How I Became a Professional Organizer
The Essential Home Organizing Command Center Guide
The Essential Home Organizing Command Center Guide
What is a Home Organizing Command Center?
A home organizing command center is a designated area within a home that serves as a centralized hub for managing and organizing various aspects of home life. It is a dedicated space where family members can access important information, keep track of schedules, manage tasks, and maintain a sense of organization within the home. The specific components and setup of a home organizing command center can vary based on individual preferences and needs, but here are some common elements:
Calendar and Schedule
A prominently displayed calendar or scheduling system helps keep track of appointments, activities, and events for all family members. It can be a physical wall calendar, a whiteboard, a digital calendar (like on an iPad), or a combination of both.
A message center provides a place to communicate important messages within the household. It can include a bulletin board, a chalkboard, a corkboard, or a dedicated section on a whiteboard for posting notes, reminders, or announcements.
To-do Lists and Task Management
A section for managing household tasks and to-do lists is a great reminder for everyone in the house. It helps keep track of chores, responsibilities, and ongoing projects. This can be done using a whiteboard, a bulletin board with sticky notes, a magnetic board, or a digital task management tool.
Key Information and Contacts
A section for storing important household information, such as emergency contact numbers, medical information, school schedules, or frequently used phone numbers. This can be organized using a binder, a folder, or a digital document.
A filing system for important documents, such as bills, receipts, school forms, or household records. This can include file folders, file holders, or a filing cabinet to ensure documents are organized and easily accessible. For documents that are private or require additional security, I suggest keeping them in a fireproof safe.
Command Center Supplies
“Is there a pen in this house that works?” A frequent lament from my father. It is useful to have a designated area for supplies such as pens, pencils, notepads, sticky notes, markers, and any other items needed for maintaining and updating the command center.
Why not a little bling? Families often customize their home organizing command center based on their unique needs. This can include elements like a menu planner, a grocery list, a family photo display, a motivational quote board, or any other features that enhance organization and personalization.
The primary objective of a home organizing command center is to create a centralized space that promotes efficiency, communication, and organization within the household. It helps streamline family life by providing a central location for essential information, schedules, and tasks, allowing everyone to stay on top of responsibilities and maintain a sense of order.
Where is the Best Location for a Command Center?
The best location for a home organizing command center depends on various factors, including the layout of your home, your family's routine, and your personal preferences. However, here are some popular options for placing a command center within a home:
The kitchen is often considered the heart of the home and a central gathering place for family members. Placing the command center in or near the kitchen allows easy access and visibility for everyone. A wall or corner of the kitchen, a nearby hallway, or a small nook can be utilized for this purpose.
Entryway or Mudroom
If your home has a dedicated entryway or mudroom, it can be an ideal location for a command center. This area serves as a transition space between the outdoors and indoors, making it convenient to check schedules, leave reminders, or organize belongings as you come and go.
If you have a home office, incorporating the command center into that space can be beneficial. It allows you to centralize your work-related organization and household management in one area. This works well if you have ample space and privacy in your home office.
Hallway or Landing Area
Placing the command center in a central hallway or landing area can provide easy access for all family members. This location ensures that important information and schedules are visible as people move through the home.
Family Room or Living Room
If your family spends a significant amount of time in the family room or living room, consider integrating the command center into that space. This way, everyone can stay updated on schedules and tasks while spending time together.
Command Center Station
In some cases, creating a designated station for the command center may be more suitable than assigning a specific location. This station can be a freestanding unit or a portable cart that can be easily moved around the house, allowing you to adapt the command center's location based on your needs.
Remember to choose a location that is easily accessible, visible to all family members, and fits well into your daily routine. It should be a space where you naturally pass by or spend time regularly. Ultimately, the best location is one that works for your unique household dynamics and helps facilitate efficient organization and communication.
How Do I Create a Home Organizing Command Center?
Now that you know what a command center is and you have decided where it should be located, let’s get started on creating one for your home. Here are a few steps to help you get started:
Assess Your Needs
Consider what aspects of your household organization you want to improve. Start small and slow for greatest adoption. Identify the information, schedules, and tasks that would benefit from centralization and organization. This will help you determine the specific components you need for your command center.
