In many homes that we organize, our clients express the need for a centralized location to house all things related to life, which is especially important as summer winds down and the inevitable ‘back to school’ mania ensues. We understand the need for a “home” for things like calendars, schedules, forms that need to be signed, lists, mail, etc., and so we’ve coined a space called the “Command Centre”.
Life is busy- we all have so much going on. Carving out this space is a simple and effective way to keep your load organized. Things we like to include may be a calendar, chore list, schedules, kids bins (for things to go back to school, library books...), grocery list, phone and device charging station, mail collection, weekly meal plans, return items bin, receipt drop, as well as a place for pens, pencils, paper, tape and scissors. The Command Centre is a place where the family comes together in planning, organization, and teamwork!
Here are some of the ideas broken down further that you can adopt or alter to suit your household:
1. An Active File Folder system:
This is key to any command centre and if you don’t have one in place already, we highly suggest you set one up. It’s not an extensive filing system for important records, but where you store your mail and info on anything upcoming or urgent. It will definitely save you mental energy to make this a habit instead of scouring paper piles around the house, looking for that darn form you had in your hands a few days ago. Useful categories may include: To Action, To File, Invitations, Receipts, Deposited Cheques (until the cheque has cleared and then to be removed), Gift Cards/Coupons and one for each member of the family.
The file system can sit right on your desktop and be decorative and functional or really simple and inexpensive. You’ll want to also make sure you’ve got the hanging file folders as well as plastic tabs for labelling.
2. Kids Corner:
if you find that it’s challenging to keep up with the kids’ events, homework, projects, etc. it might be helpful to actually assign each child their own active file box, which can include categories like Homework, To Sign & Return, and Upcoming Events/Field Trips.
Alternatively you could assign a magazine holder to each child, labelled with their name to contain their school papers. Set them up side by side on the desk or on a shelf.
3. Drawer Trays:
Who else can never seem to find a pen when they need one and yet they seem to be everywhere all the time? It’s imperative that the Command Centre holds your basic stationary (pens, pencils, erasers, stapler, notepads, paper clips, thumb tacks, etc.) so that you can avoid this frustration and there’s nothing like drawer inserts to help you along. We’re big fans of the Nojig line at IKEA because they come in a whole array of sizes to suit most stationary, and they’re incredibly cost efficient. If you’re more of an acrylic fan, this set is also fantastic. Tip: Both are also great for bathrooms or the classic junk drawer (game changer: we call it a utility drawer once it’s organized)! These inserts are truly great solutions for nearly any shallow drawer!
4. Device Charging Station:
All we want here is a cord to represent each main electronic device (phone, iPad, watch, earbuds, laptop, etc) and a charging station to plug-in with ease. This multiple-device charging stand is great and keeps everything contained (less cord messiness) and honestly, there’s nothing wrong with a power bar either.
For some visual inspiration, be sure to check out our new Command Centre Pinterest page with some great ideas for your “command centre” and make sure to get other family members involved!
At the end of the day it’s important to remember that this isn’t about perfection, but functionality! The system has to work for you and your family, and it won’t always be pristine, as that’s just not realistic. The key is to have a home for everything so that if things do get out of hand, then at least you know where everything goes for a regular, 5-minute tidy.