I always looked at the beautifully curated pictures with an enormous closet or wall dedicated to the sole purpose of organizing the lives of everyone in your household. Essentially those pictures portrayed the ultimate Command Center that every mother dreams of having to keep her life a little more orderly and a little less chaotic.
I admit that I had a little bit of envy. As a mom with young children I feel like chaos is often my companion or lurking around the corner threatening to BE my constant companion. The idea of having a perfectly coordinated, clean, and individualized area set aside for the sole purpose of combating chaos sounds almost too good to be true.
For a long time, I thought it WAS too good to be true for me. In case you are new to my blog, I will admit that organization is not my strong point. I have picked up a few tips along the way though that I hope will help other struggling people who can't seem to get their lives all put together.
The biggest barrier that stopped me from even attempting a command center was not having one dedicated space that I could use for it. I have a fairly open main floor plan with a few odd corners, but there wasn't a really great central place to put all the stuff that I wanted.
How I Made a Command Center Work in My Space
Then I had a genius idea: I decided to split it up into different spaces that are all close to my main living space.
First, I hung up a cute welcome sign with hooks that could be used as a landing spot for our keys, sunglasses, and important papers that need to head out the door. It is conveniently located right next to the garage door.
Right below that we placed a bench that also serves as a shoe storage area. It has made such a big difference in containing the shoes that seem to sprawl all over the house if there is no place to hold them. The task of putting away all the shoes is so easy that my two year old can do it.
On this small space I hung the wire basket that I use to keep all our papers (why do we have so many?) In the bottom basket I keep kid school papers and my preschoolers workbooks. The second basket is for important bills or papers that I need to attend to. The top file is reserved for papers that needed to be filed such as receipts or bills that I have paid.
One thing that has really helped me cut down on clutter is that I immediately sort through my mail each day and put all the junk mail straight into the recycle bin. Then there is no chance for them to pile up and get mixed in with mail that I actually have to keep.
I think this area is one of my favorite spots in the house. This is where I hang all my kids special papers and artwork that they are proud of. Every week we choose their favorite paper to keep and replace it with the one from the previous week. (In full disclosure fashion, I DON"T always get rid of them after one week. Shhh) If it is an especially nice piece of art or writing then we file it away in their scrapbook box where I keep the best of the best.
This wall is dedicated to keep us all on track. I have a calendar that I used to fill out monthly with a dry erase marker. My kids liked to climb up and erased or drew pictures all over it. Now, I just use it to put up flyers for important events. I created the cute toddler check off list and found a free printable for the chore charts. Then I took them to my local copy shop and laminated them. The kids can always see what they need to do and I can check at a glance to see if there is something that I need to do.
I'd like to mention here that my system didn't happen over night. It has evolved over time and I am sure it will change as needs arise. It's not the prettiest looking command center, but it really works for me and my family. At the end of the day, that is what really matters.
I hope seeing how I organized some of my chaos into a command center will give you ideas to tackle your own projects and to find some real life solutions that will make your life smoother and more organized. I'd love to see your finished projects on Instagram #peachtreedr. Please also comment below to share what works for you and what doesn't!