Choose a Location
Decide on the best location in your home, taking into account factors such as accessibility, visibility, and the flow of your daily routine. Refer to the previous answer for popular location suggestions.
Gather Necessary Supplies
Make a list of the supplies and materials you'll need for your command center. This may include a calendar, whiteboard or chalkboard, bulletin board, folders, labels, pens, markers, and any other items that suit your organizational needs.
Design the Layout
Consider the available space and how you want to arrange the components of your command center. Visualize the placement of each item, ensuring they are easily readable and accessible. You can sketch a rough layout or create a digital mockup to help you plan.
Install or Prepare the Components
Mount the calendar, whiteboard, or bulletin board on the wall, or set up a freestanding unit if you prefer a movable command center. Prepare any folders, labels, or other organizational tools you'll be using.
Personalize the Command Center
Add personal touches to make the command center feel inviting and reflective of your family. This could include family photos, motivational quotes, or decorative elements that bring warmth to the space. This will also provide a positive psychological benefit.
Set up Information and Systems
Start populating your command center with relevant information and systems. Fill in the calendar with upcoming events, add important contact numbers to the message board, create a to-do list or task board, and organize any necessary documents.
Communicate with Your Family
Explain the purpose and functionality of the command center to your family members. Encourage their participation and let them know how it can benefit everyone in staying organized and informed. Ask for their opinion and input so they feel a sense of ownership.
Regularly Maintain and Update
Establish a routine for maintaining and updating the command center. Schedule time to remove outdated information, add new events or tasks, and ensure the organization of the space is maintained.
Evaluate and Refine
As you use the command center, evaluate its effectiveness and make adjustments as needed. If certain components or systems are not working well, modify or replace them to better suit your family's needs. Be willing to ditch the things that don’t work and focus on the things that do.
Remember that a home organizing command center is a dynamic space that evolves over time. It may take some trial and error to find the right setup and systems that work best for your family. Stay flexible and open to modifications based on your family's changing needs and preferences.
How Do I Maintain the Command Center?
A command center that is not maintained will soon become a junk pile. Maintaining one is not difficult. It takes just 60 seconds each day. Here are some tips and suggestions to keep it functional and tidy:
Regularly Update Schedules and Information
Keep the calendar, task lists, and other information up to date. Remove outdated items and add new ones as necessary. This will help ensure that everyone has access to the most current and relevant information.
Maintain Cleanliness and Organization
Regularly clean and tidy up the command center area. Remove clutter, discard unnecessary papers, and organize any loose items. This will help maintain a visually appealing and functional space.
Check and Replenish Supplies
Remember my father’s lament? Keep an eye on the supplies you use for the command center, such as pens, markers, sticky notes, or folders. Replenish them as needed to ensure that everything is readily available and functions properly when needed.
Establish routines for using and maintaining the command center. For example, allocate a specific time each week to review and update schedules, tasks, and information. Encourage all family members to participate and contribute to the maintenance process.
Communicate with Family Members
Regularly communicate with your family about the importance of the command center and how it benefits everyone. Encourage their engagement and remind them to utilize and contribute to the system. Keep an open line of communication to address any concerns or suggestions.
Evaluate and Adapt
Periodically assess the effectiveness of your command center. Determine if any changes or improvements are necessary based on your family's evolving needs. Be open to feedback and adjust accordingly to optimize its functionality.
Review the items displayed on your command center, such as notices, flyers, or papers. Remove anything that is no longer relevant or needed. This will help keep the information displayed focused and prevent unnecessary visual clutter.
Embrace Digital Tools
Consider utilizing digital tools and apps for organizing and managing your command center. Online calendars, task management apps, and shared document platforms can enhance accessibility and collaboration among family members.
Maintain Open Communication Channels
Encourage family members to use the command center as a communication hub. Remind them to update the center with important messages, announcements, or notes to keep everyone informed.
Stay Flexible and Adaptable
Recognize that your family's needs and dynamics may change over time. Be willing to adapt and modify your command center as necessary to ensure it remains effective and relevant.
By following these maintenance practices, you can keep your home organizing command center functional, efficient, and a valuable resource for your family's organization and communication needs.
I hope this series about a Command Center helps you better organize your life. If you have additional questions or topics, please send me an email (email@example.com) and I’ll be happy to reply.