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Where is your “family command center”?

Categories: Decluttering, Organization


Like many families, our kitchen is our command center for schedules and documents.  We have 3 kids in 2 schools, 4 sports teams and various camps. Combine that with life in general, and it can make for an avalanche of “important stuff”.

We’ve tried many organizational tools over the years (there are so many great ones available), but we usually revert back to what works for us even though it’s not very fancy. Perhaps I should even be embarrassed by this “system”, but it’s just what we do.

For us, folders, holders and books for current, “active” papers, schedules etc. tend to make them “out of sight, out of mind”, so we don’t have much luck with them. Now that I’m writing all this down, though, it seems we use the “appliance method” of organization.

As far as schedules go, our weekly and monthly calendars are on the side of the refrigerator. The monthly calendar is a standard paper one, and I write in the recurring events such as sports practices and all the other known activities.

Every Sunday morning, I write the schedule for the week on the white board next to the monthly calendar. We go over it on Sunday nights as a family to make sure everyone knows what’s going on for the week and to ensure we haven’t left anything out:

Important, “active” paperwork (as opposed to things that need to be filed away) is kept on top of the microwave (yeah, I know). I’m not sure how that started, but everyone treats it with proper reverence and knows things you don’t want to lose go there, so that’s where it stays:

Finally, those reminders and papers that are critical for the day, the ones that absolutely can’t be forgotten, go on top of the coffee maker:

While that may not be the most conventional place to keep vital information, if you think about it, it makes sense. The kids won’t touch it, and there’s no way we could forget to look at it in the mornings.

So, that’s how we keep ourselves going. What about you? Tell me about your family command center, where do you keep all your “important papers”?

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5 comments so far...

  • Love your “appliance method” of organization and, actually, your keeping “active” paperwork on the microwave makes a lot of good sense, to me, too, seeing as, you know, everybody has to eat at some point in the day ;)

    Liz  |  July 5th, 2011 at 7:41 am

  • “The Appliance Method” - love it! We also keep current papers, lists, etc in a basket on top of the microwave. Really important stuff goes on the stove though - because it’s closest to the door where we leave the house.

    Shannon {Discipline Project}  |  July 5th, 2011 at 7:44 am

  • I totally put important notes for my husband on the cupboard above the coffee pot.

    Are we related?

    Headless Mom  |  July 5th, 2011 at 6:27 pm

  • The coffee station is also where I put anything I need to remember in the morning. Usually this means forms that are due the next day or meds that need taken/administered, the lunch box when one of the kids needs to pack etc.
    I have a dry erase one-month calendar on a wall in the kitchen and I love it! Anything booked in advance goes in my planner, anything happening this month goes on the kitchen calendar and anything irregular coming up the following month (Dr appts, trips etc) I write in the clear space below the calendar grid. There is a small strip along the bottom for pinning things so vital papers, school calendars etc, get pinned there. It works great for me! The calendar is made by Real Simple and I bought it at Target.
    As for papers that need addressed… I am terrible about those. I have a file and a place for them but “out of sight, out of mind” is a huge issue for me. This post got me thinking about alternatives so thanks!

    vegas710  |  July 6th, 2011 at 7:54 pm

  • I’m cracking up because this would totally work for me, but my husband would have a heart attack with all the stuff visible. I’m not allowed to hang my towel on the outside of my closet door, because he doesn’t like to see it! Everything’s place is behind a closed door! I’m the same as you “out of sight, out of mind” and since he does not really handle the managment of anything around the house, he doesn’t realize how important it is for me to have things easy to grab or easy to reach!

    MomofTwoPreciousGirls  |  July 11th, 2011 at 8:10 pm