Who doesn’t love to kick off a new year in an organized home?! Today’s guest blogger, Tracy Pierce, is a professional organizer and has written an awesome guest post to share with us all as we tackle getting our homes together for 2013. Based on feedback from YOU the readers, Tracy is helping us all tackle pulling together a command center in our homes. Not sure what that means? You’ll want to! Read on… 🙂
Tracy K. Pierce is a holistic professional organizer, clutter coach, and certified B.E.S.T. practitioner based in Iowa City, IA. It is her passion to help her clients reclaim space for what matters most. Tracy will consider travel to anywhere in North America for professional organizing services. She also offers Skype clutter coaching sessions to anyone in the world. For more information visit www.SynergyOrganizing.com.
Getting Organized in 2013? Start with Your Command Center
January is National Get Organized Month, and if there’s one thing every home needs it’s a command center. Also sometimes called a landing/launching pad, some people are lucky enough to have a mudroom-type area specially designed to catch all the stuff that comes in and goes out of their homes every day.
Although there are plenty of custom design options to remodel and create this space in your home, if you don’t have the bucks for that right now, all you need to do is look around your entrance/exit area/s of your home and start observing where these items are already falling.
Every command center needs to create space for:
- Purse and/or other bags
- Coats and other outer gear
- Mail and other incoming paper
- Anything else you regularly take with you or bring home
Here’s how we do it at my house. Our main entrance opens into our dining/kitchen area. Keys are immediately inside the door.
I love the 3M command hooks – great if you’re renting too, they go up and come down easily with no damage to walls.
My husband stores his work bag and bike helmet at the end of the dining room table.
Many might think this is not ideal as far as being aesthetically pleasing, but until we get our remodel done, it’s the best and easiest place for it, and I’m all for easy. (Part of good organizing is knowing when you’re organized enough, and this is organized enough for us). Plus his stuff has a second home for when company comes over and we want to use the entire dining room table.
My purse goes across from the door.
I also keep extra glasses and sunglasses in this area. I don’t really like having my purse out in the open all the time, and this is one of the things I’m looking forward to changing in our remodel.
We have coat hooks just inside the door with a shelf for the outer gear. Just below are racks for shoes.
Our “shoe rule” is that we each get three pairs that go in the white slotted holder and one pair sitting out. All other shoes get stored in our bedroom closet when not in use. Establish boundaries for how full the area can be with your household.
We also have an outer gear overflow area. If you live in the Midwest like I do, you know you may be using heavy mittens one day and a light jacket the next, and it’s nice to have easy access to all of them. We’re using one of the drawers in our built-in dining room storage for our extra outer gear.
Since we don’t have kids and the tons of incoming paperwork they tend to create, and since we’ve made huge efforts to reduce the amount of mail that comes into our home, our mail station is quite small.
At our house, we normally enter through the back door, but our mailbox is by the front door. For this reason we located our mail station in the center area of the kitchen. As you can see, one of the residents at my house is more diligent about filing the mail than the other (I’ll let you guess which is which).
Underneath we keep the shred box and a shredder (Magoo loves to model for blog post photos!).
Note the white shred bin behind the blue seltzer box – see how small it is? I set it up that way the bin would never take more than five minutes to shred. The bigger your container is, the longer it will take you to process when it finally gets full (this is also one of the reasons we have such small mail receiving bins too).
Our recycling area is set up at the end of the dining room, so any paper recycling that doesn’t need to be shredded goes immediate here.
Keep in mind if you have kids (especially!) or lots of incoming paper you will probably need a different set up for your paperwork. Many people have a container like this to round up paperwork they need to keep at hand, like school forms that need to be signed or bills that need to be paid.
As you saw in the picture of my husband’s work gear above, we do use the end of our dining room table as a staging area. Again, it’s not pretty like the magazines show us, but it is practical. Since there are only two of us and we have a six-person dining table, we’re still able to keep two-thirds of our table clear for eating while using the other third for prepping for getting out the door.
When you’re setting up your own command center, notice where items are already naturally piling up. Usually stuff ends up some place close to where you use it. It often makes sense to give items a real home near this area. The most important thing is to give all of these items a home and to be diligent about putting them there – this will help you get out the door in the morning exponentially faster, especially once your brain is used to the routine, usually after about a month.
Have you established a command center at your home? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
Thank you so much, Tracy! Be sure to check out her facebook page for even more information! You can view all of the Guest Blogger Series posts here.