I'm not sure if it is the association with back to school, or just the change of seasons, but September usually signals to me to reevaluate my organizational systems. This year I've been working on decluttering, finding homes for things, and just generally cleaning out my 'collections'.
For me, the hardest thing to keep organized and on top of is mail and bills. Before Finn was born, I really wanted to come up with some way to process our mail so that it doesn't just end up in a pile on our kitchen counter. I've seen people create command centers before, but they always seemed to be expensive or cumbersome. As I thought about my needs, though, I thought I could probably get away with just a few items. As it turns out, I was given a giant cork board (it's 4 ft x 6 ft) from a former coworker, and it fit perfectly on the wall that leads up our stairway. It was the perfect spot to create a command center that wasn't right in the view of everyone but still handy to get to throughout the day.
I decided I wanted to get 3 wall file holders—one for unsorted mail, one for bills to be paid, and one for paperwork to be taken upstairs and filed. I leave my letter opener hooked on the unsorted mail holder for easy access. Since I usually only use the checkbook for paying bills, I tend to leave that in the bill holder, and then the stamps are pinned to the cork board so everything for paying bills is there when I need it.
For Christmas this past year I had asked for a Rifle Paper Co. wall calendar, and it was the perfect addition to the board. It is nice to be able to check the date before I write checks or as I go past and am working on something.
The rest of the space I use for pinning up inspirational pieces, pictures, discounts that come in the mail, invitations, etc. I purchased a clear plastic envelope that I can use to corral coupons and gift cards.
All in all, I've really been happy with how my command center has turned out. It has been great to have such a big board for pinning things up so I can see them easily. The 3 wall files have also worked super well for organizing the things that normally ended up in piles on our counter. One thing I have found is that the clear envelope doesn't get used super often for coupons. I tended to just stick things in there and it all ended up a jumbled mess. I have a couple of things in there now, but for the most part, I've been pinning up pertinent coupons on the cork board itself, and then before I go shopping, I check if there are any coupons I should grab.
Looking for more inspiration? Here are a few other command centers from around the web.
A glamorous command center, proving style and function can come together beautifully.
A great way to keep each child's school papers organized
A small space solution with a printable cleaning list
Looking to get started? Here's a resource list to create your own command center.
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Do you have any tricks for staying organized? Do you use a command center? I'd love to hear, and if you are just starting out, best of luck!