One of my very favorite client organization projects is creating a home Command Center. Every home has multiple catch-all spots for every day items like mail, office supplies, magazines, instruction manuals, gift cards and coupons. I want to help you consolidate everything into one central location, so I am sharing my best how-to tips.
Step 1: Establish a Command Center Location. It will need to be centrally located for easy, every-day access. I am a big fan of a hutch with multiple shelves but if you live in a small space a cupboard with shelving will work in a pinch. Above is a client’s sample command center. I had to get creative because there was a lot of open shelving but I think the outcome was functional and attractive.
Step 2: Decide What Goes in Your Command Center. My suggestions: your home phone, mail basket, every-day office supplies and tools, address book, sunglasses, gift cards, menus, maps, magazines and instruction manuals.
Step 3: Pull Everything Out. You will need to look at what you have to make a storage system action plan. This is the perfect opportunity to toss out any paperwork or supplies that are no longer useful and also collect items from around the house to add to the Command Center.
Step 4: Create a Storage System Action Plan. Take measurements of all of the storage areas you will be using whether it will be on shelving or open spaces. You may be able to re-purpose storage items from another part of the house but if not you will regret not having measurements when you go shopping. For this Command Center I knew the client used her cooking magazines as a reference regularly so I knew they would need to be incorporated into the plan. Also, there was a lot of open storage space that was an eye-sore. Sometimes you have to be creative with open space when you are shopping for storage pieces.
Step 5: Shop. It was nearly impossible for me to find containers to fit into the open space boxes in this Command Center so I had to get creative. The clear plastic storage for loose items are actually refrigerator bins! I am also a fan of plastic separator’s for drawers and highly encourage you to invest in purchasing them because they work really well.
Step 6: Fill Your Command Center. I started at the top and worked my way down. It is really helpful to have all of your instruction manuals in one place. I used a file box with a lid and labeled each file with tabs. If your appliances have an issue you will know exactly where to find the instruction manual!
My client needed regular access to maps and menus so I included those on the top shelf with the file box for instruction manuals. I used simple magazine file boxes and they look really nice on the shelf. Don’t forget to label your boxes, it will save you time when you are in a rush.
My client regularly uses food magazines to reference recipes so I knew that they needed to be in the Command Center. This was also the perfect opportunity for her to purge her magazine collection and only keep the ones that she uses all the time.
Miscellaneous items like sunglasses, keys and gift cards are always floating around. This is the perfect time to give them a permanent home. I used refrigerator bins for this storage area because it was oddly shaped but they worked perfectly!
Mail, pens and your home phone are the main component of the Command Center because they need to be accessed on a daily basis. For this Command Center these items were also the main visual focal point so I wanted to make sure they were attractive and matched the other storage items.
Drawer’s are always a catch-all for loose items and junk so I worked on it last. I really, really encourage people to purchase separator’s for drawers because it gives items their own spot and let’s you know whether that you have plenty of staples and tape. You can avoid wasting money by constantly buying extra pieces.
Step 7: Enjoy! Having an organized Command Center will save you time, energy, stress and money.