School has started and is in full swing now as we approach the middle of September, and with that comes the daily deluge of papers that come home with my kids every day. We can times that by three now that my youngest has started preschool and is assigned homework every night! (Really?) That, along with extra appointments, school events and meetings every week to keep track of makes for a needed mission, a mission control. Time to get control of my family’s daily life and here are some ideas I found on how to do just that.

Start by assessing your family’s organizational needs. My family needs storage for mail, keys, back packs, school papers, pens & pencils, magazines, schedules, to do lists, chore chart, grocery list, calendar and a place to charge electronics. I am going to take all of this into consideration while planning my family control center. Right now we have a hodge-podge of different organizers, like a white board, calendar, stackable file holders and catch all basket that are randomly spread out around the kitchen. This offers no cohesive element that can bring all organizational needs together in one space.

Next, prioritize those needs. What is it that bugs you the most? The mail that gets piled up or the searching for a lost permission slip that must be returned to school? How about losing your car keys or missing an appointment that you forgot to write down. All of these issues can easily be addressed with a little research and ingenuity. Mail can easily be filed in to folders and folder holders hung on the wall for easy out of the way access. You can label a folder or basket for each kid’s school papers. Some store bought organizers come with small hooks to hang your keys and larger hooks for backpacks, see here. Or if you are a do-it-yourselfer, Pinterest is full of great ideas on how to make your own storage units and hang -it-all racks. If you have the space, consider a bench with a basket underneath for shoe storage. “Where’s my shoes?” is a common phrase heard at my house every morning while rushing to get out the door. This will offer not only a solution to that age old question but a place to put them on as well. Bonus points for convenience! Many online sites offer free printables for customizable chore charts, grocery lists, to do lists, schedules and blank calendar pages. These printables are helpful in streamlining messy scraps of paper, post-its and appointment cards. Check out this great article from Good Housekeeping and find inspiration in others who have mastered their mission control, I hope to implement several features of these examples into my own design. One thing you will notice is how little space a command center takes up and how the simplest of elements, like a glass jar to hold pencils can make a huge difference in keeping your stuff where you need it when you need it. Don’t forget to add a little bit of personal inspiration to your space. A motivating saying, colorful print or interesting texture can add little fun into an otherwise boring utilitarian space. Start planning today and your mission control will soon be a reality. Remember to keep it EZ! Truly, Kristin 

Photo courtesy of www.fiveinthehive.com