When I had my second child I remember calling my friend and asking her, "How do I go to the grocery store alone... with two?"
Now, I laugh at that season of my life.
Today, with three kids taking them hiking alone seems not as daunting as the grocery store with two once did.
I've grown as a mom and so have they, but other things have helped as well.
Having a third child has catapulted me into this minimalism, simplifying lifestyle. And because of those changes, having a third didn't add more stress. Rather, it helped me better see what I value and where I want to spend my time. I don't want to spend Saturday's cleaning out and organizing. I want to be outdoors with my husband and kids.
But we have stuff. We need stuff to live and function. We are a family of five that enjoys the use of things to get through daily life.
The fact is having five people share one bathroom and doing laundry for three boys and homeschooling two can get overwhelming. There are a lot of moving pieces and objects flying and possibly mismatched socks.
By default, I found something that works for us to streamline basic functions.
Colors. Yep, that is the answer...colors.
Each kid has their own colored...
towel hook ,
stainless steel water bottle,
bins for school books,
socks, (PS--Lands End socks NEVER get holes)
under garments, and backpack.
Colors have made a huge difference in our lives. I am not big on characters and buying into the marketing of things, so I try to stick to solid colors. This doesn't always work, and that is OK. This is where I have to remember their personhood.
I try to keep the colors consistent, but that doesn't always work and that is OK. Believe me, they know their colors and they will let you know their color.
Sometimes at night before bed someone will say, " I need my water bottle." And my brain remembers : Yellow water bottle left outside on back porch easier than recalling images or characters.
I am sure there is a science behind the color system in the brain. I don't know what it is, but I will do some research. To me having colors seems easier to recall, organize and differentiate....science or no science.
Many "minimalists" tend to try and stay in the same color palate; all white or all black. I think this does look clean and nice. But multiple children, that would be wild. I think if you wanted all the same colors adding maybe a small ribbon, name, or color indicator on the item would be helpful.
But for us, colors work and a color system is part of our simplicity.
Have you tried a color system? Or would a color system help in your home?
Give it a try and let me know.
Have a fantastic Monday!