Today, I’m sharing ideas to Create A Practical Command Center. Since this month is all about kid-friendly organizing in the home I think it’s important to have a place where you can collect everything needed to “take command” of schedules, stuff and tasks for your family!
I’m going to break it down by why, where and what! Not every command center (and there are thousands on Pinterest to choose from!) will have what YOU need.
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Do you need help to Create a Practical Command Center?
Let’s start with your why. Defining the reason you need to create a command center is the first step!
- Perhaps you’re losing things or can’t keep track of them, feeling overwhelmed, feeling rushed and you’re juggling too much information!
- Mail is tossed everywhere including the kitchen counter, the coffee table, the dining room table or some other horizontal surface which means when you go to pick up, things get misplaced.
- You have a hard time getting out the door with everything you and your family need.
- Maybe you can’t locate homework or school paperwork & neither you nor your kids know where these things belong.
- Do multiple schedules (both parents and kids) have you scrambling, missing appointments or running late?
- Always looking for last minute gifts because you missed that party invitation? information for your babysitter or other important items you need regularly.
The next important step in creating a practical command center is knowing what you need to include.
- Mail sorting station-which might include trash, recycling bins and shredder-with individual slots for household members
- Calendar or schedule-either a traditional paper system or a white/blackboard calendar. Decide what information will be included on this calendar. Maybe it’s just for the kids and family activities (sports, parties, Dr’s Apts, school events etc). Each family member or category can be assigned a color for easy tracking.
- Charging Station
- Grab & Go Kid Stuff-If you have small children, having extra supplies in a cabinet, ready to go is a great time saver. Include activity books, diapers, bug spray, change of clothes or other essentials for small children.
- Bags, backpacks and other gear-if you have the space you can incorporate cubbies, baskets or hooks for storage. This area is for regularly used shoes, bags and purses and is a great place for people to drop items without cluttering up the main part of the house. Something similar can be set up in a closet, with an organizer hanging inside the door. Label each household member’s hook, cubical or shelf. Practice regular weekly to tidying (putting things away, cleaning out bags etc).
- Key Hooks
- Basic utility items-this can be a drawer or a hanging organizer with things like batteries, pens/pencils, chargers, scissors, notepads, a hammer/screwdriver, tape measure and anything else you use regularly. Identify what you want to keep where so it doesn’t turn into a “Junk drawer”!
- Fun stuff-a bulletin board, white/black or magnetic board, or hanging system for artwork and fun messages!
- Lists-to do, grocery or chore charts for parents and kids.
- Household Binder-this is a great place for emergency contacts, vital household information (for babysitters etc), schedules, invitations and more! If space is limited you can create a command center in a binder! Just use different tabs for the different information you need to keep track of and keep it in a central location.
We all have different needs and when you know why you need some sort of command center it will give you insight into what to include. If you look at the list above and you say to yourself that you only need a couple of the items I included as examples then you can focus on creating a system that includes only what you need. Sometimes we get sucked in by other peoples systems because they have shared how great they work (for them) or we think it looks so incredible!
Being specific and simplifying your home management system will set you up for success!
Now that you understand why and what you need for creating a practical command center, let’s identify where this system should be.
Depending on your home and space considerations, here are a few places you might want to put a command center. If you don’t have space to put everything in one spot, that’s okay. Paperwork, mail, electronic’s, your binder or supplies could go in one area and hooks for keys, clothing and gear could go someplace else.
- Near the front door
- Laundry Room
- Hallway or other central location
- Closet or niche-including the inside of the door
- A simple binder or portable bin (accordion file, file tote etc)
Here are a few tips to help you identify how to install your command center.
Go Vertical to get things up off your counters and on the wall. You can use the side or inside of a cabinet. If you have a lot of shelves, bins etc to hang, create paper templates and tape them up until you’re happy with the arrangement. This will save you patching unnecessary holes!
- Hooks-anything from command to fancy decorative hooks
- Shelves-floating or brackets, for small lightweight items
- Baskets and bins-from shoes to paperwork, corral it in bins
I love to use these clear pockets for small stuff (bug spray, glue, gloves and more!).
Label things and assign lower spaces for small kids, upper spaces for adult stuff you don’t want the kids to get into!
Keep it simple-eliminate un-necessary clutter. Maintain your new system by assigning one day a week for a quick tidy up. Friday’s and Sunday’s are both great days for this 15 min assignment. After a few weeks or month keep it simple and eliminate the unnecessary clutter of items you are not using. Start simple and if the system works, expand upon it and get creative to make it as beautiful as it is practical!
Need additional help identifying why, what and how to create a practical command center? Give me a shout and let’s see how I can help you create a perfect command system for your household!