I am a relatively organized person and when I began to understand the volume of 'incoming' I knew I needed to address it all PRONTO! I had four different areas of my house that were frequently visited by me or the boys on a daily basis and I wanted to have ONE location where it all came together.... Hence, the Command Center.
This is what a regular week of papers looked like in my home after searching through it one or five times to find 'that one paper,' I knew had a date for the 'thing,' with the phone number on it....
I needed to find a system in which I could easily drop information and such (after I made a serious consideration to 'File 13' initially it or not). I also wanted to have my regular incoming mail and receipts (I save them for two weeks usually and then shred). As I had my incoming mail and receipts holder on my fridge, I also brought that into the Command Center. Here is the simple filing system I developed for all three of us in the household; mine has 'Random, Upcoming and To-Be Filed.
When I am on the phone with someone or am coordinating any of our schedules I need to be able to grab anything in regards to all three of us in a quick moment. This is hopefully going to save me from looking totally dis-shelved during communications. For those who do not know the joys of having a household split 50/50 with children, it is a balancing act between not only 'the ex' but the boy's friends, school/daycare/bus drivers, extra-curriculars, grandparents wanting to visit and special activities.
As the boys have been getting older, I have asked more of them around the house. Nathaniel is very happy as of late to help get Boomer his dog food on a regular basis. Both of the boys like to race each other either getting dressed or getting into their PJ's. I have figured out that the best way to encourage this is to have them participate in a 'chore chart.' The boys love to grab their step-stool and pick out three goals for their week. They like to fill up as many days as possible as they know they can score an allowance (50 cents) when they fill up their week on all days with mommy. (If I give it all in pennies they think they are millionaires!) So this chart needed to make it into the Command Center as it is addressed frequently.
There were many ideas I had to implement into this Command Center but the most important was to have space for jotting a quick note, my big planner calendar, a clock, a weekly menu (when I get a free second I review my Google Calendar with pre-set meals and throw them on the board; saves me hours of contemplating). I wanted to have a drop-zone for the boys backpacks when they came home and a place that I would be able to address the paperwork right away. So.... THIS is what came to fruition in a quick two hours. I am a VERY happy momma tonight and may or may not have sat and stared at it for 30 minutes as one of my dreams came true!