Receipts, etc)
Purple Folders – Hobbies & Interests (Extracurricular Activities, Collections, etc)

For a ready-made color-coded filing kit, check out the Freedom Filer here.

Color-Coded Grocery List – Do you dread shopping for groceries? Battling the lines and pushing the cart through the aisles can be a painful task. Luckily there is a way to reduce the amount of time you spend at the grocer. Before you leave your house, make a color coded grocery list. Grab a handful of pens with different color inks. You can either start from scratch or transpose an existing list. The grocery store is laid out in various zones including: produce, dairy, fresh meats/deli/seafood, bottled/canned/packaged foods, pharmacy/household items, bread, and frozen food. Write each item on your list in a section using ink color coded for each zone in the store. When your grocery list is color coded by zone, you ensure you never have to backtrack across different zones. You can save even more time by assigning your family members different color coded zones to split up the shopping.

Do you color-code anything in your home? If so, we’d love to see pictures and share with our readers in our next article. Send your color-coded spaces to

About Alejandra

About Alejandra

Since 2008, organizing expert & certified life coach, Alejandra Costello has taught thousands of students in 132 countries how to get organized through her video-based training programs. Her YouTube videos have been viewed 100+ million times. Named 1 of the 5 most organized people in America by HGTV and “The Decluttering Queen” by Good Morning America, Alejandra’s expertise has been featured in The New York Times,, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, Woman’s Day, Parents Magazine, and CBS. 


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