Monday, October 3, 2011

Check out this article about Linda and CSBD from the Davis Clipper!

Local organizer to help ‘Hoarders’: LAYTON— “I get to leave every place I organize, better than I found it. I find great satisfaction in that,” says Linda Isom, professional organizer and owner of Clearing Space by Design. Isom, ...

Creating a Family Command Center and a Action Desktop File

Welcome 2 News Viewers, so glad you stopped by! Here is the link to watch the segment. I apologize there is no way to imbed this onto our site. 

See our article below:
                                      *Vinyl lettering was purchased from Word Candy Vinyl*

People come into the kitchen and drop everything on the floor or counter-top”.  I hear this from busy Mom’s all the time.  Never fear, Help. Is.  Here!

Think about how many times a day,  you answer the same questions about where things are in your house...  "Where's that piece of paper with the message from the doctor’s office?"  "What happen to that power bill that was due sometime this week?"  "Where is that invitation to the party the kids were invited to this weekend?"  And my personal favorite “Where is that piece of homework that needs a parent’s signature!”

Would you be surprised if I told you that the average American burns 55 minutes a day, roughly 12 weeks a year, looking for things they know they own, but can't find (Newsweek, 6/7/04)?   That’s about 1 hour EVERY single day!!! And who does not need / want another hour in their day to get things done or to enjoy life??

                                  *Vinyl lettering was purchased from Word Candy Vinyl*

A Family Command Center is a is going to be different for every family, but in a nutshell it is a place where you store your important Family Papers so you have quick access to them when you need them. Or a central place for managing household communication and running the family's day-to-day activities. 

 Basically, a Command Center encompasses the following 3 activities:

·         Incoming Papers:   Papers that come into the house and what we need to do with those papers.
·         Outgoing Papers:  Papers that need to be taken elsewhere or out of the home.
·         Temporary Papers: These paper items are like school lunch menus, theater tickets, sporting event calendars, etc. These are very temporary papers, but need to be kept in a central location.

Where do I create my Family Communication in my House, you ask?

·         Location, Location, Location:  I usually suggest the kitchen, office, or mud room as they are central locations for all family members.

o   SUPER TIP:  It is CRITICAL to your success that you create this place close to the area where the paper already lands.   Ideally there should be a fair amount of wall space, as well as an adequate amount of general storage area. That said, even small areas can be arranged to accommodate this system.
o   Best Locations:  where you and your family most often enter and exit your house.  Since the kitchen is usually the hub of the house, an ideal location is in an upper cabinet in the kitchen near the phone (see pictures from the 2News Spot). Bottom line, make sure it's a functional space and that the location works best for you and your family. 

Ask yourself this question:
·         What areas do I need to control?
o   i.e., Children’s activity schedules, homework, family calendars, invitations, activities or permission slips,  snail mail, library books, car keys etc.

How do I do this and what do I use? What organizing tools would work best to use for my family?
  • ·         Find a way to incorporate a Corkboard, Magnetic board and/or a Dry-erase board for the space.
o   Some examples of what to hang up are: Menus, Chores Telephone Lists, Lunch menus, Invitations, and Grocery lists. 
o   Hanging file or folder system,  Key hooks,  Clock,  Labels/name tags for various supplies, etc.
o   SUPER TIP:  Remember to clear things off as you complete the task or the event has passed. That way your system will work. Otherwise if there is no up-keep, the system will fail.

Desktop Files
My home is split into 4 levels. My office is on the 3rd level while my Kitchen is on my 2nd level. The papers used to pile on my counter and drive me crazy.  Even though all we had to do is take them downstairs and file them in the office, they never seemed to get there. 

Sound familiar?  I bet it does.  So I went about devising a solution for my small space. I have implemented it in many clients spaces too.  Want to add 55 minutes to your day? I imagine you are saying... ABSOLUTELY!!  Read on, you’re going to LOVE this!  

What is a Desktop Action File?
·         It’s a tabletop file for daily, short-term filing. Use an Action File to organize bills for payment, papers that require response and information that must be filed.
o   Here is an example of some of my subject files in our desktop file:
  •  To do/ To Call
  •  To Read
  •  To Shred
  •  To File
  •  PhoneLists / Numbers 
  • Coupons
  • Menus 
  • Magazines
  • Store Ads
  • Receipts 
  • File for every person in the Family
  • Business
  • Temporary

I added this list to hopefully this gets your mind contemplating what your desktop file may be for your family.

Where do I purchase these items?
·         The desktop file I talked about on 2News is from The Container Store.  You can also purchase them at Target, Wal-Mart, Office Max, Office Depot, & Staples.
o   Have fun when purchasing your hanging file folders!  Army green is so passé when it comes to hanging file folders these days.  You can virtually pick any color of the rainbow (within reason) for the files you are going to look at and use every day. Get a color you enjoy looking at it.

How long will it take me to create my own Family Command Center?
·         On average 5 to 8 hours.  Some of you are asking, ‘really?’ to your computer screen and my response is, yes REALLY. If you get done quicker than that, consider yourself and organizing rockstar!

I’ve identified the area I want to use. How do I decide where to put things?

·         SUPER TIP! Use a roll of blue painter’s tape or masking tape to layout where you will hang your command center tools. This will give you an idea how it will look, if your children are tall enough to access the command center and if what you will be hanging up will all fit prior to the actual permanent installation of your command center tools.

Next, it’s time to hang and assemble your Family Command Center.

How do I get my family to start using this system?

·         Whenever a new system is introduced in a business setting, employees are trained on the use of it. Family is not different
o   Have a Family meeting to illustrate how the new system works
o   Explain in detail how the new Family Command Center will benefit benefit everyone and keep things under control in your family.
o   Have each member be given a paper or item that will be stored there and let them actually go through the process of where the item is kept (spouses included).
o   SUPER TIP! Reinforce this instruction for at least two weeks so they get into the habit of immediately using the system.
o   SUPER TIP!  Be prepared for a little tweaking in the first few weeks so the system runs like a well-oiled machine.

How does doing all this benefit me?

·         SANITY RETURNS (Queue the Hallelujah Choir). When it comes to running a household it is always chaotic.  Using these tools you can turn Overwhelming Chaos” into “Organized Chaos”. And who wouldn’t want that?

Check out my “Family Command Center Board” on PINTEREST for a large variety of visual ideas on how to create your own Family Command Center.

Like what you see and here? Follow me and send me your ideas and questions.  Happy Organizing!
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