All month, we’ve been talking about paper clutter – from managing the influx of junk mail and bills, to our kids’ never-ending schoolwork coming home, to purging our home office files. Today, I want to tackle another area that many of my clients struggle with – the Home Command Center.
Having a Command Center is really a big key to being able to take back control of your household and make sure you run it efficiently. Why? Because it centralizes many of the key functions – managing mail, paying bills, returning signed papers to school.
You’ll find a lot of ideas on how to create your Command Center, but many of them are surprisingly complex. Complex generally = difficult to manage. In my opinion, your Command Center doesn’t replace your entire home office set-up, it’s to help you keep on top of the most critical functions.
I generally recommend no more than 5 categories:
- To Pay
- To Do: This Week
- To Do: Next Week
- Spouse’s Stuff
- To Return To School
- Coupons & Gift Cards
Most people find a vertical file sorter effective for them, so that each category is clearly visible. The selection is endless, so you can find one that meets your budget and style needs. Here’s a lovely white one with clean lines from SeeJaneWork that would work in almost any home.
By labeling each tab, you create a home for each category and make keeping your critical actions near-mindless. You receive a Georgia Power bill in the mail? BOOM, drop it into the ‘To Pay’ file. Once a week, when you sit down to pay bills, they’re all there waiting for you. That means no late fees, which means your credit score goes up. Just by creating a home for bills, you’ve saved money and improved your credit score!
If you’re looking for something that blends into the background or that has a more modern touch, try this cool Russell + Hazel Acrylic File Box.
Regardless of the product you buy, the process is the critical piece. Create a home for each category. Label it clearly. Hold yourself accountable to schedule time to pay bills, complete those To Do items, and take back control of your home!
Do you already have a Command Center in your home? How is it working? What are your challenges? Share your thoughts in the comments?