One thing that has really helped me know what is going on with all my family members and given me a place to put all the “stuff” that needs to be taken care of, is the Family Command Center that I have in my kitchen. I have lived in many different houses, and have used a lot of these same techniques in whatever house we have lived in. Here’s what works for me.
I really like things close by–but out of sight–so I love to use a cupboard to organize all my bills, medicines, school paper, cookbooks, and candy stash (What else is an empty Van’s shoebox suppose to be used for?).
I have always hung my calendar on the inside of a cupboard door. I just put an adhesive wire hook where I want it, and then hang the calendar to the hook with a binder clip. Then the calendar is easy to move when I need to do a little planning. A simple, functional calendar is what works best for me, and this year I stumbled across a cute one over at thymeishoney.com. You can find her free printable calendar here.
Phone Numbers and other emergency information are also hung up inside the cupboard for quick access.
In my last few houses, I have had a built in “desk” in the kitchen. To make the space more usable for me, I got a few plastic drawer organizers. Each of my children have a couple drawers, and one is used for important papers, awards, sports information, etc.. The other drawer is theirs to use for their own storage. I find that if they have a place to put things downstairs, that things get put away more often.
And because I like things hid, I made a curtain to cover up this area, and hung it up with a tension curtain rod.
The newest addition to my Family Command Center, is individual cubbies for everyone. This came about as a solution to a “problem” I saw. Our current house has stairs, and I was noticing that things weren’t getting put away very well if they went upstairs. More “stuff” was getting left out. So after weeks of searching for a solution, I was super excited when I found this black wooden organizer at Home Goods that fit perfectly on my counter top. Now everyone has their own space to drop things in, and I have a place to put things that are left lying around. The idea is to clean them out regularly, but even if they aren’t, I have found that it doesn’t bug me when they are messy because technically it isn’t my stuff, so I don’t have to worry about it.
I know there are many ways to organize a Family Command Center, but these are a few of the things that have worked for me.