If you and your family are those people with a junk drawer or basket overflowing with school notices, menus, and artwork, then creating a dedicated “command center” would probably make your back-to-school routine a lot smoother. Let’s be honest, when kids get home, they typically drop everything and leave. By creating a designated area for everything to go, paperwork, backpacks, umbrellas – everything, your need to rush around the next morning will be minimal. Here are a few tip if you are wanting to create your own “drop zone”.
What is the goal of your "Command Center"?
What is the purpose of your drop zone?
- What do you need this space to be? Drop zone vs. storage vs. paper management.
- What kinds of things are constantly piling up around the house? What things are needing a dedicated home? What things are you always rummaging around for?
Find the right space for it.
The next step is to figure out where to put it. Sometimes a home has an obvious location, like a built-in nook, separate room, or even a mud room. Other times though, you may have to be creative in finding space. Look around your house for closets, empty expanses of wall, un-used built-ins, awkward nooks, landings, or unused sections of counter space. As you think about potential spaces, keep this in mind: the amount of space available must be considered in conjunction with where that space is located. There is no point in creating a drop zone near the back entrance you never use. Likewise, you shouldn’t squeeze in a command center near your front entrance if there isn’t an inch of free space to spare.
You have the space, now what?
Now that you have a good sense for what you need and where it will go, it’s time for the fun part: Putting it all together! If you have a dedicated desk, mudroom, or built-in, you can likely skip ahead to adding in functional storage. However, if you’re starting with an open wall, you may need to bring in foundation pieces to help the space look and function how you envision it. There are no set rules on what you need to use, and your decision may be heavily influenced by where in the house your command center is.
Try and resist the urge to add any storage you think you might need or that matches the pictures you find. Instead, look back at where you started, what’s your goal? Think about the items you want and need to store and find functional storage items for those items. If you need to store coats and bags, you likely need hooks. If you need a place for shoes, cubbies or baskets may be in order. If you want to catch mail, some sort of wall pouches or files should be brought in.
- Baskets – They can be found in any size and shape you need and are best for shoes, hats, gloves/scarves, lotions and sprays, pet supplies, reusable grocery bags, etc
- Paper File Systems – From desktop to wall mounted, a single catch-all to a multi-pocket system, they are best used for mail, coupons, receipts, school papers, schedules, etc.
- Hooks – They can be decorative or peel-and-stick, one for every family member or a row for anyone to use. They are ideal for coats, hats and bags of any kind.
- Memo Boards – They can be dry-erase, cork, or magnetic, and can be blank, have a calendar, or labeled sections for each family member. They are best for jotting down reminders and pinning up things that are needed soon or can’t be lost.
- Other fun things: charging station, trays, key hooks, clocks, and mini drawers.
No matter what your "command center" turns into, we're sure that it will help with the day-to-day orginization of your family once school rolls back into session.