I love organization, but I can’t say my home is always in tip-top shape. Life gets busy, and it’s easy to let mail stack up on the counter, lose your keys in your bedroom, and your to-do list in your purse. What happened to that grocery list I started Tuesday?
You see what I mean.
That’s when I decided my house desperately needed a command center – an organizational hub for all the memos, calendars, and lists that keep my life in order, and a place for all the clutter that threatens to overwhelm me. If you’re in a similar spot and want to centralize all your information, join me in building a customizable command center that works for your life – it might even be fun!
1) Choose a Central Location
Your command center needs to be central in your home. Choose a space that you pass every day – that you can easily incorporate into your morning routine. I’ve found that my command center is most effective close to the front door, so it’s easy to drop off mail, keys, etc. right when I walk in.
2) Make a Master List of Your Clutter
To know what types of organization your family needs, take a look at the clutter that currently piles up on a daily basis. If something doesn’t have a designated place and ends up on a counter or a chair, make a note of it and add it to your command center wish list. Include everything that gets left lying around over the course of the week.
3) Determine Your Command Center’s Elements
Using the list you just made, decide what compartments, lists, and cubbies you need to include in your command center. Common elements include:
- Mail inbox and outbox
- Key hooks
- Grocery and shopping lists
- Schedules and to-dos for each family member
- Bills and school papers
- Chore assignments for kids
- Bulletin board for cards and invitations
- A space for inspirational quotes, Bible verses, or love letters
- Whatever else you need to organize your life!
4) Design Your Space
Once you’ve finalized what your command center will include, it’s time to draw up a blueprint of the layout. Make a few drafts of how you want your command center elements to interact. Will everything hang on the wall, or do you need a shelf for storing bulkier items, or a tabletop for writing lists and notes? Doing a little more planning before you put everything together will save you time in the long run, and result in a more functional and beautiful command center.
5) Separate by Category
Don’t try to cram everyone’s schedule, appointments, and to-do’s into a single calendar. Too much information is frustrating, and you’ll end up ignoring it altogether. Instead, break your organizational tools into manageable pieces. Consider having a monthly and weekly calendar for each family member, as well as a daily to-do list.
6) Label Everything
Give each organizational tool an easy-to-read, attractive label that makes finding information quick and painless. You can use small chalkboards, painted wood blocks, or just a printer and some card stock.
7) Repurpose and Shop
Companies like Pottery Barn will build custom command centers for you, but designing a personalized organization solution doesn’t need to cost a lot. You probably have some of the materials you need at home already – I’m thinking bulletin boards, dry-erase boards, folders, calendars, and clocks. What you don’t already have, you can definitely find online.
I like this 3 pocket file holder to organize mail, bills, and school papers.
This board is half cork, half dry erase – space saving and functional.
This large monthly planner has a handy notes section for appointments and events.
This chalkboard meal planner lets you make your weekly grocery list at the same time – genius!
Now that you have all the elements for your command center, get to work! If you set everything up in an aesthetically pleasing way, you’ll be far more likely to keep your command center decluttered and efficient. You can pick a color scheme, use patterned folders, or use colored markers or chalk to add some fun visual interest. Have your kids draw a flower border around the dry erase board – anything that personalizes your design and gets the whole family involved.
To Sum Up
As long as you put some forethought into what organizational tools you need and how to best lay it out, there are no real rules when it comes to building your command center. Design what works best for you and your family. Then step back and reap the benefits of a well-organized life and a less cluttered home – hey, I never said this would help you get your closet organized!
What would your perfect command center include? Share below!