31 Days of Organizing Tips: Day 26 (Command Centre) | From Overwhelmed to Organized: 31 Days of Organizing Tips: Day 26 (Command Centre)

Friday, October 26, 2012

31 Days of Organizing Tips: Day 26 (Command Centre)

Welcome to Day Twenty Six of the 31 Days of Organizing Tips series!  I'm so glad you've joined me.  Throughout this series I've been sharing organizing tips that will help you on your journey from overwhelmed to organized.  I'm including lots of pictures and links for ideas that I've found around the web that relate to the topic each day. You'll find a complete list of all the posts in the 31 Days of Organizing Tips tab above, or at the end of this post.

Have you ever forgotten an appointment?  Or had to figure out how to take kids to different places at the same time because you didn't remember one of their activities?  Do you have piles of paper on your kitchen table, counters, or island?  Have you ever paid late fees because you couldn't find a bill?

If you answered "yes" to any of those questions, then this post is for you!  If you are overwhelmed by paper, schedules, and dates, then you need a command centre to help you stay on top of everything.  I recently created one for our family and I LOVE it.  {Stay tuned for a post on it once this series is over!}

Today I'll give you some tips for creating a command centre or modifying the system you are currently using to make it work better for you.  I'll also show you some great examples of command centres so you can customize one that will work for you.

Source:  http://www.onecreativehousewife.com/2012/07/time-to-get-organized.html

Here are a few tips to help your command centre work effectively for you:

  • Establish your purpose for having a command centre.  Is it a central communication area?  Or a paper management zone?  Is it a master scheduling centre?  Or a combination of any/all of the above?
  • Choose a central location for your command centre.  It should be someplace you and the rest of your family pass by or spend time every day.  It should be someplace central and convenient.  It might be combined with your organized entry.  Other popular options are kitchens or hallways.  
  • Determine what elements you want to include in your command centre.  Some suggestions are:
    • family calendar (dry erase or paper)
    • memo board (chalk board, white board, dry erase on glass) 
    • bulletin board
    • baskets, slots or folders for incoming & outgoing mail, bills, receipts, and coupons
    • folders for school papers - calendars, activities, schedules, newsletters, and policies
    • weekly menu plan & grocery list
    • to do list
    • routine or chore charts/lists
    • motivational sayings, personal goals, pictures, family mission statement, etc.
    • emergency contact information, frequently called phone #'s
    • pens, pencils, markers, scissors, highlighters
  • Note:  your command centre is not a permanent place to file your paperwork.  It is just a temporary storage place (instead of papers being dumped on the kitchen table, counters, living room table, or left by the door).  The contents of your command centre will be constantly revolving.
  • Keep your command centre maintained.  
  • Continually evaluate your command centre and adapt it as your family's needs change.

Every command centre is unique to your space and needs.  Here are some examples to help you decide how to set up or adapt your command centre.  Each of these pictures has a link below it that will take you to a post with more details and pictures.  I highly recommend checking them out because I just can't go into detail here or show all the awesome ideas they've included :)

1.  This one is so cute.  I love the organization features (especially the files for each person with info and action folders and the colour coding she used for each family member).  But I also like that she prettied it up with scrapbook paper, fabric and ribbon to make it appealing to look at as well as functional.

Source:  http://achievingcreativeorder.blogspot.ca/2012/07/kitchen-command-center.html

2.  I love that this one has so many DIY elements to keep the cost down.

Source:  http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/organizing/make-over-family-bulletin-board-00000000027657/page2.html

3.  A calendar on the fridge is a great way to keep everyone's schedule in one place.

Source:  http://www.hgtv.com/homekeeping/how-to-clear-paper-clutter/pictures/index.html

4.  Another great location for a command centre is on that end wall a lot of homes have between the kitchen and hallway.  This location is hard to photograph though so here are 2 pictures to show the top and bottom.

Source:  http://www.shakentogetherlife.com/2012/08/family-organization-station.html

Check out her post for close up of the "See it / Sign it" sign.  It's a great way to make sure your kids' important papers get the attention they need.

Source:  http://www.shakentogetherlife.com/2012/08/family-organization-station.html

5.  Here's a simple command centre.  It has the basics: a calendar, page protectors for detailed information on items listed on the calendar, and a place to list things you need to buy or pick up.

Source:  http://meaningfulnest.blogspot.ca/2012/08/family-information-station.html

6.  I like this simple frame idea.  You can use it as a write on/wipe off weekly calendar, to do list, and menu plan.

Source:  http://fey-next2heaven.blogspot.ca/2011/09/our-launch-pad-new-weekly-calendar.html

7.  I LOVE the design of this one and that it can be closed up and hidden away when you have guests over!

Source:  http://www.archithings.com/architectural-resource-wins-multiple-design-awards/2009/12/16

8.  If you think you don't have enough wall space for a command centre, here's a creative idea to set one up in a little used corner.

Source:  http://hisugarplum.blogspot.ca/2012/03/organized-family-drop-spot.html

There are SO many amazing and creative and organized command centres and I could go on and on showing you pictures (don't worry, I won't!).  If you want to see more ideas, check out my Pinterest board!

Please remember to pin from the original source for all of these lovely pictures!

For Day Twenty Six, determine what your greatest scheduling or paperwork needs are and then set up a basic command centre that will include elements to address those needs.  If you're just starting out, it's better to start with some basics and then add other elements over time.  If you have an existing system in place, evaluate what is working and what could be "tweaked".

Be consistent in using your command centre and explain to your family members what you expect.  It will take several weeks to establish a new routine but the payoff is worth it!

{Note:  If you're getting overwhelmed with all the ideas in this series, please understand that is NOT my intention! :)  This series is designed for me to write every day for a month, not for you to completely organize your house in a month.  That thought overwhelms me!  So, feel free to skim and pin/bookmark these tips now and then come back later when you're ready to tackle a particular organizing project.  I'll add a button or tab to the blog at the end of the series that will make it easy for you to find all the posts.  Hope that takes some pressure off!}

Tomorrow we'll look at tips for organizing your office.  I can't believe there are only a few more days left in this series!  I look forward to sharing the remaining posts with you and hearing your tips too!

Do you have a command centre?  What do you include in it?  What's the best organizing tip you've implemented?

Have a great day and happy organizing!

Here are all the posts in the series:

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