Okay. You now have a command center or are thinking of having one. You have been given the basics and lots of great ideas on how to execute them. Now, you have to utilize these ideas and not only that, stay on top of them to prevent chaos from reigning and losing command. How do you do that?
The first thing is to purge. Yes. As painful as it is. Do it. Just do it. When we purchased our first home I was interested in landscaping. To be honest, I wanted to rip up what was there and start over. So, I asked a friend of mine who was a horticulturist at a local botanical garden if he had any advice for me. Two words. "Be ruthless." That's my advice for you. Recycle the outdated coupons, post-it notes, old sales papers. If you are not sure if you should keep it or toss it then take a look at the Container Store's document retention guidelines. Regardless, one of the keys in this entire thing is to PURGE. What you have left after purging is the makings of how to organize your space.
Next is to stop the inflow of stuff into your space in its' tracks. What I mean by this is do not even let the recycling, the junk mail, etc. into your home. Though things occasionally slip in, most days I stop at the mailbox and check the mail in the car. Anything I do not need goes immediately into the recycling bin before it ever makes it into the house. I am not kidding. After YEARS of struggling with paper I drew my line in the sand and said ENOUGH. We are not big shoppers, so there is little temptation to bring sales circulars, catalogs, etc. into the house.
Did you read that? We. Are. Not. Big. Shoppers. We do not purchase for the sake of purchasing or because it's on sale or because I need that 5th pair of black heels. Nope. (This is an ENTIRELY different topic that I will in a later blog post.) The point is that those unimportant papers that came uninvited in the mail have no place in my home.
Going back to purging - look at your papers. Do you have notes sent home from your child's last year teacher reminding you to [fill in the blank] or the reading list from your child's 2nd grade teacher (oops, that child is in 5th grade now) that needs to be recycled? Why are you holding on to these things?
So, in wrapping up this series on getting ready to manage the influx of information and stuff that is part of back to school, I'll go over a few things one more time:
Good luck and let me know how you are doing!
My own command center/home office has the functionality of the spaces on my Pin Board. But beyond that I am inspired each and every day that I sit in my space. My space includes what I call my vision wall:
Did you have a chance to browse my Home Office Pin Board? Did you happen to notice what they all have in common? I know, there are several things. But beyond the file folders, calendars, baskets, key hooks....there is beauty and inspiration. With one or two exceptions (due to space limitations) they all have something unique, beautiful and inspirational for the family using the space. Look closely and you'll see photos of children, artwork, favorite quotes and more that bring the space together.
As you are looking at your own spaces - be it a cabinet, closet, wall or entire room, remember that it is YOUR space. You can funk it up, Pottery Barn it, minimalize it, do it any way you want - it should be unique to you. Beyond the basics and a little bit of inspiration, the key to a working command center that is ready for back to school or life in general is the ease of use for you and your family.
Last week I began a series on the home Command Center. I talked about the big picture and then the basics.
Today I am going beyond the basics. If you visit my Home Office Pinterest page you'll see so many great ideas on how to organize your home office and/or command center. I want to talk a little about these images, my home and your home. My home is not your home. My home is also not an ad for West Elm. My home is...well...my home. A little messy, a little wild and a lot imperfect. Just like me. There are those days when I come and sit down at my little Command Center/Home Office/Creation Station and think to myself, "Why can't my space look like....." and then someone walks into my house and sees my little space and says "this is SO cute and clever" and then I think I've got it going on.
In my first post on this topic I addressed this to a degree.
Follow Feng Shui Mama's board Home Office on Pinterest.
My favorites (other than my own) are the smaller spaces, the ones that do not scream excess or overindulgence (I like those too but they are not for me or my space). Take a look at Organizing Home Life and her cute kitchen cabinet command center. If you are living in an apartment or small home or TINY house, this is perfect for you! Over at Better Homes and Gardens they feature a slightly larger space which is perfect if you want your command center to be in the middle of it all or if you have a little more room to devote to your space. And, Inspired Snaps offers pics from around the web of some great larger spaces that, like mine, serve many purposes.
The fun thing about a series like this is I am looking even more closely at my space, looking at what I can add (or take out) that is not serving me and by the end, I'll have tweaked it and will have some final pics. Next up, "What's Your Vision" and creating a vision board to keep the inspiration going.
You have seen the command center/office/center of all things creative that does not involve food in my home. Now, let's get down to basics. Let's start with some questions.
How do you need your command center to function?
Next, how large do you need it to be?
My Command Center needed to serve several purposes. Yours may not. I needed a home office, creativity center, vision board and a central information center complete with filing. To be honest, this space has evolved over the last year to be where it is now which is a perfect fit for my needs.
But, this post is about the basics and that is where I want to focus. My must haves as info center included the following:
Once everything was out and my new "office" was emptied I began the painful act of PURGING. This former closet housed all of my "stuff". Boxes I needed to empty, craft supplies, papers to be filed, scrapbook projects waiting to be finished. Now, here I am, one year later and I just completed what I hope is my fourth and final purge. I cannot believe how much I had, how much I didn't use, how much I gave away and donated and simply trashed.
I have told you what I have gotten rid of, now I want to tell you what I have gained.
I’m Dana Croy and I am a modern day mama. Balancing family and work is not always easy (not to mention a little self-care). Though being Mama to two fantastic kiddos is a huge part of my life, that was not always the case. I wear many other hats and invite to sit down and find harmony with me.