Last year, I shared my tips for how to set up a command center. These are tips I share with my in-home clients as well. So I know they work. But did the command center actually stay organized? Did my tips really work? I am sharing a peek into our command center to check in to see if it stayed organized.
What Did The Command Center Look Like?
Now this command center used to be in our kitchen. I used the white board for our meal planning. I would write down each meal on the white board along with adding recipes. Then I used the chalkboard to hold our important papers. But when we renovated the kitchen, we moved the command center down near the garage door. Making this a perfect spot for the kids’ papers.
So we moved this entire system to our mudroom and my office area. Our command center was located on the wall closest to our garage door. When you walk in the house from the garage, it is on our left-hand side. Which made it perfect for storing the kids’ papers and school items. We also had a white board and chalkboard for writing notes and adding papers since both were magnetic.
Each family member had a file for papers.
I also used clipboards to hold our kids’ calendar, chores, and expectations charts.
I loved how functional it was for the papers. But there was a slight problem…the chalkboard and white board were rarely used. And they ended up collecting too much clutter. Because they didn’t really have a purpose like they did when they were in our kitchen, they became pointless.
So it was time to let this system go.
What Does It Look Like Now?
After some serious searching, I found a completely different command center. Since we weren’t using two of the parts from the old system, I decided we needed to change things up.
I started with adding a calendar for the entire family. On the calendar there is space to hold notes and documents since it is magnetic.
File holders are a non-negotiable, so I made sure my new system had two. One for each kid. Each file holder can hold their artwork and school work they completed. Then we go through each of their files every few months to decide if we want to keep papers or turn them into pictures for our artwork book. You can read more on how I do that here.
I also make sure that I have a calendar specifically for the kids. They like checking off days and using it as a countdown.
So what worked with our command center?
We kept the same location as the old command center. Because I suggest finding a central spot for your command center in this post, I already new this was the best spot for us.
I also made sure we had a place for papers. Both artwork and important documents. I think this is key for setting up any command center. You need a designated spot for papers. Kids come home from school with so much paperwork that you need a specific spot for it to all go. That is why I love hanging filing holders.
Our current command center has a spot for a reusable calendar along with a paper calendar. I like this because I can keep the entire family organized on the big calendar, and use the paper calendar for the kids to keep track of days. This works for us because my kids enjoy crossing off the days every morning.
What Didn’t Work?
The biggest thing that didn’t work for us what the actual system itself. All of the tips I shared in this post were still things that I recommend doing while setting up any command center. The physical system was the problem because there was so much wasted space.
After we got the new system, every inch is being used for holding things, with a specific purpose. The calendar is used for all activities, along with the magnetic board being used for holding important documents.
The file holders are perfect for the kids’ artwork. We have one for each child. They know they have to put all their papers in their file holders as soon as they come in the door…and after they show me their work!
Their paper calendar is at their eye level, making it easy for them to keep up with what day it is. Plus they can be responsible for their activities as I write those things down for them.
Where Should We Go From Here?
As you have read, I have made some tweaks to the physical command center. But the tips I shared in this post are still working strong for us.
If you are looking to create a command center in your home, I would start with these tips. Then I would find a system that will work for you. Or create a system that works for you. You do not need to spend thousands on a command center. You can easily find pieces that work for you. Get file hangs that can be mounted to the wall. Add a calendar. And a magnetic board.
Command centers don’t have to be some expensive system. You can create them to meet your needs!
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