“Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail.” I love that quote. Because it’s so true! Want your days to run smoothly? Want to accomplish your to do list and still have time for fun? All it takes is a little planning.For this you will need one place where you can keep all the information that keeps your household running smoothly. A command center. This post will introduce you to the essential elements of an awesome command center.
Essential Elements of an Awesome Command Center
Recently I was enjoying a smoothie with a friend/client and she admitted she was struggling. She felt like she was spinning her wheels and nothing was getting done. Her family was a little frustrated. “Well, what do you feel you should be doing, that isn’t getting done?” I asked her. Oh, things like dinner, laundry, cleaning…you know, all the boring stuff.
Such an easy fix, I assured her! All she needed was a command center.
A command center is a central place from which to run the home, a place where all members of the family can go to see what’s happening. The elements of a command center are:
- family calendar
- cleaning/laundry schedule
- menu for the week
- folders-specific to each family-for important information to be at your fingertips
Other elements could be:
- Additional calendars like sports schedules or children’s activity calendars
- A grocery list for members of the family to mark down when things are getting low
A simple Pinterest search will bring up loads of fun ways to create a family calendar using a chalkboard, old windows, or a frame. I have saved examples of Command Centers on my Pinterest board “Planning Makes Perfect.” Tip Junkie shows 10 adorable and functional command centers:
But here’s a secret: your family calendar doesn’t have to be fancy-it just has to work for you! I use the Google Calendar App-Calengoo and enter appointments on my phone or desktop. It allows me to color code by family member and keep multiple calendars on the app. Then, I simply print it out each week and place it in my Command Center. Easy Peasy.
The Cleaning/Laundry Calendar
Okay, let’s just be up front about this. Cleaning and laundry is not exactly fun. But it has to be done. And if you schedule these things in a way that fits for your life, then ultimately cleaning and laundry gets done, and in a lot less time.
There’s basically two ways to schedule: everything in one day, or one cleaning and one laundry task per day. I used to clean my entire house and do all the laundry on Monday. I liked having that clean slate. But…I was younger then. Now, I do one cleaning task and one laundry load each day. (To download my weekly planner read the post How To Schedule Your Week for Sanity (and Use My Free Printable.))
When I sat down with my client and friend, we looked at her daily routine-exercise classes (she’s in GREAT shape), carpool, dance classes for her daughters etc.-and mapped out which are her busiest days. On these days, she decided washing towels and vacuuming would be the quickest tasks. On days where she had little going on, she decided to tackle more time intensive tasks like dusting and cleaning bathrooms.
The Weekly Menu
I plan my meals every Sunday. I sit down with my binder of tried and true recipes, my iPad opened to Pinterest, my grocery list, and my menu printable. Again, a Pinterest search will bring up a thousand different cute ways to post your menu. I just use pretty printables. Here’s a favorite:
You’ll see there’s a letter next to each meal: C for crockpot, B for my binder of tried and true recipes clipped from magazines or given by friends, F for a meal already in the freezer, and P for a Pinterest recipe. This way I know where to find each recipe. There’s also room to write my side dishes on this printable.
Want to make your own recipe binder? Check out my post Make a Recipe Binder for Easier Meal Times.
Planning your meals will save you money-you won’t be buying items you don’t need at the store. It also really REDUCES STRESS when you know what you’ll be making for dinner and that you have all the ingredients you need. This is the primary reason I do it.
Quote from my friend:
“You told me and now I believe: After planning my cleaning, laundry, and meals, I have so much extra time I think I’ll need to find a new hobby!”Click To Tweet
Those are dream words for this professional organizer!
Here is the place you keep folders of papers you will need to access often. I put some washi tape on mine because it’s cute! Mine are:
- A folder for each child
- Blog to do list and ideas
- Projects (for the house-ideas and estimates etc.)
- Nice Notes (letters from my mother and cards; these get filed in another place at the end of the year)
I got my cute mesh file box from Amazon.
Command Center Location
I keep my family folders next to my desk. My other elements-calendar, cleaning/laundry routine, menu etc-are on the door that leads to the garage, right next to my desk. I’ve seen command centers on the blank wall next to the fridge:
Again, that good ole friend Pinterest can give you many ideas. My friend/client wanted her command center in her office space. She likes a minimalist approach to decorating. Here’s a picture:
Try creating a command center and planning our household chores, meals, and appointments. I guarantee your life will run more smoothly! Let me know how and where you have created your family command center. I’d love a picture too!