The Home Edit's color coding system that works for kids (and their bedrooms)

Fighting a losing battle? Clea and Joanna, founders of The Home Edit, have created a color coding system which is the way forward to an organized kid’s bedroom. For real

tidy and organize kids' rooms
(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

Getting kids to tidy and organize their bedrooms isn’t (shall we put it politely) the easiest parental task. But suggestions from The Home Edit have given us hope. Fellow addicts of the Netflix show will know that organizing by color is a great strategy for success, and it’s a top tactic for kids’ rooms as well as other spaces.

Professional organizers to the stars (and the non-famous) in need of clutter-busting solutions Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin are, like Marie Kondo, our guiding lights when it comes to getting our homes sorted, but also looking great. And any help they can give us in encouraging our kids to be tidier is oh-so welcome.

Check out their kids’ room method below, and for more kids’ bedroom ideas, take a look at our feature. 

Kids’ room tidying and organization ideas from The Home Edit

1. Duo Clea and Joanna frequently use color to organize, but specifically, it’s the rainbow that guides them. They use the acronym ROYGBIV as a reminder of the colors they’re talking about and the order in which they go: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

Why do they like it? It’s a pattern our brains ‘innately recognize’, they say, but also because ‘it’s pleasing to the eye’. The latter, of course, is how we want our homes to be.

2. Using color to collect and sort is like labelling, the pair advise. But with this system you can skip the writing part. The color will tell you where something should go. Super easy! 

3. While The Home Edit use the tactic of arranging by color all round the home, they say it’s an especially smart way to organize kids’ bedrooms. Kids will know where to put things – because each item fits naturally into the right section of storage by color. When kids are young, this allows them to be self-sufficient and put away things themselves, the champion organizers say.

OK, neither they nor we can actually promise this is going to happen, but, number one, it’s still a great way to organize a kid’s room, plus it could push them in the right direction. And any little help is good, right?

4. So, what can you get kids to organize by color? Well, anything really. It’ll work for books, games, toys, clothes, shoes, and so on, but also for smaller items like pens and pencils, stationery, hair ties and bands... You name it, and color is a great way to organize and tidy. 

5. Away from kids’ rooms, you could bring some color-coded order to other areas of your home, such as your bookshelves, the pantry and the sock drawer. You might even like the strategy so much that you color code the apps on your phone, as Clea and Joanna suggest.

More ideas:

Sarah Warwick
Freelance Editor

Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor writing for websites, national newspapers, and magazines. She’s spent most of her journalistic career specialising in homes – long enough to see fridges become smart, decorating fashions embrace both minimalism and maximalism, and interiors that blur the indoor/outdoor link become a must-have. She loves testing the latest home appliances, revealing the trends in furnishings and fittings for every room, and investigating the benefits, costs and practicalities of home improvement. It's no big surprise that she likes to put what she writes about into practice, and is a serial house revamper. For, Sarah reviews coffee machines and vacuum cleaners, taking them through their paces at home to give us an honest, real life review and comparison of every model.