Tips for a Family Command Center


filesI received this cry for organization help this morning from Michelle:

”I am desperate! I am looking for an orderly and inexpensive way to organize the basics of our house. I need a family command center and don’t know where to begin.

I have a blank wall that I would like to put a small table on and use the wall space for mail, keys, the telephone, bills, a family calendar, a message board, etc.

I have searched aimlessly all over the web for an inexpensive solution (<$100). I did find some great products at Pottery Barn, but the entire system is quite costly. Do you have any great solutions? I'm sure you do! Help me please!!!”

This isn’t impossible – you just need to get creative! Here’s what I would suggest, Michelle:

Since you’re goal is to keep it under a hundred dollars, I would suggest using a table from a second hand shop or even something repurposed from your own home. Then you can concentrate your dollars on the organization products.

For the paper clutter: I would start with some kind of paper sorter (or even a cardboard one like this). These are great in/out boxes for mail, homework, permission slips, notepaper, envelopes, etc. Magazine files work well, too. You can have one labeled for each person in your home.

This wall mounted mail sorter holds keys as well.

This sorter is a little more expensive, but really cool for sorting bills by the day of the month that they need to be paid.

For the keys: Inexpensive wood or metal coat hooks work great for keys.

For communication: An inexpensive message board with cork on one side is a good place to leave notes to one another and post pictures or important papers.

These peel and stick chalk boards are just about the coolest new things I’ve seen! They have sticky backs that can be easily repositioned or moved and they function just like a blackboard.

For appointments: Office Depot carries a large dry erase wall calendar will keep the family activities organized. Even a desktop calendar will work on the wall if you don’t like the wipe-off idea.

I hope this helps, Michelle!

Do any of you organization gurus out there have any more suggestions for Michelle?


3 thoughts on “Tips for a Family Command Center

  • February 8, 2008 at 11:47 am

    Is the wall she’s focusing on a small one (as opposed to spot on a large wall0? How ’bout re-priming the whole wall in magnetic primer, repaint her original color, and (ta-da) the whole wall becomes a “magnet board.”

  • February 8, 2008 at 11:50 am

    Wow – that’s an amazing idea! Thanks!!

  • February 16, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    EVA, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE those magazine holders – they are soooo gorgeous!

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