Do you spend your mornings rushing around trying to find the things you need to get out the door? Is there a frantic fire drill every day as you hunt for your keys, overdue library books, etc.? Do you forget to pay bills because there’s not a central place to keep them? A command center can eliminate these stressful situations by giving you a central location where you can find things quickly. It can also help prevent clutter from creeping into other areas of your home because it provides a location where otherwise problematic items belong.
A command center can serve several functions:
- A place for items in transition: those library books to be returned, the empty food storage container to give back to your sister, the birthday gift for Saturday’s party, etc.
- A place for items that need attention: the broken mug handle that needs gluing, the bills to be paid, the party invitation requiring a RSVP phone call etc.
- A place for family communication: the family calendar, the field trip note to discuss with your child, shopping lists, etc.
- A place for important, frequently-used items: your keys, your cell phone and charger, etc.
- A place for general information: coupons, phone lists, carryout menus, activities schedules, etc.
Now that you know how important a command center can be to the smooth operation of your home, here are some tips to help you set one up:
Find the right spot. Ideally, it should be a place that is heavily trafficked so things will stay in view. An unused spot on the kitchen counter, a nook in a hallway, or a shelf or counter in a mudroom can be the perfect spot.
Be flexible. There’s no set formula for establishing a command center, so create one that fits your and your family’s situation.
Be clear about what belongs there. Have bins and designated spots for things so your command center doesn’t become a dumping ground. Have a conversation with family members so they know what belongs there, and what doesn’t.
Clean it up regularly. Toss old schedules and expired coupons, move paid bills to their next location, create a regular time to go through the mail, and find another spot for things that don’t belong there. Without regular policing, you’ll soon be buried in everyone’s random stuff.
I’d love to hear how your command center is working for you.
Wishing you simplicity, harmony and freedom,