A Rainbow of Children

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You may not know this, but my kids are different colors. No, it’s not an ethnic thing. It’s an organizational necessity.

Somewhere along the line between child number 3 and child number 4, I learned that the abundance of used drinking cups was going to drive me batty. Each child, concerned that he would get cooties if he used someone else’s cup by accident, would get a new cup everytime he was thirsty. After finding fifty-two cups lined up on the counter, I decided to change protocol.

I picked up several packages of rainbow colored, plastic cups at StuffMart. Blue, Teal, Green, Yellow, Orange, and Pink. For the longest time Orange and Pink were relegated to company. But now, six cups, six kids – everyone has his own color. And you better not be drinking out of it if it’s not yours!

Each child leaves his cup on the counter by the frig. Generally, each child only uses one or two of his cups in a day. But, we always know whose is whose. And I’m not washing more than a handful (or two) of cups each day. It’s definitely been a change for the better.

Got a fancy trick to keeping things simple at your house? Share it in the comments.

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About Jessica Fisher

I believe you can get great meals on the table -- and still keep that pretty smile on your face.

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  1. Terra Jones says

    What a GREAT idea!! I will definitely be saving that tip 🙂

    I don’t really have any tips – but I think my best idea so far has been to use a bookcase and baskets for my kiddos clothes (started at birth for my first until #2 came along when he was 16 months, he now has the bookcase/basket combo) Each basket has one type of clothing (PJs, socks, pants, long sleeve onesies, short sleeve onesies, etc…)

  2. Briana Almengor says

    I also do something similar w/ the cups and the bins for clothes.

    For birthday parties that will include friends (and their families if the bday boy/girl is young) or for any gathering of a number of families in your home during winter/fall months that require outerwear (coats, hats, gloves, etc), I had each family put all their outerwear (and shoes if you make people go shoe-less in your home) in a laundry basket. I took the basket to my room and when it came time for the family to leave, I didn’t have to search through a pile of coats and such on my bed to find all their things. IT was all in the same basket.
    Hope that made sense.

  3. FishMama says

    Excellent ideas! That laundry basket idea is a winner, Briana. Thanks for sharing it.

  4. Zimms Zoo says

    We do something very similar with the cups because I was going throught the same thing. Actually we were running out of cups.

    I am not sure that I have a great tip either. I love the laundry basket idea though!

  5. Sherry says

    WE all have cups out on the counter and sometimes that is an issue. I need to make sure we all have different cups. 😀

  6. JessieLeigh says

    Some great ideas! I don’t have any earth-shattering tips, I’m just amused because my kids are really kind of the opposite… they think nothing of sharing EVERYTHING. It’s more of a challenge for us to get them to use two separate cups sometimes rather than just share!

  7. Michele says

    Just the other day my husband was saying we had to do something about the abundance of cups on the counter. We only have three children but they never remember which is theirs so they get a new one. I think I’ll be making a trip to Target (where I have a gift card) and buying some cups. They don’t mind sharing but some of them still have issues with backwash 🙂


  8. One Acre Homestead says

    My girls are only 2 years apart so it is sometimes really difficult to sort their clothes after laundry. We now us a Sharpie marker to put one dot on the tag of my oldest daughter’s clothes and two dots on the little one’s clothes. This way, I can just add a dot when stuff gets handed down. 😉

  9. Terra Jones says

    One Acre – I LOVE that idea!!!

    My boys are 16 mos apart…however #2 is a bit of a chunkster and already wearing clothes #1 outgrew just a few months ago, lol

    I have swapped their clothes countless times in the last few weeks trying to remember who wears what – I am breaking out that sharpie tomorrow!!!

  10. Uh Oh! Then those Madrids came over and helped themselves to plastic cups. Hope we didn’t throw anyone off by taking their color. Or we gave someone our cooties because they didn’t realize we took their color.
    Thanks for having us over.

  11. FishMama says

    One Acre, that is brilliant! I have had a rough time with that as well. Four boys right in a row and no one knows whose clothes is whose anymore. Sharpies are being flourished all over the world as we speak.

    Steph, it was so not an issue with them. And we probably gave the cooties to YOU!

  12. FishMama says

    One Acre, that is brilliant! I have had a rough time with that as well. Four boys right in a row and no one knows whose clothes is whose anymore. Sharpies are being flourished all over the world as we speak.

    Steph, it was so not an issue with them. And we probably gave the cooties to YOU!

  13. My kids were “color coded” too! cups, thermoses, toothbrushes and bath towels too. I always knew who left the wet towel where it shouldnt be.
    I have 2 boys and 2 girls, for quick sorting of underpants and socks, I had them in different brands, one boy and one girl in Hanes, one boy and one girl in FoTL.

  14. shopannies says

    With 6 kids we have did a bit of all of it. From the colored cups to the x on clothes or same items to distinguish and especially the towels because this became an issure for me. One other thing we do is the laundry basket everyone has their own and as soon as they were able they learned how to do thier own laundry

  15. We have six kids and go through cups like crazy. I took a scrapbooking letter for each person (the letter their names starts with) and put them on the backsplash near the kitchen sink. Now everyone has a spot for their cup and that is where it goes! They get washed each night. But at least I’m not washing 24 cups.

  16. This works for us for cups,toothbrushes,towels,bodypuffs,laundry hampers , ect We color code everything!When the girls were little even socks had color coded marks on the soles.

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