I used to think a command center was such a Pinterest novelty. I didn’t think they were completely necessary – just something either super organized people utilize or people with nice, big houses put up for decoration. Then my daughter, Sydney, started school.
Bam. Whole new perspective.
Papers started getting lost. Bills weren’t getting paid. Appointments were missed. It was honestly a shock to the system. After the first half of the school year, I learned it was time to get my shit together with this whole paper and schedule organization thing.
Creating a command center isn’t really hard, but it can be a bit daunting. Here’s how to create a small command center.
1. Pick the Perfect Spot
I’ve learned that a command center in the wrong spot is ineffective. It’s crucial to find a good place for it. It might be hard in a smaller house, but you want it to be near the main traffic path of your home. That can be a mudroom, kitchen, near the garage or even by the front door.
I chose to have mine on the side of our refrigerator. It’s right next to the main (and only 😝) hallway in the house, and it’s also by our kitchen island, which has become our drop zone for things like mail and paper clutter. Having our command center here has made such a difference for us.
2. Figure out what you want to include
Before you get started with any physical organizing, you must organize your needs. Write down what you want your command center to accomplish. Get comfy with a cup of coffee or glass of wine and peruse Pinterest for ideas.
When working with a small space, narrow down your needs as much as you can. Draw out the space so you can plan out what you will need. Condense things as much as possible. For example, instead of having different sections for each child, assign a color to each child and color coordinate your calendar and folders that way. It will take up less space yet keep things organized.
For me, I needed a central place to house a calendar, meal planning schedule, a to-do list, mail, school
3. Determine your budget and go shopping
Now that you have a plan in mind, it’s time to go shopping. Set a budget and be sure to stick to it. Some things you may need are a calendar, markers, pens, a mail sorter, file holder, folders, corkboard, push pins, hooks, etc.
I found this See Jane Work file holder and supplies pocket that fit perfectly. I keep our pens, markers, mail and our checkbook in the supplies pocket, and have folders for important papers for school, taxes and gift cards in the file holder. I also purchased a small calendar to track our bills in. My husband is very visual so seeing payment due dates on a calendar is very helpful for him.
4. Personalize it!
Make your command center your own with small personalizations. Whether it’s pictures, monograms, artwork, folders with fun designs, or anything else you can think of, make it pretty! I tend to use something more when it’s not only functional but looks nice, too! 😊
I wanted to personalize my whiteboard with our name. I was having issues finding what I needed in my price range, so I ended up designing my own and having it made. My inspiration came from this whiteboard – it’s so cute! And it had everything on it that I wanted. Eventually, I’d like to have a little sign above the whiteboard. I’m just waiting until I stumble across something. 😊
5. Utilize it
The most important step in how to create a small command center is to UTILIZE IT when it’s done! Be intentional – when you get the mail, sort through it right away and place it in your designated spot. Fill out your calendar every month. Sort through school papers as soon as you get them and file them away.
It’s so easy for small clutter like this to take over your house. Trust me. My kitchen island is a magnet for it. It only takes a few minutes every day to stay on top of the day-to-day clutter.
You got this!