Create a Command Center
Piles, piles, piles. If you’re like me, piles of stuff can take up every inch of your counter and tables. These piles may consist of papers kids bring home from school, bills, invitations, coupons, ads, etc. These are things you my need later, so they inevitably end up in a pile.
Because we host a grace group in our home each week and other things monthly, we can’t really have piles. I guess we could, but it wouldn’t look very nice. For the first few years, I just hid them -minutes before people came through the door. This wasn’t the best plan for obvious reasons, namely I sometimes didn’t find the piles until bills were late or we missed the stuff we were invited to.
A couple of years ago, I got smart and made a place in my house to act as a sort of command center. A place I could keep the stuff in the piles in an organized manner so they weren’t on the counter, but also not hidden in the cabinet with the cookbooks or stuffed in a laundry basket upstairs.
A command center or organizational wall or whatever you want to call it, is very helpful. You may be thinking, doesn’t this just move ugly piles of stuff on the table to the wall to make that ugly? Well, no. My command center happens to be hidden for the most part. You can’t really see it from the kitchen or the dining room or front door, but even if it was visible, I just made it look deliberate.
I literally outlined it with a Sharpie. I painted the section with another color of paint and used a straight edge and a Sharpie to single it out. That way it doesn’t look like an accident. Then, I used a decal to decorate. These aren't as popular as they once were, but I still like this one.
2. I used picture frames and dry erase markers for other things I want to display. Have some fun with this. I chose to use all black, but different colors would look nice too. The frames can be for anything you like. I suggest a calendar. Of course everyone has a calendar on their devices, but one big calendar with everyone’s appointments on it is really helpful. Then, I printed words on fun paper for a: Menu, Bible Study Chapters, and Family Mission Statement and framed them. You could use frames for: workout plans, weekly goals, inspiring words, really anything that’s important to your family. Dry erase markers make it easy to update these each week.
3. Lastly I got one of these hanging files from…you guessed it, IKEA. Spend enough time with me and you’ll notice 80% of what I own came from IKEA. These slots can be used for just about anything. When I got this, only Anna was in school, so I had a bunch of room for other things. Now a days, since all four are in school, kids' papers take up 4 slots. You can use these slots for: bills, recipes, invitations, coupons, magazines, receipts, or keepsakes. I suggest buying some pocket folders to hold things so they don’t fall through.
For those using the file slots for kids stuff:
I have two folders and a thin clipboard in each.
The first folder is for things I want to keep handy all school year like: contact information for teachers, PTO info, you know, the stuff you get at the beginning of the year.
The second folder is for papers that come home every day. I could cover my walls with the stuff that comes home each week from my four kids. And most of it gets tossed. But, there’s great danger in tossing papers in the kitchen. How may times have one of my kids fished something out of the trash and I had to say, “How did that happen?” The second folder is for that stuff. Slip the papers in each day, and once a month or so, purge in private. Who knows? Something that looks like trash the first day, may be a keeper a few weeks later. For example, I almost threw one of Anna’s papers away once, but instead, I kept it. I was able to compare it to papers that came home later and realized just how much she improved on her math.
The clipboard is optional, but also useful. I use the clipboard for things I don’t want to forget about. Things like: papers that need to be filled out, book orders, spelling lists, ongoing projects, etc. These are things that always end up in piles. Big, ugly, disorganized piles.
Call it an organization wall or a command center; it doesn’t really matter. Use it to display what’s important to you and file things that are necessary, but make it look deliberate. Soon those ugly piles are a fun, eye-catching decor piece in your home. Happy organizing!