Organize Your Busy Family With A Home Command Centre
A few weeks ago, I talked about using a Home Management Binder to keep your house and life running smoothly (read the post and get the 19 free printables I shared here). Well, my Home Management Binder is actually one piece of a larger organizing system I use: my Home Command Centre. Best described by Tasha at Kaleidoscope Living, a Home Command Centre is “the designated place in your home that serves as a central place for organizing the daily chaos of life”. You might be thinking “Heather, isn’t that what you said the Home Management Binder is for?” The answer is yes and no! Let me explain.
What’s A Home Command Centre?
The Home Management Binder plays a very important role in organizing the chaos of daily life but isn’t by itself a complete system. For example, the Home Management Binder isn’t usually the place to keep incoming mail, bills or papers. It’s not the place for daily notes and reminders and it doesn’t display family calendars or weekly menus.
So, while the Home Management Binder keeps a lot of information efficiently organized and accessible, there is still some every-day information it doesn’t capture. That is where the Home Command Centre comes in. It’s the information hub of the house that keeps track of everyone and everything in your life, all in one central location.
Why Have A Home Command Centre?
Between work, school, appointments, extracurricular activities and social engagements, life is hectic. Keeping everything straight and making sure the whole family is on the same page is a challenge. A Home Command Centre keeps track of the happenings in your family’s life and keeps everyone informed. This improves communication, reduces scheduling conflicts and saves time.
A Home Command Centre also reduces paper clutter and misplaced papers. SO MUCH PAPER comes into our homes (bills, school notices, extracurricular activity notices, invitations, flyers, etc). Some of it will end up in the Home Management Binder, but not all of it and you don’t always have time to deal with papers right away. A Home Command Centre provides a designated landing place until you have time to review and act, file or toss them.
Most importantly, by locating everything in one central location you save time and simplify life. You don’t have to look in multiple locations for the schedule, bill, cheque book, contact number, pen, notepad etc. that you need. An effective Home Command Centre has everything you and your family need at your fingertips.
Where To Put A Home Command Centre?
A Home Command Centre needs to be located in an area all family members pass through daily. Kitchens are common locations, but hallways, entryways and mudrooms are great spots too.
What’s In A Home Command Centre?
A Home Command Centre is personalized to your family, so what’s included depends on your family’s specific needs. Commonly, it includes a family calendar, a place for incoming mail, bills and other papers, and a place for notes and messages. Often weekly menus, grocery lists, to-do lists, chore lists and inboxes for each family member are also included. Whatever you include, the key to an effective Home Command Centre is everything having a designated spot that everyone knows and follows.
My Home Command Centre
When creating my Home Command Centre, I was motivated by ease of use and minimizing visual clutter. My daughter’s inbox needed to be easy for her to reach and use. We needed a simple filing system as a landing place for mail and papers until we can properly address them. And I wanted minimal visual clutter while still creating an effective information centre. Based on this, I created a Home Command Centre in my kitchen that has 3 zones.
Zone 1 – Desk and Magnetic Chalkboard: The desk is home to paper, pens, pencils, envelopes, stamps, paperclips, binder clips, post-it notes, tabs, tape, scissors, stapler, etc. Everything we need to take notes, make notes, mark notes and sign papers.
On top of the desk is the inbox. Incoming mail to be looked at goes in the front slot. My daughter places all school and activity papers that come home and need to be seen by us in the second slot.
Above the inbox is a shelf with our filing box. This is for short-term filing with categories for Read, Act, File, Receipts, Taxes, and individual files for myself, my husband and my daughter.
A magnetic chalkboard hangs above the desk. It’s home to our family calendar, notes for one another and reminders for upcoming events/deadlines. We also hang some of my daughter’s latest artwork and photos here
Zone 2 – Cupboard #1: This cupboard is beside the desk area. I keep our Home Management Binder, meal planning/recipe binders and warranties and manuals here.
I hang our recycling schedule on the door along with a full-year calendar to record events not in the current month. All this information is easily accessible but doesn’t create visual clutter because it is tucked away in the cupboard.
Zone 3 – Cupboard #2: This cupboard is three steps away from cupboard #1 and is where I keep our weekly meal plan, running grocery list and freezer inventory. Again, the information is easily accessible, without creating the visual clutter.
Our system is a little more spread out than others, but it works for us. It keeps us organized, on top of incoming paper and “to-do’s” and keeps us all on the same page.
Inspiration For Your Home Command Centre
For inspiration, I have rounded up 12 more Home Command Centres below. They include options that take up whole walls or just some space on the side of a fridge, and options that are DIY, pre-made systems and ones from the dollar store. There really is something for everyone! As you think about your own, consider what type of information comes into your home? What type of information and supplies does everyone need access to? And what is the best way to display and store it all for your family?
If you have a larger space for your Home Command Centre, the following ideas may work for you.
The following Home Command Centre’s prove you can create a great one on a budget.
And the Home Command Centres below demonstrate you don’t need a lot of room to create a fun and functional one.
Have you been inspired by these beautiful and creative Home Command Centres? Just remember that while aesthetics are fun to plan, a Home Command Centre doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive to be effective. The point is to organize and simplify your family’s daily life. By creating a central information hub that keeps track of everyone and everything, a Home Command Centre does just that. Let me know in the comments below what you will include in your Home Command Centre to make your daily life easier. If you liked this post, please share it!