Being organized is difficult for most people, especially for parents with children who seem to wreck any little bit of organization you do manage to attain. Set up a family command center and watch your organization level soar. Here’s how:
What is a family command center?
It is here that you’ll be able to keep everyone organized in terms of schedule, paperwork and other important things to do. By keeping it all in one central location, family members know where and what to access when they need it.
Find the perfect space
Your command center should be in a well-trafficked area, but where you don’t mind a little bit of a cluttered look. You’ll need wall space, desk space and maybe a few shelves or a bookcase. Some people make this space a gadget charging spot as well, so you’ll need to ensure there are electrical plugs available and possibly even a phone jack.
Decide what will go here
The first decision to make after finding the right space is to decide what is allowed at the command center. This can include:
· Paperwork to be signed
· Essential information
You basically want to make it a space where if someone needs to know something about your family or home, they can go here and find it. Hang up a calendar so everyone can see important dates that month and update it regularly. Have a bulletin board where you’ll keep invitations, notices and other reminders for the future. Put a filing system in place for paperwork that you may need at a later time, but are finished with at the present (this could include bills, reports, receipts). Make it extremely easy for you and your family to put the right paperwork in the right place, rather than just dumping it on the writing surface.
Set up a spot to put important family notes
Sometimes there are things that you want everyone to take notice of. For example, you don’t want to forget that important concert on Friday or that it’s your turn to do the car pool. Write yourself or your family a note on a black or white board so it is blatantly obvious every time you walk by. This may also be a good spot to put a meal plan or grocery list.
Decide on supplies
If you plan on using your family command center for paying bills, writing letters and getting paperwork in order, you will need some office supplies. These will include:
· Pens and pencils
· Push pins
· Glue sticks
· Post-it notes
One of the easiest ways to keep organized is to color code things. All files should have a color that pertains to either whose file it is or what it is. As well, your calendar could be color coded to whose activity you are scheduling. For example, the kids could be written in blue, while the parents could be in red. You could get as specific as you’d like.
In order to stay organized, you need to take inventory of your command center frequently. Purge old paperwork, out-of-date schedules and anything that just doesn’t make sense any longer. Set up a time or date once a month to do this task or your piles will grow and you’ll lose all sense of organization.