If you’ve been dreaming about an uncluttered, peaceful space where all your people can “drop” their things in an organized manner… look no further. Today we are talking about the family command center!
When we first moved into our home, I had my friend Brynn of The Art of Neat help me organize and declutter as we unpacked. It’s hard to believe, but we moved into a house literally DOUBLE the size (square footage and bedrooms) and got rid of roughly half of our stuff.
Think about that math.
We are going to be talking A LOT about decluttering our spaces (with the intention + goal to declutter our mind!), but I wanted to start with a few practical ideas as we begin the school year.
Enter: The family command center
One of the very first spaces Brynn helped me organize and get functional was the area right when you walk into our home from the car (the carport). I think she calls it a “drop zone,” but honestly, it makes so much sense for the place you literally come in and DROP everything be organized and purposeful.
In my old home, we didn’t have a place “out of sight” from the rest of the house — you literally walked in the back door to our kitchen table. So, no matter what kind of space you have, I believe you can find SOME sort of spot to create this functionality. You might have to get creative!
You want to be able to walk into a peaceful space, don’t you? So when you are decluttering and creating this for your family — think about starting here!
I call this area my “family command center”
Lets go through a few key elements to this:
- A set of hooks — every child (and mom!) can have a place to immediately hang their backpack/purse. In the colder months, our jackets go on top.
- A bucket to put shoes in — everyone has the one pair of shoes they wear most when leaving the house in the bucket. During the school year, that’s tennis shoes. In summer, flip flops. Having a bucket also helps to KNOW where your shoes are when you are in a rush to leave!
- A family wall calendar — a great visual for the whole family to know what’s on the agenda that day/week/month! I’ll explain more how we use this below.
- Wall baskets for mail/papers — instead of letting these pile-up, I have two baskets hanging on the wall: one is papers to file (another post coming soon about our “life tubs”). The other basket is for papers that need action; Aka: bills to pay, shower gifts to purchase, etc. I have a clipboard with the most time-sensitive papers.
- Key hook — having a place to always put your keys right when you walk in the door helps you NOT LOSE THEM. (Anyone else guilty of this?!)
- Basket for a catch-all – I have one wire basket sitting on the counter mostly for things that I need to return to friends/mailed/etc. I don’t want it cluttering my space, but I also don’t want to forget to do it!
Now we can go to the things you cannot see….the items in the drawers and cabinets.
Depending on what kind of space/storage in your house, you can just take this and run with it. For context — my washer/dryer is in this room, along with a small sink. Our home was built in the 60s, so it has GREAT built-in storage. I wanted to utilize it for household items I want to keep on hand. So, here are some ideas:
- Extra toilet paper, paper towels, and kleenex. I take them out of the packaging and stack up on one shelf together. That way, I see what I have and can re-order when we are running low.
- A plastic bucket full of wool dryer balls and pouches to wash delicate items (I keep this right above the dryer) along with the essential oils I put on the dryer balls.
- I loooooove to utilize plastic “kitchen/fridge” organizers for everything. The best places I’ve found to get them are stores like Home Goods/ TJ Maxx/ Marshalls. I don’t ever pay full price for them.
- Above my washer: in one basket, I have my laundry detergent + scent booster, and then in another, I have all my extras. I use all thieves products from Young Living, which are SUPER concentrated. Because of their concentration, I have created all these fun hacks to making them last longer. I use these pump bottles, but I will save up my “points” on my monthly YL orders and stock up on things like laundry detergent, dish soap, fruit + veggie cleaner, hand soap refills. They all go in ONE SPOT, so when I run out, I know where to find it! This honestly saves me $$$ because instead of just re-ordering because I don’t know what I have, I KNOW WHAT I ACTUALLY HAVE! Haha.
- I also use a “lazy susan” type organizer for all my extra supplements, vitamins, etc. Again, this helps me know what I have! I also have a “spice organizer” type thing for overflow supplement bottles (I get A LOT of products for free from being a loyal customer with Young Living!)
**everything not linked is from an antique shop/small biz/ local/round top/ etc. Those are often the BEST places to get unique finds that fit the style of your home! It might take longer to find what you are looking for, but the search is always worth it!
Under my sink, I keep a small trash can. I put all the dryer lint in there, also just any trash from the laundry. I also keep some old towels for spills/ pet messes/ kid bed wetting messes/ etc. under the sink. You can also find plastic bags – again, terrific for animal/kid messes under there. (TMI??)
As I said, I have A TON of storage in here. There are a few drawers in this room, so the top drawer has things like:
measuring tape, scissors, tape, extra sunglasses, pens, and sticky notes.
Then the bottom two drawers have loooooots of my oily DIY supplies: spray bottles, rollers, carrier oils, etc. *My suggestion is if you have oily DIY stuff to keep it in 1 place so when you go to make something, you know exactly where to look.
NOW!!!!! Let me walk you through a real life day to day scenario for how we best utilize this space.
The kids come home from school, and here’s what happens:
- I put keys on the keyring.
- The kids hang backpacks up on their hook.
- We all take shoes off and put them in the basket.
- I take folders out of the backpack and put them on the counter while I look to see if any papers came home that need to be signed or have any dates to add to the calendar.
- I write on the family calendar any dates, then recycle the paper.
- Anything that needs to be washed goes straight to the washer.
This rhythm has saved so much time, energy, and arguments…. the kids now know what is expected of them and where everything goes. YES, you have to TEACH them these things, but once you do – it’s sooooo worth it!
Well, friend — I think that about does it. I really hope these tips will inspire you to tackle the “drop zone”/ family command center” in your home! I promiseeeeeeee the hard work + effort of setting this up will be sooooo worth it!!!!!
If you do this, I would LOVE to see it!!! Tag me in your Instagram stories + posts — @wynneelder !!
Hey, I'm Wynne!
Hi, friend! First, I truly am so giddy that you are here. I want you to know I believe in you and all the ways you are growing towards living a more intentional life. I genuinely hope you are encouraged from our time together here.
A little about me, I’m a type 7 on the enneagram, a total extrovert + people lover, entrepreneur, connector, storyteller, people gatherer, and passionate wife, mama + friend. I feel most alive when I’m exploring new places and surrounded by people I love. Give me a day in the outdoors disconnected from wifi, and I am a happy girl. I run on oat milk lattes, Jesus, gratitude journaling and kitchen dance parties with my four kids.
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