6 years ago, my son arrived in this world, and I began my new role as a stay-at-home Mum. What an amazing experience! I loved being home full-time with him [most of the time!] and felt extremely blessed to have so much 1-on-1 time with him before returning to part-time work.
Although I was loving life, and felt that I adapted fairly well to our new routines and way of life, one thing that took me quite of bit of getting used to was the fact that I was spending each and every day in my home. Being surrounded by our 'stuff' and constant household chores definitely took some adjusting. And there were certain areas of the home that really began to frustrate me, that I knew I had to do something about, as the mess and clutter was staring me in the face each and every day!
One of those areas was a small section of kitchen bench-top, which had always been used as a 'dumping ground', from the moment we moved into our house. I used to be great at clearing it each day, but a new baby seemed to bring a lot of extra 'stuff' and less time to deal with it all, and this spot quickly became out of control.
There were forms to be filled out (so many forms come with the arrival of a new baby!), daily letters, junk mail, bills, invitations, random toy parts, phone chargers... it all inevitably managed to find its way to this bench space, or overflowed to the kitchen table.
It got to the point where I was completely over it and determined to find a solution to the problem.
Lo and behold, after a bit of intense Pinterest researching, I came across the perfect solution - a family command centre! If you've been reading the blog for a while, you'd know that I am now a massive fan of this organised zone. Today, I want to help you learn more about exactly what a command centre is, and how it can be a real game-changer in terms of how your household runs.
11 Important Questions
First of all, I've got some questions I want you to answer - 11 to be exact.
Your responses to these questions will determine whether or not you could benefit from creating one of my hands-down favourite organising systems (hint - you definitely could!).
1 | Do you have a specific spot in your house to deal with daily mail and papers (e.g. if you have kids at school, is there a spot where you deal with all the paper and artwork that they bring home)?
2 | Are your kitchen counters usually kept pretty clear? Do you have a home for all the 'stuff' that has a habit of building here, especially paper piles?
3 | Do you know what's coming up for the days, weeks and months ahead for you and your family? Do THEY know?
4 | Do you have somewhere to put invitations and upcoming events, or a calendar to record the important info, so you can remember the details and don't risk turning up at the wrong time or place?
5 | Do you have a spot for important information that you need to access frequently i.e. details you need when filling out forms, important phone numbers & addresses, account numbers, school newsletters and lunch menus etc.
6 | Do you have an effective system for dealing with bills?
7 | Do you have an effective system for dealing with receipts and paper items you need to file or save?
8 | Do you have a system for dealing with your kids' artwork?
9 | Do you have somewhere to put your weekly to-do list or planner (if you have one)?
10 | Do you have a safe and accessible spot to charge your phone/s? What about other electronic devices i.e. iPad, camera, laptop?
11 | Are you constantly looking for, or misplacing, the same items (especially as you're rushing out the door)? i.e. keys, wallet, sunglasses, charger, shoes, kids' belongings, information about events etc.
** If you answered NO to the majority [or all] of these questions (and yes to the last one), a family command centre could definitely be the solution to many of these organisation problems!
Want to learn the step-by-step process for creating
a family command centre in your home?
Discover how to do it in part 2 of my online program
'Making Your Paper Work'. Find out more >>
What exactly is a command centre?
Essentially, a command centre (also commonly referred to as 'an organised drop zone') is a mix of organisation, function and style. It serves as a drop-spot for your everyday belongings, and keeps all the essential items accessible and organised.
I showed our previous family command centre in this video, and made a few adjustments to the layout over the next few years, as you can see below. This space really was a game-changer for our family, as it gave us a spot to put all those things that were previously cluttering up the kitchen surfaces. But it also forced us to create and maintain new systems that we still use to this day.
These new systems included a paperwork system, routines around household chores, a family calendar, new bill-paying system and go-to household binders. Do you see what I mean now about a command centre being a life-changer?
In our newly renovated home, we now have an amazing new command centre set-up, that we designed specifically for the space under our stairs. I am so excited to show it to you next week! A little sneak peek of my hubby hard at work...
A command centre really is a must-have area in your home, because it keeps you on track with all the different things you need to juggle in life, and helps you to become a more organised person.
It can be used to:
- Sort and store incoming paperwork
- Display a calendar and/or daily schedule
- House a memo or display board for events, invitations, reminders
- Display your to-do list/s
- Hold your stationery supplies and negate the inevitable kitchen 'junk drawer'
- House any important information (such as that stored in a household binder or finance binder)
- Hide chargers and electronic devices in a safe and accessible spot, out of harm's way in the kitchen
- Display the weekly meal plan
- Store everyday items such as bags, coats, shoes, keys, wallets, sunglasses
You can see why this spot is such an integral one in any home, as it has so many functions and can help to prevent those clutter piles from building throughout the rest of the home.
Are you convinced yet that this is something you NEED in your home? If you're nodding your head, but feeling a little overwhelmed as to how to actually go about creating one, then I've totally got your back!
If you're ready to discover the step-by-step process for creating a family command centre in your home, you can learn it in part 2 of my online program 'Making Your Paper Work'.
In this module we will cover:
- the essential elements of a functional command centre
- how to assess your needs and determine your priorities
- what you should include in your command centre
- how to set up an incoming paper system
- ways to get inspired to design your own space
- ideas for gathering your supplies, and specifically what you'll need
- how to maintain your new space and make adjustments
You'll be moving forward each day to create a new zone that you'll absolutely love and will fast become one of your favourite organising systems!