Home Command Centre
We are onto the very last post for our Entryway Essentials series! We have covered so much in this time, and I am so excited for what our entryways are looking like now!
During this last month, our weather here has really changed, and that always makes a difference in not only what my entryway looks like, but also how it functions. I have been able to clean and store my winter clothing (if you aren't sure how to do this, see this post here) and I have also taken this opportunity to revamp a little bit in order to make our entryway function well for our entire family!
So after all that revamping and changing to the new season, it's time for the cherry on top:
The Family Command Centre!
I'm sure you've seen beautiful photos like this one of this space by Sweet Maple Lane on Pinterest, and I will definitely share some of these inspirational spaces, but I also want to talk about function, and what will work best for your family. Let's get to it!
Why do I need a command centre?
When we moved into our new home, one of the things I was most excited about was this giant peninsula we have in between our living room and our kitchen. I thought it would be a gorgeous place to display a long bowl of fruit, or a vase of flowers.
I was so wrong.
If you have a place in your home that attracts clutter like flies, this was it for us! This counter became a dumping ground for lego, homework, mail, flyers, cups, toys, you name it! It was just this huge inviting space yelling "use me!!" to my entire family.
The worst part about it was the paper. My husband would bring home the mail, flyers, and work information and throw it there and it was forgotten. My children would dump their homework, letters from the teacher, agendas, lunch kits, EVERYTHING there.
About 2 months in and enough procrastination, I had had enough. So we implemented our own version of a command centre, and today I want to encourage you to create one of your own!
Here are some benefits of a family command centre:
Controlling that incoming paper clutter (who doesn't need this??)
Help everyone in the family know where everyone else is at any given time
Have a menu plan so everyone knows what is being served and when
A place to hang backpacks and keep schoolwork
A launchpad for work items and school supplies
What do you put in a command centre?
There are many options that you can add to a command centre! I encourage you to have a look at the list below and pick and choose what would be useful for you and your family.
1) Landing place for papers
By far the most important part of any command centre in my opinion, you need a location to put your papers when they come into the home! I always recommend having a 4 slot paper holder of some kind, whether that is a countertop file stand, a wall mounted paper sorter, or even a desktop file. Anything similar to this beautifully labelled paper holder from The Happy Housie would do the trick!
I recommend having your incoming files labelled as follows:
"To Do": This is for all the paperwork that requires follow-up, ie. bills, school return forms, etc.
"To File": Place all of your long term document storage items in this location, such as kid's artwork, report cards, investment statements, etc. Once a week, go through this file and place into your long term document storage. **Tip: Set a reminder alarm on your phone! For information on how to make a long term document storage system, check out this post!
"To Reference": Anything you may need to look at again, like sports schedules or town reference information should go in this file. I recommend placing these items into a Home Management Binder. For more information on how to make one for your home, see this post.
"Office": If you run your own business, or have any items you like to keep specifically in your office, place these items here as soon as they come in.
Don't forget to include a recycling bin close by for envelopes and other junk mail that comes in.
With these paper sorting items in place right at your entrance, you will never have that build up on the counter again.
2) Weekly meal plan
If you are the type who enjoys having a meal plan, then this would be a fantastic spot to keep it!
Put up a white board (or a cute blackboard such as this one!) with meal plans and times, and every member of the family will know what is being served and when it will be served hot! I like to think this will keep everyone coming home for those mama made meals.
3) Family Calendar
Do you have kids running every direction, different work sites and extra plans? This is the place to keep the information so everyone knows where everyone is at a glance. I recommend using a dry erase calendar, or a chalkboard version such as this one.
Taking a quick glance at this calendar on your way out the door will help immensely to make sure you know what child to pick up where on your way home from work!
**Top Tip: Give each family a different colour dry erase marker and you can easily see where anyone is at any given time.
4) Chore Lists
What better place to keep a chore list for your children than right where they step in the door? I love this idea by Lemon Squeezy Home to have different options for each day. It would definitely keep my kids on their toes!
5) Key Hooks
As you run out the door, you check your calendar: you know where your kids will be.
You see what you have to pull out for supper - great, you've already done this.
And now, as you grab your bag, there are your keys hanging right where they are supposed to be.
Isn't that the best feeling??
Adding some key hooks to your family command centre will continue to keep everything you need for a quick run out in the morning right there and ready.
What is the best way to set it up?
This is perhaps the most important question of all.
Once you have decided what it is you will be using your command centre for, the next question becomes, well, how?
I encourage you to find that spot where everything always gets dumped. If that is at the back door, great. If it is at the kitchen peninsula like us, great. If it is in the garage, even better!
Do not try to force a command centre in a place that is not normally a drop zone for your family. This will end up failing as the items will still end up dropped in their usual location.
So first step, pick a location that works for your family.
And next, go shopping for what you need! My favourite places to find a lot of these items are Home Sense, Canadian Tire and Michaels craft store. They are chock full of great options for every style!
A family command centre is one of the best systems you can start within your home as it streamlines the everyday. The papers coming in, you and your family going out, and information being shared between all of the family members.
Organization is not just about decluttering, it is about a space that streamlines your everyday, in order to bring peace and joy to your home.