Our lives are busy, this is why a command center can be just what you need.
We all know that! Sometimes, especially with multiple kids, we can get stuck in a pattern of rushing from one place to the next. This can lead to forgetting appointments, over scheduling, being late, etc. Making a family command center can help with this! You are making one spot that everyone can use to track their days. This can lead to their happiness, and your piece of mind.
Disclosure: Clicking some of the links I have provided, may bring you to an affiliated product or site.
Where to put it:
Find the Right Spot:
A zone that everyone passes through is the most effective: a corner in the kitchen, a nook in a hallway, or a centrally located home office. Shelves are key; if you don’t have built-ins, just use a bookcase.
Make Some Rules:
To keep this area from becoming an unloading zone, determine what belongs here and what doesn’t. What does belong? Items like bills, sports schedules, medical records, school papers with short-term relevance. These are important and critical to running your house. What doesn’t belong? Things like backpacks, 3-D art projects, magazines, newspapers. These are all extras and will just clutter your command center.
Take Care of the junk:
If there’s no plan for all of your junk and miscellaneous items, this will not work. Find other homes for all the bulky, random items that threaten your bliss.
Organizing is not for the weak:
Leave the hunk of metal in the past:
Most home filing cabinets are stuffed with documents that people no longer need. Have trouble purging? Get something like this Scanner Bin to organize receipts and anything you may not want to toss.
Color-Code Your Life:
In a portable acrylic file box, set up folders for different categories or family members. Label them in the way that makes the most sense to you: perhaps bills, work, play, keepsakes. For kids, school, sports, social. This Desktop Organizer is your go-to for floating papers—and the first place to look for that misplaced permission slip.
Befriend the Shredder:
A slim, shelf-size model Paper and Credit Card Shredder makes it easy to part with sensitive items you don’t need anymore.
Think Outside the Box:
We all love the look of neat, uniform boxes, but the truth is, they work best for long-term storage. 3″ Binders are a better choice for those ever evolving collections of paper, like decorating ideas or recipes, and they can hide in a magazine holder.
Analyze and Customize:
What’s cluttering up your paper life? Maybe your preschooler produces 10 drawings a day. Perhaps your teen gets a torrent of college mail. Stash excess papers in a deep, open bin on an easily accessible shelf.
Stash High and Low:
Stow critical items, like passports, birth certificates, and deeds, in a box marked personal documents and keep it on a high shelf. (You might want to use a metal firebox.) File office-supply staples, like computer paper, folders, and envelopes in something like a Letter Tray .
It’s all about aesthetic:
Decorate to Motivate:
What works for you? Flowers, a thoughtful quotation, pictures of faraway destinations? Accessorizing your command center is essential. If it’s not pleasant, you’ll avoid it, and chaos will ensue.
Think Grid, Not Collage:
The “bulletin board” part of your brain might be programmed to layer and fill, but a neat display will keep your mind calm. Hang items straight, with space around them. Edit regularly. Use an actual Bulletin Board Pretty invitations are worth saving, but after the party is over, transfer them to your keepsakes folder. Toss expired schedules or school notices ASAP.
Take Charge of Charging:
New rule: Instead of putting devices to bed in bedrooms (where they can disturb slumber), the kids need to dock their electronics in a communal caddy. A well-designed model can hold a laptop and three phones and keep their charging cords under wraps. With such a small footprint (10 by 5 inches), it leaves room for a second caddy if needed.
Make Cords Disappear:
Not to make it all about looks, but an uncluttered command center is an inviting, high-functioning space. Hide lengths of cord (from the lamp or a laptop, say) on the floor in a Mini Cable Management that plugs into the wall.
Ride the Wireless Wave:
Another way to tame cords is to remove them completely. A wireless keyboard, mouse, and printer (which lets you stream info even from your iPhone) is like a Xanax for your work zone.
Improve In-Box Etiquette:
Allow only the most current items to take up precious space in your in-box. And ensure that anything that hits that spot has a destiny—folder, box, binder, shredder—or back to the kids to return to school.
Set Up Desk Dates:
The hard truth is that it takes time to deal with paperwork. Want an in-box that’s delightfully uncluttered? Set aside an hour a week to sort and file, either in four 15-minute chunks or one 60-minute sit down. Add it to your calendar.
After all of that, you should have a great family command center! Got yours all set up? Send me a picture of it so I can put it in our newsletter or on a pinterest board!