“Organizing is a journey, not a destination.” ~Anonymous
Have you heard about command centers? Usually, they’re called kitchen command centers, because that’s where they’re usually located. But a command center can be anywhere that your family passes through on a daily basis. To be honest, I really don’t know when the term kitchen command center started being used. I know we always had an area in our house where we tried to keep notices and important information that our family could access at any time. And then, Mr. Cottage and I downsized to where we’re now living! I knew eventually we would need a place to congregate all our messages, but I waited until I found a place that would work out just for us.
With the start of a new year, so many people are trying to organize, get rid of their clutter and to simplify their lives. If you have a family with kids living at home or have anyone else living in the house with you, then you really should consider having some kind of a command center, especially if you’re dealing with not knowing and/or forgetting about special school notices, running out the door in the morning and forgetting to take their essential papers with them, and forgetting to go to some of your scheduled appointments!
After living in our condo awhile, the best and probably the only place for a command center was in our kitchen. Fortunately we had a wood panel that ran along side our refrigerator and it was near both our front and garage door entry. My one nice chalkboard that I made and loved, was unfortunately too large to hang in this spot. So after finding an inexpensive one from Hobby Lobby and repainting it, I got our chalkboard. And a bulletin board was an absolute must for us. I had bought a really old and cheap one from a thrift store and recovered everything, including the frame.
We don’t have room for a file cabinet on our main floor, so I found this wire basket which functions perfectly for the files I use on a regular basis.
So how do you go about and create a command center?
- Find the perfect spot for one. It needs to be located where everyone passes by it on a daily basis. It can be in the kitchen, mudroom, on a wall in a hallway, even in a cupboard.
- Purpose – such as corralling school papers, notices, electronics all in one place.
- Filing System – Keep it small. It can be a folder for each person and/or by titles such as the one we have above. The ones shown above are the ones that work best for me:
Store and Restaurant Coupons (no grocery items)
All my receipts – I keep these for a few months or until I’m sure I will no longer need them for any returns.
Menus from some of our carry-out restaurants – It makes it easier for ordering
Computer Info – Anything I run across regarding our computer or phone, I put in here.
Clippings from newspapers and magazines
Misc. – for holding onto something, but not sure where to put it.
For any of the files you decide to have, make an effort to go through them every few months to sort through and put away in a more permanent location or discard.
- A place for all keys, preferably with labels
- Somewhere to keep a grocery list, leave notes and/or messages, calendar to keep track of everyone’s schedules.
- Electronics and charging station
Because we have such limited space for our command center, I have this cabinet in our kitchen which is located within feet of our main center. This is our charging area, along with a place for Mr. Cottage to put his receipts (in the covered basket), pens, pencils, scissors, chalk and eraser. I also have the standing file (next to the scale) for larger items that need attention.
Mr. Cottage also has his own area for his stuff and I have my area for stuff. Mine is a drawer in our coffee table and his are a few trays on the counter, near the dining room. Obviously, the larger your household, the more space you’ll need for everyone. Pinterest is full of ideas on some really great and creative command centers. Here’s just a few I found with their source:
Do you have one in your house and if so, where is it and is it working for you and your family? I’d love to hear back from you!
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