Having a large family means multiple people to keep up with and lots of forgotten appointments, events and misplaced memos. I have lost countless planners and sticky notes and I came to the conclusion that those things just don’t work for me. I have to keep track of my own things, along with hubby’s and 5 kids. So to keep me from losing my mind, I decided to invest in piecing together a command center.
5 Reasons Why You Should Have a Command Center
- To finally get organized: We say it time and time again, I need to declutter, I need to be better organized, I forgot this or that. The command center is perfect for keeping things neatly in one spot! Your kid’s backpacks look better hung up rather than hanging on the back of a chair or thrown on the floor.
- To eliminate the fridge art gallery of stick figures: Mommy! Look at what I made! *insert kid placing a million pics on the fridge* The command center is the perfect spot for drawings etc. My kids are limited to how many pics they can hang up and they get to stay in the “gallery” for a week then it is donated to the trash bin of fine arts.
- You forget things: When you have a decent size family juggling appointments, birthdays, and events is tough to remember. Having something in your face will help you remember better. Yes you can set reminders in your phone. But if you are like me, you cancel the alarm as soon as it goes off. Out of sight out of mind.
- Better budgeting: You will have your bills neatly organized and can keep track of them. Again it’s in your face so it cuts down on the oversights.
- It holds everyone accountable: Yes you may be the captain of the ship, but every crew member is still responsible for doing their fair share. You can post up chores that need to be done, keep track of who’s night it is to do the dishes, and not miss trash day.
Now your command center can be as simple or elaborate as you would like depending on how much space you have to work with and your budget. In our old home, I was limited to using two small spaces in the kitchen. There was a mudroom, but it also doubled as the laundry room and the dogs room. It wasn’t very ideal, so I just rolled with the space in the kitchen. I kept it simple with just a basic board, a calendar, and a small cork board. In our new home, I have a separate laundry room upstairs, and a full on huge mudroom downstairs. We downsized our furbabies to just one dog instead of three (long story), so we don’t have multiple full size dog crates anymore taking up space.
LOCATION! LOCATION! LOCATION!
I can not stress this enough. Pick a good location for your command center. It needs to be in a spot that is easily accessible and is passed everyday so that you are forced to stop and take a peek at it.
Now that you have established the location for your command center, it is time to get to work! Here are some things that you will need:
- A dry erase or chalk board calendar. Even better if it is magnetic! I prefer the dry erase ones because chalk is messy. We want to make life easier not harder right?!
- A corkboard. The size you buy depends on how much crap you need to pin.
- A regular dry erase board (magnetic if possible) or chalk board
- Different color dry erase markers or chalk (if you go with the messy option)
- Push pins/Thumbtacks/Magnets
- Mountable slotted folders
- Mountable key holder
- Mountable hooks (These need to be strong enough to hold backpacks, hoodies, lunch boxes etc)
- Cute wall decor to make the area look appealing and not blah
It is best to plan out the set up beforehand. Some people use painters tape to outline how big they would like their boards to be and how they would like to hang them. I dove right in. I didn’t measure a thing. I bought boards and had my husband hang them up.
Be sure to set rules for the commander center area. Everyone should know where it is and what it is for. It is not a dumping ground. Designate slots for bills that need to be paid, receipts, and important documents that you use often such as coupons, telephone numbers, or recipes. Remove bills as you pay them and other documents as they are no longer needed to keep down on clutter.
Some people use a board to make their grocery list, but I just keep a little magnetic pad on the side of the fridge for that. Another thing I saw is that some families have a weekly menu as portion of their command center. However, mine is a big board in the kitchen because my mudroom command center is not where I can see it from the kitchen. Don’t be shy with the decor! Add some pizzaz to the area so it’s not an eyesore.
I guess for me the biggest thing is that having a command center allows me to semi-feel like I have my shxt together, even when I don’t.