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Back to School Week 4: The Family Command Center

Updated: Mar 9, 2023

For our last back-to-school project, I want to talk about one of the most important areas of the home - the command center If you missed the first three back-to-school reset tasks, check out our other posts:

Why You Need a Family Command Center

This week's challenge: reset your command center. If you don't have one - start one. Every home needs a main central. Sometimes they get created naturally. Do you have a junk drawer? Where do your bills and school papers pile up? Where do you keep receipts and notebooks? Do you keep office supplies in your kitchen? Where do you charge electronics? If these items end up in the same general area, then that will probably be a great place for your command center. If these items do not already tend to gravitate towards the same place, create one!

⁠There is so much to share about paper storage and organization (receipts, bills, papers, the not-fun stuff), but for today focus on these steps to get your family command center up and rolling for the school year.

How to Create a Command Center

  1. Identify the place in your home where things tend to pile up. ⁠

  2. Sort through your pile and decide if the items need to be tossed, dealt with soon, or scanned/filed away.⁠

  3. Create an "action basket" for the items that need attention and put the "to be filed/scanned" items in a folder. We use this basket as our family action basket.

  4. Create more files (separate from the action basket) for more specific items that do not require immediate attention. In addition to the "to be filed/scanned folder", I have files for each of my kids (for past school papers, report cards, etc.), for receipts, a separate file for anything tax related, ⁠a file for information about my house, a file for important family info, and a file for blank paper. I let these files get added to throughout the year. I try and sort them twice a year and sort through the kid files at the end of each school year. We use these magazine holders for files in our command center.

  5. Assess the needs of your space and your family and be intentional with your command center. We use our command center for a charging station so all electronic devices are in the action basket. We also don't have a junk drawer. This means that basic office supplies live in a cute basket on open shelves. Anything needed for a command center and family of 6 is right there. If you use a paper family calendar, find a place for it in your command center so when your family gathers to do homework, charge their devices, and manage the household, it will be a good reminder of schedules and upcoming plans.

Here is a great before and after of a command center we did for a client:

Good luck! I want to see your action baskets when you are done! Our built-in desk area is our command center and the landing spot for all things. The rope basket is our action basket and I go through the basket every Saturday to address the things that need attention. ⁠The key component to making things run smoothly for us is maintaining the system which is:

  1. Sort mail and school papers as soon as they come in, and throw most away.

  2. Only put items in the action basket that really do need attention, so things don't get buried.

That's it! Is this something you already do? I want to hear how this system works for you!

Jen is the founder of Reset Your Nest, a Professional Home Organizing business in Utah (Salt Lake City, Park City, Ogden, Logan, Utah County, and St. George), California (Bay Area, Los Gatos, Hillsborough, Atherton, San Jose), Denver, CO, and Phoenix, AZ. She loves creating order and systems out of chaos. Her specialty is finding a way to continue the aesthetic of any home to every cupboard and drawer. She shares her tips and tricks on Instagram @reset_your_nest.

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