I just love the name of this system – Command Centre. It has a nice ring to it and it makes me feel in charge (I’m not!). Any good emergency, government or business setting will have a command centre. A central place from where to coordinate, manage and monitor. Since the household is involved in all these industries (on a smaller scale of course), it only makes sense for every home to have one too. Even if it’s just to reduce the amount of times you hear ‘mummy, what’s for dinner?’ – it’s worth a try! I’ll show you how.
Similar to a real world command centre, the home command centre provides real-time information for the smooth running of operations. It is a central place where you and your family can go to get a clear overview of all the household and family activities and tasks. It saves time, because everyone doesn’t come to you for all the information they need.
If you are a visual person like me, you also need things in front of your face to remember and take action. Here is what’s on our command centre;
Information for the whole family
A calendar with all the important dates to remember, like birthdays and anniversaries.
The weekly cleaning list/boredom buster – I rarely do everything on the list every week, but at least I’ll know where to start next week. Also, if a child tells me they are bored, I just look at my cleaning list and give them a few suggestions of what they could do. Needless to say, my children are very rarely bored these days. Mysterious!
Our meal plan – this is helpful, because the family can go there to see what’s for dinner. I also don’t have to reinvent the wheel every week, as I can just look back at what we had in previous weeks and repeat. It’s also helpful to look at what we served guests, so we can repeat or avoid cooking the same thing.
Before you roll your eyes at meal planning. You might feel like you’ve never been able to do this. You might feel like you don’t have time to plan meals (I would strongly disagree! It saves you time, but that might be a chat for another time). Why not start jotting down the meals you cook as you go. Before you know it, you will have created a meal plan organically. Foila! Just repeat what you served fortnightly so it’s not too repetitive. No more having to come up with meal ideas under pressure every day.
Shopping list – everybody in the house knows where to go if they used the last of anything in the house. It gets written down on the shopping list. Sometimes it requires some handwriting deciphering on my part, but the system works.
Notepad – for lunchbox love letters or just any random note. Always handy.
A hook for keys. Keys have to have a home. This little hook saves us so much time not having to constantly look for our keys. However, if you miss the hook the keys do fall into the dog’s water bowl. Not ideal for Frodo, but it works for us.
A clip for each child’s papers. This is a way to separate the children’s papers i.e. school trip info, party invitations, library receipts, clubs letter, etc. These clips are not to display artwork or photos or anything other than items that need some form of action or important timely information.
We also have a magnetic dry erase calendar on the other side of the fridge. It is for the children to see all their activities and events in the upcoming weeks.
Things I include for myself:
My own ‘action’ clip for papers I need to do something with. I.e. tax paper I need to make a phone call, doctor’s appointment letters, letters to post, etc. Again, I have to have it in front of my face to remember.
A habit tracker. Seeing progress on new habits I am trying to learn really helps me. Yes, the command centre even provides room for self improvement.
Truth and words of wisdom – things that affirm what I believe. For me these are words from the Bible that ultimately drive my thoughts and actions. I love to include anything that will encourage and help me to serve my family faithfully and joyfully. I don’t always do, so it is important for me to keep these words in front of our face too.
What to include on your own command centre?
No one command centre will look the same and you need to tailor it to your own family’s needs. Here are some helpful questions to guide you as you decide what to include on yours:
Include your daily and weekly routines and responsibilities?
What are the things you always forget?
Information that is currently on annoying little pieces of paper and post-it notes that you are constantly looking for?
Important info and papers do you need to access quickly, easily and regularly?
Certain household pain points that need to be addressed? Can the command centre offer the solution? Basically everything on our command centre is solving a pain point for us.
What details will be helpful for all the family to have access to? Emergency contact numbers, perhaps a schedule with all the activities happening that week for all the members of the family?
Keep it simple.
Just include info that is necessary and relevant. If it is too busy and cluttered, the important things will not stand out. The command centre will evolve as your family’s needs change, so it is a good idea to make changes to it regularly. For example at the beginning of a new term, school year or calendar year.
Where to set it up?
Anywhere accessible for the whole family – entry way, home office, family room or landing. Choose a spot that is convenient and easy to use. If you are a visual person like me, the fridge might be a good place. Or where you would naturally stand and stare as you wait for the kettle to boil or for the microwave to ping. Not everyone would like a visual monstrosity as part of their kitchen decor, because let’s face it, it is a feature. So you might want to hide it on the inside of a kitchen cabinet door. For us function trump style at this stage of our lives. It doesn’t have to be pretty – I’d rather have a functional eyesore than a Pinterest perfect dud. Don’t be afraid to move it around until you find the perfect place.
I hope you are inspired to set up your very own home command centre. Just start with one or two things and build it up over time.
If you feel like you are constantly battling with clutter in your home, this guide might help. It gives you five quick and easy ways you can start doing today to get your home more organised over time. You can download it here!
Until next time!