Where are my keys? Where’s that school form? Stop asking yourself (or your family) that question! Learn about the essential elements you need to create a simple command center that will become a super-effective drop-zone.
“We missed Claire at the party on Saturday,” another mom said to me as I struggled to wrangle my daughter out of the car in the daycare parking lot.
I ran through my mental list of weekend activities and errands, and a birthday party wasn’t on my list. But it should have been.
When we returned home at the end of the day, I rifled through the pile of papers on the counter. There, under a stack of grocery store flyers, was the invitation for the birthday party my daughter missed.
I felt like a jerk. I was that mom who didn’t RSVP, all because the invitation got lost under the pile o’ crap in the kitchen.
Something had to change.
Learn from my embarrassing mistake, and do not spend another minute organizing your spice rack if you can’t find your keys, stamps, or essential papers when you need them!
Organize The Most Important Spot In Your Home First
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After reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up last year, I culled my wardrobe, neatly rolled my socks, and color-coded my closet. While I got dressed a bit faster in the morning, I still struggled to find my keys and essential papers, and general junk piled up in my kitchen.
Instead of spending so much time organizing my closet, it would have been more useful to create a simple command center where I could stash our most important daily items in one easy-to-access spot.
How to Make a Simple Command Center in 3 Steps
You don’t need a lot of wall space, an expensive Pottery Barn daily system, or a lot of time to keep your shiz together.
1. Put it where you will see it.
To effectively organize any space, carefully consider how it must function and its relationship to other spaces. Do not tuck your command center in a corner of your living room! Instead, place it in a highly trafficked spot where you can quickly put stuff when you walk in the door and check regularly for items and paperwork that require action.
2. Ensure it solves daily problems.
Regardless of the size of your command center, it should serve as the single answer to these common family questions:
- Where are my keys?
- What’s happening today? What’s happening next week?
- Where’s my wallet?
- Do you have a pen?
- Where’s the grocery list?
- Do we have any stamps?
- Are there any unpaid paper bills? (Seriously, why do you even receive paper bills? Stop that nonsense and sign up for paperless billing!)
- Where’s that form I need to fill out?
3. Gather your command center must-haves.
You don’t need many supplies or much space to organize your daily life, but these are the must-have elements you’ll need to make your fmaily command center successful.
- Something to pin or clip papers to, like a cork board, memo board, or magnet board.
- Calendar: dry erase or traditional wall calendar
- Key hooks
- Shelf, dresser, or table to hold a pencil cup or desktop organizer, and wallet
- Bowl or tray to corral sunglasses, lip balm, coins, and other crap that comes out of your pocket at the end of the day
The good news? You probably have at least some of these items already.
Between shopping your own house and purchasing a few inexpensive items, you can create a simple command center that fits your family’s needs.
Here are some other organized drop zones that don’t require many supplies and fit in small spaces.
4 Inspiring Ideas for Small-Space Command Centers
One of my friends made this incredible magnet wall in her dining room and it’s the perfect place for her family to stay organize and be creative. Read the step-by-step tutorial to learn how to make your own DIY magnet wall.
This little command center proves that an incredibly simple shelf can pack a lot of organization into a small, narrow space. The customized cork board is a pretty pop of color, too.
Stop junk mail in its tracks! This command center is so smart because the trash and recycling are right there. I also love that those wall organizers are just like the one I have from Target, but she screwed them into the wall and added pretty labels.
Never Lose an Invitation Again
Take a break from organizing lesser-used spaces and make a simple command center that will save your sanity. With these tips in mind, you will be able to organize your daily life and avoid awkward conversations about missed parties!
Check out these other ideas!