7 Ways to Organize Your Home and Life by Color

Dawn M. Smith
Written by Dawn M. Smith
Updated December 17, 2021
A living room with an abstract painting and sofa
Photo: photographee.eu / Adobe Stock

Add some color organization to your home and watch your productivity blossom

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When it comes to decorating your home, you may not consider the science behind the colors you choose—you just like turquoise, so that’s why your bathroom is that color. But the truth is, humans are drawn to certain colors because our brains use them to sort, identify, and even change our moods. 

In home organization, color coding systems provide a lot of perks: For starters, they guide you to find what you need in no time and often set the tone for your day. Learn how organizing by color can help keep your space tidier and even more beautiful.

The First Step: a Lesson in Color Order 

Think back to elementary school. Does ROYGBIV sound familiar? If you need a refresher, it's the acronym for remembering the color order of the rainbow—the basis of home color organization and a go-to tool for professional home organizers

  • Red

  • Orange

  • Yellow

  • Green 

  • Blue 

  • Indigo 

  • Violet (purple)

When it comes to rainbow order and home organization, you can add white and black to the beginning and the end of the order, whichever you prefer. And, if a multicolor item, like a plaid blanket, stumps you, go with the main or background color for sorting purposes. 

1. Colorfully Organize the Mudroom or Entryway 

Your front entryway or mudroom gets a workout every day. If your family is like most, coats, shoes, dog leashes, and backpacks get tossed about as soon as the front door opens. There’s often a mad dash to find homework and permission slips in the morning. 

A collection of color-coded bins, file folders, and baskets in your mudroom is a genius way to easily separate each family member's belongings (including the dog’s), so you can always find a wayward mitten or hat and, at the same time, cut down on the clutter. 

2. Take Your Clothing Closet Organization to the Next Level 

Everyone loves ways to save time, and a color-coordinated closet is a great way to get back precious minutes in your day. Start by dividing hanging clothes by type, like pants and dresses. 

After, follow the rainbow and sort your clothes by color. This closet organization process helps you see the clothes available to wear and match them quickly with tops and bottoms. Grab a patterned skirt and hold it against various colored tops; you might just find new color combinations you love. 

Organize your drawers the same way. For example, before folding and loading your short sleeve shirts, separate the tops by color. Do the same for workout clothes, socks, and intimates. 

3.  Spruce Up Playrooms and Kids’ Bedrooms

Playroom with shelves and colourful boxes
Photo: candy1812 / Adobe Stock

Since play spaces inspire creativity, you have a lot of freedom to organize the room with color.  You just have to decide what storage system works best for your family and remember the goal is to clean up, clean up, everybody clean up! 

Use colored buckets or clear bins to separate items or simply sort each item by color. Try color organization for: 

  • Large toys

  • Games

  • Art and craft supplies 

  • Books (Color cues help non-readers find their favorite books fast.)

These techniques are perfect not only for playrooms but also hobby rooms for sewers, paper crafters, quilters, jewelry makers, and any other activity that has many colorful aspects. 

4. Add Smart Color to Your Bookshelves

Stacks of supplies and paperwork
Photo: Fotofabrika / Adobe Stock

If you want to punch up a room’s visual appeal fast, head for your bookshelf. You’re the best judge of what color scheme you like best to organize your books, so get creative. Of course, you can follow ROYGBIV, or if you have enough shelving, try these methods: 

  • Assign two to three book colors per shelf. 

  • Go with reverse rainbow order.

  • Remember the color wheel and place complementary groups of colored books next to each other, like blues and greens.

  • Place your favorite color of books upfront and store less appealing colors behind them. 

5. Declutter Your Home Office With Intuitive Colors  

One of the most effective ways to organize with color is within a home office design, starting with your document files. Invest in a new set of colored folders; they’re perfect for structuring a color system. The small burst of color lets you immediately find important information. Of course, choose any colors you prefer, but these examples help you get started. 

  • Green: Financial papers 

  • Red: Important documents 

  • Black: Car paperwork

  • Beige: Home-related papers  

  • Blue: Medical records 

6. Color Code and Organize Your Digital Life 

Depending on your attachment to devices, color coding your phone and digital calendars could help you find emails and apps and declutter your screen with just a couple of swipes. 


Have you ever tried to color-code your apps on different phone screens? If you separate your apps by color, the search for exactly what you're looking for becomes minimal. Plus, there’s a calming effect that kicks in after separating—no more searching through chaos on your home screen. 


There are lots of ways to customize your calendars with color for fast access; you just have to dig into the specifics of your go-to calendar tool. You can assign family members separate colors, create colored folders in your calendars and on screen, and even change the background colors. 

If you’re using a classic whiteboard or written calendar, sort family members or events into color categories with markers. For example, write personal appointments in blue and work meetings in red. 

7. Rethink Your Home’s Paint Colors

No doubt about it, paint colors affect our moods and feelings. Red paint can energize, blue calms and green is known to soothe, but what if your house has a chaotic color palette? It might be time to repaint and organize your color scheme for a cohesive vibe.

Keep it simple and use the same unifying trim and ceiling color (probably white) throughout the house. Then, pair it with wall colors that match the “feel” or mood you want to invoke in each room. While you don’t have to repaint every room, if you’re looking to change a few, here are popular colors to use: 

  • Bedrooms: Mid to light shades of blue, green, and purple calm the senses. 

  • Kitchen: White, yellow, and green add feelings of freshness and cleanliness. 

  • Living areas: Neutral colors like beige, taupe, and gray relax your mind and body. 

  • Bathrooms: Blue, green, and their variations invite relaxation and spa-like qualities. 

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