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Back in Command

This week I am revisiting my “command center“.  The “command center” is the latest word for that place in our homes from which we keep track of and manage what is important – schedules, homework, budgets, bills, etc.  This is what I came up originally:

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After living with mine for well over a year, I have a few issues I need to deal with. First, in our move from one house to another, the spaces just didn’t transfer well. What was in reach and functioning well in our previous house is not compatible with our go-to space in this house.  Second, there are some things I simply don’t like about the way I set up my home-management system. For example, I don’t like having everything in a home-management binder, especially bills. It may sound terribly lazy, but when I get a bill in the mail I want someplace to just quickly toss it until bill-paying day rather then getting out my binder, finding the right tab for bills, then filing it. Some aspects I will keep, but this week I will be fine-tuning and changing things up a bit.

The Command Center is Finished!

Boy, I’m getting tired of that phrase, “command center”. Probably because I just spent three weeks thinking about and working on it. Regardless, I vote for coining a new phrase . . . “family go-to board” or “the place we get our junk together” (not as catchy, that one) . . . I’ll work on it. Whatever we call it, “it” is now complete at my house!

Last week I showed you my binder, along with the three baskets for sorting our paper-work: to-do, in use, and to file. And now, I will reveal  THE WALL. . . .

At the top I placed my home-made magnet boards. These will be used for all those little things that used to clutter the refrigerator – grocery lists, spelling lists, the art project I need to display. . .

Directly under those I mounted a shelf with hooks for our keys, “stuff” jars, and a recipe book just because I liked the way it looked.

The “stuff” jars are for my husband. The minute he walks in the door he takes off his glasses, sets down his wallet, then empties his pockets of change and guitar picks — all onto the hutch I’m trying so hard to keep organized. We already have a change jar, but here is my solution for the rest.

   

There is even the perfect amount of space for him to keep his wallet on that shelf.  I think I may make a few more “glasses” jars so we can have one in every major room where he does his reading. They tend to get lost frequently.

At the bottom are the cork-boards; one for each child.

These boards will serve dual purposes. I will be able to pin weekly school schedules and other important child-specific notices; and I will have laminated chore-charts for each to check off. The chore-charts are part of this week’s project, but are still under construction. Tomorrow I will have those up, along with my organizing challenge for next week. If you have any ideas for that “command center” name change, let me know! 🙂

 

A Confession and a Random Act of Organization

I’ll start with the confession. I’m not going to meet my deadline this week with my “Command Center” wall. My intent is to complete on project each week, and well, it’s Tuesday. Also, I haven’t been using my To-Do List. Hmmmm . . . I wonder if there is a correlation there? So, I’m placing my little day-planner back in its place of honor on my night-stand tonight and writing out that list for tomorrow.  As for my wall, I’ve made some progress, but have had some set-backs. I had a bubbling paper incident with one of my magnet-boards. Then there is this:

I found these cork-board squares in a four-pack at Target, used my Mom’s Cricket to cut out the kid’s names, and planned to mount them to this piece of panelling I picked up at ReStore for $1. (If you have never been to ReStore, you need to.  They sell used or surplus building supplies cheap, and proceeds benefit Habitat for Humanity). This is where I ran into my snafu. I cut it to the wrong size. It will be a few days before I can get back to my dad’s workshop to make the correction. My wall is still under construction.

On the bright side, I did some spontaneous organization today. Truthfully, it was my husband that spear-headed this one. We have a little freezer in our garage where we store mostly meat. In order to feed our large-ish family, we purchase part of a beef from a local farmer and other types of meat in bulk when the price it right. As we were rifling through it today, my husband said, “Why don’t we organize this so we can find the meat we want?”

‘Nough-said. I pulled out some boxes I had been saving for just such an occasion, we sorted the types of meat, labelled the boxes and placed them back in the freezer.

It’s a little difficult to get a good picture inside a freezer, but that’s one of the boxes. . . my “roast” box.  There you have it.

Although I haven’t finished the week 8 project, I am going to add another one for this week. My goal this week is to fill those cork-boards for each of my children. I’m going to be working on chore schedules for my children. Oh, they are going to be so happy. Wahahahaha (that’s my evil mom laugh). 🙂 Of course, I also hope to finish that wall!

It’s So . . . Ummmm. . . RED!

 Oh my goodness! Have I blinded you? This is the result of my “brilliant” idea to paint the back panelling on my hutch BRIGHT red this afternoon. I’ve been using red as an accent color in my kitchen, but this is too much! I did manage to clean the upper two shelves, which I’m pleased with, but the color is a flop! So, while I figure out what to do about painting it back, I’ll tell you about my next project.

This week, I’m beginning part 2 of my “command center”.  I will be working on a large blank area on my kitchen wall where I will be installing some essentials to keep us organized — some cork boards, a calendar and some other surprises (I’m going to be surprised along with you – ha, ha).

By the way, notice the top left corner of my hutch. I used that cookie jar to hold a fake plant. It stays. 🙂 Thanks for the input.

Command Center – Part 1

Here is what I’ve been working on this week:

    

A binder. . . woot-woot!   Inspired by an idea I saw on the iheartorganizing blog, I am setting up part of my family command center in this binder — a home-management binder.  Using binder dividers I created 10 sections. Section 1 is schedules with my overview of the day, week, and month. Section 2 is school information where I keep the kids’ reports, co-op schedules and similarly related items. Section 3 is for church information — volunteer schedules, kid’s programs, etc. Information related to the kid’s sports and extra-curricular activities are in section 4. Section 5 is contact information to keep important numbers and addresses, along with emergency-contact information. I included plastic baseball card holders to add any business cards I might want to keep as reference here. Section 6 is home-maintenance and improvement projects. This is where I will keep record of what and when we have had maintenance and improvements completed, as well as a list of projects we have planned. I placed baseball card holders here also for any related business cards we might collect. Section 7 is Meal Planning (I’m not sure I’ll keep this in my binder long-term — I have plans for a meal-planning calendar later). Section 8 is Finance for budget-planning sheets and also bills. I used a plastic sheet protector in this section to place bills that need to be paid, along with the check-book.  Section 9 is my personal section for things I need to refer to — my training schedules for running, book-club information, a list of blog ideas, etc.  The final section is for my husband to do the same; it is yet to be determined if he will use it. 🙂

This binder has cleaned up my refrigerator, which was previously littered with schedules and flyers; and it seems to be taking care of part of our paper-piling problems. The rest of our paper and book-piling issues I addressed by spending some much-needed time cleaning up my hutch. I added three baskets purchased at Target this week.

Using free printables from Better Homes and Gardens, I labeled the baskets.  The first is “To Do” for things I need to take care of immediately — letters to mail, items to return, magazines to read and file.  The rule for this basket is that it cannot get full; if it gets above the rim it needs my immediate attention. The second I labeled “In Use” for things I regularly use but want to keep with-in easy grasp — our family Bible study materials, the kid’s church club booklets, the magazine I am currently working my way through, and our management binder.  The final basket is labeled “To File”, which is self-explanatory.  I would like to get some matching vertical files to use in this basket so the papers don’t look so unsightly. Again, the rule is that this basket cannot get too full.  I actually need to do some filing!

Today’s project is the top two shelves of the hutch (there’s a reason I didn’t show a full picture). 🙂 I’ll keep you all posted!