Today I’m sharing how to create a family command centre in a kitchen cabinet. Create an efficient and functional system for keeping your family organized in a small amount of space.
Welcome to Week One (part two) of the Ten Week Organizing Challenge!
Today I’m continuing to share how I tackled our paper clutter issues by developing a system for handling incoming paperwork on an efficient and consistent ongoing basis. If you still have huge piles of paper clutter to deal with, then I suggest you start with my first post for this week’s challenge: How to Purge & Organize Your Paper Clutter.
If you’ve already purged and sorted your paper and are familiar with the process then it’s time to develop a system! Going forward, you want to be able to make decisions about papers as they enter your home and to either deal with them immediately or place them in the appropriate designated spot depending on what needs to be done with them.
I’ve found that setting up a Command Centre is the most effective way to develop a system in your home for handling all the incoming stuff. Today I’m sharing how we turned a 24″ upper kitchen cabinet into just such a space.
Find a small space that you can designate for this purpose. It could be a wall, desk, or even (as I’m sharing today) a kitchen cabinet. In our previous house, we turned an unused entry closet into a family Command Centre. In this house, we’ve designated one 24″ upper cabinet in our kitchen as the family command centre. The lower drawers are where we store all of our “junk drawer” stuff as well as our technology and other miscellaneous items. I’ll be sharing more about that in a separate post, soon.
The key parts, or essential elements, of your Kitchen Cabinet Command Centre include designated spots for various types of incoming paperwork (Act, Store, File), as well as a spot for a written calendar. You may also wish to store some office supplies nearby (pens, pencils, scissors, etc.) and may even want to incorporate a charging station.
As for the designated spots for different types of paperwork, this is what I mean by each type…
These are items that need to be dealt with. Ideally you will handle things right away as they come in, but if you don’t have time in the moment or prefer to designate one day a week to handle things that need to be acted on, then designating a spot in your Command Centre for such papers is key.
I will be placing ours on a clipboard hanging on the inside of the cabinet door so that it is visible immediately.
These are items that need to be accessible over time, and they should be given a specific designated spot. We have our wifi information/password, coupons and gifts cards, and – in our “store” pile.
These are items that you need to file. One option is to do this right away, but I find that we prefer to do our filing on a bi-weekly or monthly basis. We developed an efficient colour-coded filing system during the last organizing challenge that we still use. You can read all about it here.
We started out with a kitchen cabinet that was designated for paperwork but not organized in a specific or efficient way. Basically, paper entered the house, was piled up, and then thrown into a cabinet to hide with out dealing with in a timely manner.
After working through sorting ALL of our paperwork, we created designated spots for each type of item.
As things come in, they are put immediately into the gold basket. That way they don’t end up all over every countertop/table/surface in our kitchen. It’s also a great spot to store my boy’s weekly homework assignments so that we are less likely to lose anything.
On a daily basis, we will look through the “in” box and sort through what is there. We will open the mail and either deal with immediately or put it in the “Act” spot if we need to deal with it soon. If it needs to be filed down the road, then we will put it in the “File” basket and we will transfer it to our colour-coded filing cabinet on a biweekly or monthly basis.
We have designated clipboards hanging on the inside of the cabinet as our ACT and Calendar spots.
Inside the cabinet, the wicker basket is for items that need to be filed. We keep our big filing cabinet in my office/craft room and I find it too onerous to keep up with filing on a daily or weekly basis. We do this about once per month (my husband does most of the filing).
The smaller green mail sorter type bin is where we keep our “Store” items. Coupons, wifi instructions, medical or renovation receipts that we need close by. The pullout drawer is where we store any receipts that we need for tax purposes.
In our previous house, I used to have a giant chalkboard weekly family planner that I made to keep track of our lives posted up on the side of our fridge cabinet, but we did not have enough wall space for it after the kitchen renovation was completed in this house. Instead, I found a small desktop whiteboard planner that is a good way to note down all our main commitments for each week.
It feels SO good to have a system again! I really wish I had tackled this project last summer, but at least I’ve done it now and we can get back to dealing with incoming paper much more efficiently! I’ll be back to share how we organized all of our junk/miscellaneous/tech supplies soon as well.
Read here about the first part of this week: How to Purge and Organize Your Paper Clutter
You might like these other posts on this topic from my 10 Week Organizing Challenge 1.0
Check out my other posts in the 10 Week Organizing Challenge Series 2.0!
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