So far in The 2016 Organize & Refine Your Home Challenge we’ve completed our decluttering prep work and put our planning system into place. This week, it’s all about creating a household command center.
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If your home is anything like mine, there’s typically a flurry of activities, paperwork, schedules and household tasks that you’re juggling. Creating a household command center to serve as the home base for managing it all has been a lifesaver for me. Everyone’s command center will look different, based on the space you have available in your home, how you use the space, and the specific needs of your family.
My current “command center” is a bit unconventional, since it actually consists of three separate areas in my kitchen. I introduced you to my built-in desk area this summer during the Summer Shred Paper Declutter Challenge.
The desk area contains our inbox for all incoming household papers:
It’s also where our action file for household papers lives:
We also keep our household binder in the desk (although I’ve recently relocated it to the back of the action file in order to free up this desk drawer for electronics cords). The binder contains all of our handy reference papers. You can read more about the specifics of what we keep in the binder here.
When it’s time to grab a take-out menu or locate a gift card, we open the cupboard above the desk to retrieve them (I use these awesome pantry pockets to keep them organized):
The second command center area in our home is on the side of our refrigerator and consists of time-sensitive school-related papers for each of my kiddos that I place in magnetic clips in chronological order. You can read more about how I organize these school papers here.
The last area of our command center lives on the door in our kitchen that leads into our laundry/mudroom. I love my Thirty-One Hang Up Home Organizer! Unfortunately, Thirty-One discontinued this product not too long ago, but if you do a little hunting, you may be able to scoop one up on eBay.
Each week, I print out a paper version of my digital calendar that lists the family events for that week (I omit my personal and business-related appointments). I use the pocket on the upper right to store the monthly school lunch menu. That pocket can be used as a dry erase area, so we’ve got some space on the bottom to write reminder notes (perfect spot, since we view this door each time we’re leaving the house).
In the middle area of the organizer you can see my husband’s “zone”, where he stores spare business cards, his YMCA membership, and a few other random loyalty cards that he occasionally uses. We also store our running shopping list, our pantry and freezer inventories, and a few pens and dry erase markers. Since this door is in between our pantry and our refrigerator, it’s the perfect place to keep track of what food we’re out of and what’s in stock here at Chez Gallagher.
The bottom portion of the door organizer contains a pocket for each of my kids. We keep a monthly calendar in each pocket that they use to record upcoming tests and school assignment due dates so that we all know what’s on the academic horizon.
HOUSEHOLD COMMAND CENTER COMPONENTS
There are no hard and fast rules about what to include in your command center. It will all depend on what you need to effectively manage the day-to-day needs of your household. With that being said, here’s a list of things that you might want to include:
- Bulletin board
- Dry erase white board
- Paper storage (clipboards, wall pockets, desktop file)
- Charger station for electronics
- Post-It notes
HOUSEHOLD COMMAND CENTER LOCATION
Location location location folks…
Once again, there’s no right or wrong place to create your household command center. Just make sure it’s in a central area of your home. For most people, that central area is the kitchen, but it doesn’t have to be.
And you certainly don’t need a built-in desk area. Some of my favorite command centers make great use of an unused wall:
Or perhaps you’ve got an underutilized closet that you can transform into a command center:
You can even carve out a command center in a kitchen cupboard:
Your Assignment for this week:
- Explore all of the great examples of household command centers over on my Cool Command Centers Pinterest board
- Determine the necessary components for your household command center (purchase products if necessary)
- Decide on a location for your household command center and set it up
- Give your family members a “command center tour” so that they become familiar with it and begin to use it
Be sure to check out my round up of stylish and functional products for creating a custom household command center:
Once you’ve completed your assignment, share your household command center on Instagram (use the hashtag #2016OrganizeandRefineChallenge and don’t forget to follow me) and/or share it in the Refined Rooms Facebook community. Let’s inspire and support one another along the way!
This post is part of the 2016 Organize and Refine Your Home Challenge