A family command center is the best way to get the whole family organized and ready for the back-to-school rush of paperwork, meetings and to-dos--as well as manage the growing schedule of school, sporting and social events. Organization specialist Nia Reddy from the Containor Store shares tips on how to create the perfect space for your needs.
Step 1: Find your space
Start by finding the best space for you and your family to create a command center. Many find that the best space is in their kitchen – the hub of the home where families are gathered the most. Some prefer a mudroom or entryway where calendars and notes can be seen on the way in or out. Since every family operates differently, hold a family meeting to see what will work for everyone! With many adhesive, magnetic or hanging solutions, you can even just use open wall space or the side of your fridge even!
Step 2: Display a schedule
The most important piece of a family command center is the calendar. This is great for visual reminders of events, games, classes and even chores for the week or month. Use different colors to code each family member’s entries or tasks so they will know exactly what to look for, but save one color for reminders for the whole family (for example – vacations, birthdays). At a glance, each person will know everyone else’s schedule, resulting in less confusion about whose soccer game is on Saturday and who won’t be available to babysit on Friday.
- Magnetic Monthly Planner http://www.containerstore.com/s/office/message-boards-accessories/magnetic-monthly-planner/12d?productId=10012773
Step 3: Add a collection basket or bin
Place a basket or bin near the area to collect library books, mail, dry cleaning, and items to be donated or delivered. The next time someone is heading out to run errands, they can simply check the items in the basket to see what needs to go out. You can have your bins hanging right under your planner or – if you have a surface to work with – you can set baskets out with one for each family member. Keep in mind, even if your command center has to be in a visible area of the home, you can still use bins and baskets that look beautiful but are still very functional for the family!
- Add-A-Pocket http://www.containerstore.com/s/office/paper-file-storage/wall-pockets/add-a-pocket/123d?productId=10005118
- Medium Lattice Bin Grey http://www.containerstore.com/s/closet/storage-boxes-bins/view-all/lattice-bins/123d?productId=11001290
Step 4: Mail Space
You will want to catch important paperwork and mail in your command center as it comes into the house with a mobile mail sorter. Having a mobile solution means that when you have time to sort through the mail, you can easily take it along with you to a counter space or couch!
- White Mesh Mail Sorter http://www.containerstore.com/s/office/desktop-collections/white-mesh-collection/white-mesh-mail-sorter/123d?productId=10037501
Step 5: Reminders and Lists
Another important function of the Command Center is to corral all your active lists and to-do’s. Lists for errands and groceries can easily get lost and add to the paper trail throughout the whole house! By keeping all your lists and actionables front and center on your command center, it’s more likely you – or another family member – will remember them when you are headed out the door.
Use a bulletin board or a magnetic board where you can pin up your reminders and weekly lists. This is also a great spot for corralling keys so that they are always kept visible and accessible! Don’t forget to add some personality, too! Add in a photo of the family, post card from a family member or maybe a fun quote to your reminder board. J
- Magnetic Bullet Board Silver http://www.containerstore.com/s/office/message-boards-accessories/magnetic-bulletboard-by-umbra/12d?productId=10000382
- Mini Spot On Magnetic Hooks http://www.containerstore.com/s/hooks/magnetic-suction/mini-spot-on-magnetic-hooks/12d?productId=10019976
- Like-It Magnetic Divided Bin Translucent http://www.containerstore.com/s/office/desktop-collections/like-it-collection/like-it-magnetic-divided-bin/123d?productId=10037589