Do you need a command center?
A home command center is where the business of running a home is executed and should be located in the central hub of the home. This is almost always the kitchen.
What do you need in your command center?
- In Box: this can be a flat basket, an upright magazine file or even a wall pocket. It is the place where the paper lands first.
- A clear section of counter height space to process papers. Paper processing is best done standing. I do not recommend any type of desk in a kitchen. They simply are too small to be functional and most often become clutter magnets. When you do want to sit down to work on menu planning, bill paying or checkbook balancing, simply use the kitchen or dining room table.
- Action File Box: Read my blog post to learn how to set this up. The action box should be stored on a countertop height surface because you will process the papers that are filed there while standing.
- Active or current year filing system: (this can be combined with the Action files, stored in a file drawer or in a separate file box.): This is the home for current year paid bill receipts, bank statements, health care receipts, school information, vehicle maintenance and insurance receipts, and current home improvement receipts. This system can shrink considerably if you are receiving digital statements/receipts instead of paper statements. Past years statements and older tax related documents should be stored in reference files. Reference files need not be in you command center. They can be located in another part of your home.
- 3-Part Planning System: these three components can stand alone or be combined in a paper planner or smart phone.
- Contact management system: This is the home for all of your addresses and phone numbers. Like the calendar it can be a paper or an electronic system. An electronic system like Microsoft Outlook contacts or Gmail contacts is the most versatile in that you can easily print address labels for cards and invitations. You can also sync these applications with a smart phone.
- To do list: I prefer a paper list. Here is a free download that can be 3-hole punched and put into a thin binder. A popular to-do app is https://todoist.com/
These basic components, when located where the action is, will help you stay on top of the business of running your home.
Karen Sprinkle is the mother of three grown children and a professional organizer based in Knoxville, Tennessee. Her company is called Organize it Data, Time and Space. If you need help organizing and are interested in speaking with Karen you can find her on her web site, Facebook and Twitter.