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Control the Chaos With a Kitchen Command Center

Families today are busier than ever. Without some type of organizational system, birthday invitations are found a month after the party, dental appointments are missed, and there’s a pretty good chance that at least one child won’t be picked up on time from school or practice.

A kitchen command center can help control the chaos and keep everyone on track. By designating a certain area of the kitchen as the center of all family communication and activity, whether a dedicated nook or just a corner of the countertop, important papers are less likely to get lost and no one will be left standing outside the library for an hour waiting for a ride.

While you can find examples of picture-perfect command centers on Pinterest and in home décor magazines, you don’t need fancy furniture or gadgets to stay organized. You really only need a few key pieces.

A Place for Messages and Notes. The key to any family command center is a centralized place where family members can leave important reminders and notes for each other. Dry erase sheets are a perfect solution; they offer an erasable, temporary surface that doesn’t damage walls. Because the sheets are available in a variety of sizes, you can use several to customize your center. Try using a dry erase sheets for menu planning, another for notes, and another for the day’s schedule.

A Bulletin Board. Control the paper clutter by hanging a large bulletin board for schedules, invitations, and other pieces of paper that can easily cause clutter and get lost. Hang everything in neat, orderly rows, and avoid piling things on top of each other to ensure nothing gets lost.

A Sorting System. Going through the mail and tossing the junk each day controls the clutter, but add a sorting system to your command center to ensure everyone gets his or her mail. Keep all of the bills together and put them in another spot when they’ve been paid, and maintain a folder for each person to store all of their important paperwork — like the kid’s immunization records and copies of birth certificates that you’ll need for activity signups. Add some hooks for keys, and a folder for coupons so you can find them when you need them.

Once you’ve set up your kitchen command center, you might need to retrain your family to use it, but thanks to some dry erase sheets and a system of folders, you’ll feel less stressed and more in control.