Staying organized can be a challenge, so I’ve taken on the Mom of 6 Organization Bootcamp challenge. This week, I’ve created a Home Hub in an effort to eliminate the daily clutter and organized our daily life a bit better.
We have a small built-in desk in our kitchen that I chose as our “command center” location. Previously, it was a catch-all desk for my daughter’s school supplies, arts and crafts and well…junk. So, in lieu of allowing that mess to continue, I decided to remove all of that clutter and start fresh with a Home Hub that we can all utilize with the hopes that it will mean a bit more organization on all of our parts – namely..me.
I am a forgetful one these days…three kids and my brain can be mush some days, so this system in place will no doubt assist with that problem.
Here’s what I did.
Step 1: I cleared away the clutter and started with a clean slate.
Step 2: I gathered various supplies that would make this station efficient as well as visually appealing since it sits in a common area of our home. My materials included the following items:
- Two file boxes with hinged lids – one for family files like invitations, personal/health documents that need to be filed away upstairs, school items that I want to keep for the kids or anything else for each individual in our home. Each person has their own folder labeled inside and as they fill up, I will take them to our master file cabinet in our office to put the important things in their more permanent filing location.
- One Cork Board Tile – this will hold our family calendar on a thumbtack making it easy to take off when I’m ready to sketch out a new month.
- One Magnetic metal finish Board Tile – this houses a magnetic flip pocket file that I am using to keep school information like classroom rosters, calendars and events and extracurricular flyers housed for easy access.
- One Magnetic “to-do” list board – I have invitations and a gift card clipped to this board right now to remind me to RSVP to an upcoming event and to schedule a massage that was gifted to me. (SO looking forward to that!) I plan to use this to clip similar items or to simply jot down quick reminders for myself or my husband for things we need to get done as a family.
- One Spiral-flippable calendar – The calendar I picked up easily hangs on a thumbtack because I chose one that was light and simple. See below for more on how I organize my calendar.
- Two pencil cups – each pencil cup was divided into two spots, so with the two sitting up against one another, I have four cups to place items like pencils, glue sticks, kid scissors, erasers, dry erase markers and colored pens for my calendar.
- One stiletto tape dispenser – because it was just too much fun to pass up.
Step 3: I laid out the items I planned to have in my home hub station to see if it would all work before I did anything permanent. At that point, once I realized it would all work, I nailed up the cork board and magnetic boards.
4. Create a Filing System – I already had folders for each of my bills which had previously been housed on our desk upstairs. The problem with those folders being upstairs was that I never file anything away. So, I brought those down along with some additional items that I file regularly and placed them in my “Household Paperwork” file box. In addition to my regular bill files, I also created two files to help me stay on top of my household management:
- Bills that need attention
- Bills that need filing
In my “Family & Kids” filebox, I created folders for each member of our family where I will put things related to each person – school items, invitations, health records that need to be filed away etc..
5. Keep Daily/Immediate Needs in Plain View – I am a person who forgets things if I don’t have them near me or within easy access. I have yet to fully go digital when it comes to calendars and to-do lists…and I’m not sure that I ever will.
I recently decided to color code my personal planner and it’s been working well, so I’m using that same thing process with our family calendar so we can all keep tabs on one another easily. While both look similar, having the family calendar up in plain view will be another way I can stay on top of what’s coming up for our family.
Below you can see our calendar – I have the following color-codes
- Green = Family events – this is anything that includes the entire family – a birthday party, special dinner, apple picking or festival.
- Pink = Girls – anything in this color will note commitments specific to any of our three girls – gymnastics, dance, preschool days or girl scouts are some of the things we make notes of in this color. I could see having a color for each girl as they get older and have more commitments but for now, the one color is working.
- Orange = Home/Misc – this is for appointments for home maintenance like lawn care when my husband is deployed or when I have our floors cleaned each month.
- Blue = Work – this is where I note anything that has to do with work – important phone calls, events or big deadlines. I don’t note each and everything for work here because my personal planner is for that, but I do make note of the things that matter to my family. Like when I need quiet for a call or when I might be gone for a conference. Additionally, this works for my husband’s commitments as well.
What I like about our Home Hub (or Home Command Center) is that it’s pretty small and doesn’t take up a ton of space as it is right now. We are a military family, so this is pretty important considering we never know what kind of space we’ll be dealing with from home to home. I could see this hub working in many different home set-ups.
SO that’s my first round of Organization Bootcamp with Sharon from Mom of 6
Next week I’ll be working on establishing routines along with Sharon – so check back in to see what I come up with as I continue with Organization Bootcamp!
How do you keep your home and family life organized? Do you have stations like this one? What rituals and routines to you have in place at home that have worked for you that you think I should consider putting into action for next week’s installment of Organization Bootcamp?