If you’ve spent time on Pinterest lately you probably have seen lots of cute ideas for setting up a family command center. This is basically a dedicated space, typically found in the kitchen, for keeping information and supplies needed by multiple members of the household. Is a command center the answer to your family’s organizational issues, or will it just become a place for clutter to collect? Here are some questions to ask to find out if one is right for you:
1. Does a paper calendar make sense for your family? One of the main purposes for the family command center is to inform everyone about upcoming events and activities. A paper calendar hung on the wall is one way to do this, but it may not be right for you. Remember, a calendar is only useful if it’s kept up to date, so think about who will be responsible for adding things and making changes. You also can’t take it with you on the go, so if that is important, a shared digital calendar might make more sense.
2. Are you losing track of important paperwork? Do bills get forgotten in a pile of mail, or can you never seem to find those school permission slips? Having a central place for paperwork that requires action is important for pretty much everyone, so dedicate a tray or basket to just those items you need to address. Also, set aside a few minutes every day to go through them to make sure you don’t miss any important deadlines.
3. Is grocery shopping haphazard? Are you constantly running to the store for items you’ve run out of? Do you want to do more meal planning? Having a dedicated spot for the grocery list that everyone can add to can help. Storing your go-to recipes in the kitchen where you can easily check what ingredients you need to buy can make planning meal easier as well.
4. Are electronics cluttering up your house? It can be tough to keep track of multiple devices for multiple family members, not to mention all their respective chargers and accessories. If this is an issue for you, creating a central charging station might be the answer. Knowing where those devices are makes it easier to monitor kid’s screen time and to make sure they keep their phones put away at bedtime.
5. Are you always searching for the little stuff? Small essentials of everyday life, like scissors, tape, batteries, matches, etc., can easily get lost if they don’t have a permanent home. Add dividers to a drawer to keep those things organized, or purchase some small storage drawers that can sit on the counter.
Remember, any organizational system in your home requires maintenance. If you set up a command center you will also need to make a regular appointment to clean it out, file the paperwork, and tidy up the storage areas.
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