The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Sharon at Mom of 6.
I am a strong believer that every home needs some sort of a command center. A place where you sort and deal with all of the paperwork that comes your way, that contains all of the tools you need to stay organized- and just keeps you on track with your life. If you are thinking of pulling together your own command center, or would like to re-vamp the one you already have, here are 5 Things You Need in Your Kitchen Command Center!
#1: Your Personal Calendar System
Whether this is on paper or electronic, your calendar should be located in your command center. I personally prefer to use an electronic calendar so that I can access my appointments and notes wherever I may be working, and so I can sync my calendar to my husband’s. When I am at home I keep my iPad in my command center so that I can see my calendar and update it when needed. (And if you are searching for a good calendar to use check out this post on The 7 Best Calendars That Work for Families.)
#2: To-Do List
This is what we work from all week, isn’t it? That never ending list of “things to do”. Whether you prefer to write out a new list each day (I love lined post-it notes for this task!) or if you keep your to do list in your calendar system and then print out a copy each week as I do (see “Building a Better To Do List“), you’ll want your to-do list front and center in your command center!
#3: “Bills to Pay” File
Go through your incoming mail every day, separating the bills from their envelopes and other enclosures and put them in a dedicated folder. When it’s time to pay your bills- everything you need is already in one place waiting for you!
#4: Paperwork You Need Immediate Access To
For me this includes things like the kids’ school lunch menu, their sports schedules, invitations to events that our family receives, even recipes that I have clipped out of a magazine that I intend to make each week. These things need to be right at my fingertips. For some folks- the best place for all of these things might be in a folder in their command center- one for invites, one for menus, one for sports activities, etc. But what works best for me is a large set of magnetic blackboards that I have hanging in my kitchen. I keep it organized by section- so that I, or any member of my family can find any of this paperwork every day. I also keep my menu planning board here too- so the kids can help me plan the menu for the coming week- and know exactly what I will be making for dinner tonight!
#5: Running Grocery List
I like to keep a running grocery list on a clipboard in my kitchen, so that every time I use up a product around the house I can write it down on my list. That way I can make sure to replenish the item the next time that I go to the store. And when I create my menu plan on Sunday night, I make sure to add to my grocery list all of the ingredients that I need to buy to prepare the coming week’s dinners. The cool thing about using my printable grocery list is that I have it organized by aisle within the store, so as I am rolling my cart down the aisles I can quickly look at just that section of the grocery list and make sure that I picked up everything that I need, and I don’t have to backtrack a million times in the store! Laura has a great printable grocery list that you can download here, or you can check out the one that I like to use here!
And Don’t Forget Items You Use Regularly
It also helps to have a space in your command center for things like school phone directories, dismissal forms, stationery, pens, pencils, and perhaps even your cell phone charger.
So- did I leave anything out that you consider to be vital to your own command center? If so- please leave a comment and let us know!
If you get a chance, I hope you’ll stop by to see me at MomOf6 – a place where I write about organizing your home, using a family calendar, creating household routines, hosting at-home birthday parties, and making meals that kids will actually eat!