Mom’s Command Central {why I decided to create my own office space}

Mom's Command Central {why I decided to create my own office space} | RaisingArrows.net

It started with a meltdown.

Most of my good ideas start that way.

I was overwhelmed.  Beyond overwhelmed.  I couldn’t seem to put two thoughts together and I was getting nothing done.  All of my home chores were either not getting completed on time or being left undone entirely.  Many times this was happening because I couldn’t even remember what it was I was supposed to be doing.  And then there was my blog.  I had so much stacked up and digging out seemed impossible.

I felt completely incompetent.  How in the world did I get here?

I went to my husband, asking him to excuse the mess I was making and begging him to help me figure out what to do to regain control of the chaos.

His answer was to compartmentalize.

We all know I’m a list maker, but this sort of list-making is different.  This is how my executive-husband runs his office – lists that are specific to a certain task or area of his job.  He suggested I do the same and get my list under control by dividing it up into a more manageable grouping.  

After talking it through, I decided to divide between 2 lists –

Home & Blog

I decided against Offline and Online because the things that involve my blog online are very different from the things I do for our home online and vice-versa.  I also did not think I could handle more than 2 lists, so I took the two things that take up the vast majority of my brainpower and focused on separating them out.  (For you, this might look like Homeschool & Homemaking or Home Business & Family Life – you get the idea – and YOU  might even be able to handle more than 2 lists, unlike me!)

However, as I was talking through all of this with my husband, I began to realize that compartmentalizing into lists was not going to help me if I didn’t actually look at those lists throughout the day.  I had become notorious for making lists and LOSING lists.

I decided right then and there, I needed a Command Central.

For the 2 years we have lived here, I have been without a real landing place for all my stuff.  I had a crate of homeschool things by my chair, a pile of lists on the kitchen island, a desk in my bedroom I never used.

There really wasn’t any one good place for me to set up shop.  Our living room and kitchen are small, our dining room is a strange shape, and the one wall I could have a desk on doesn’t have an outlet.  The printer was in my bedroom (you know, on that desk I never use), but guess what else is in the bedroom€¦my little guy!  And we all know that baby’s nap time is prime to time to actually get things done€¦and printed off!

I felt a little doomed, but I knew I somehow had to pull this off because I needed to run this household effectively and efficiently and that wasn’t going to happen as long as my brain was strewn about the house on tiny bits of paper.

What I finally decided to do was carve out a bit of space in a corner of the living room next to my chair and partially hidden by the piano.  It was out of the way, but super convenient.
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Mom's Command Central (control the chaos) | RaisingArrows.net

I used an end table from my bedroom as a “desk”.  Here, I placed my printer and pens and my compartmentalized lists.  Underneath were school books and more paper.  In the crate beside it were homeschool materials and binders I use on a daily basis.  I bought a LapDesk (see it up against the wall?) and used that for sitting in my chair and typing on my laptop.  I keep the laptop on top of my printer and charge it right there as needed.

(And yes, that is a DOOR behind my chair.  We rarely use that door, so it made sense to put a chair in front of it.)

I had created an office space for myself.  It wasn’t fancy, and it sure didn’t look like an office, but it was in a location centralized and convenient location.  It gave me a landing place for all those things I needed in order to run this home of mine.

I have to realize that all good leaders have a Headquarters.

I manage a home.  I manage a blog.

This is my HQ.  This is my Command Central.  I do this because it makes me a better home manager, a better homeschool teacher, a better wife, a better mother.

Homemaking Tips & Inspiration Pinterest board - Amy Roberts

Here are some other Command Central ideas for moms from my Homemaking Tips & Inspiration Pinterest board:

Clipboards

Don’t have a desk?  Put everything on clipboards and hang on the wall!

cart from a changing table

Forget the bar!
Makeover an old changing table into a rolling desk you can roll out of the way!

wall folders

Files and chalkboard (or white board) all in one place!

Another way to compartmentalize

Another way to compartmentalize!

So, tell me€¦do you have a Command Central?  What are the things you HAVE to have there to keep your home in good running order?

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26 thoughts on “Mom’s Command Central {why I decided to create my own office space}

  1. Yep! My command station (as I call it) is on the side of the fridge that is open to the dining room/living room area. It includes a chore list, menu, calendar, and piano practice chart. I actually share mine next month, those blog posts are planned since baby is due early February!

    I carry around a little notebook for things that pop into my head randomly..including things I need to look up the next time I am on the computer. This pregnancy I have really felt the need to make lists…and I find it so very comforting because I seem to have the pregnancy brain this time around.

  2. I needed this today. The past four days I have been meaning to set up my area in the living room by my chair. Why because my office is a pit. It never gets used. It’s just a spot to drop everything. Overflow. Unfinished stuff. Storage. And all the stuff I intend to get to. I have a heap in the kitchen. But mainly because they are homeless. Im most productive in my chair. and all things that get done are stored there. I’m doing it today. Thanks.

      • Getting there. Still mountains of moving to do. I’m ready to dismantle my office completely. So I will be moving things into my living area more. But I actually got up yesterday. Went in my office started sorting papers and uncovering my desk. I cleaned a crate( that will fit under my table) up that I plan to place files in that will hold menus, to do, basic calendar and budget items. Debating where and how to get the printer in the living room. Wish I had a nice little corner. Might need to wait until after Christmas and move my setup into the corner that currently has the tree. You definetly spoke to me right when I needed it though. My chair is my command center, I knew it, just hadn’t got off my butt till yesterday. Too bad I can’t make it happen from my command chair. LOL :) thanks

  3. Every house we have always stayed in I carve out a space for myself. I always have a station desk, office supplies and our printer is networked with all our computers. We all need a place to run our homes efficiently. Great post thanks for sharing!!!

  4. I really needed this today! I have felt like my home has been in a mess for a while and my brain scattered but I couldnt figure out where to start. This gives me a good starting place.

    Once I talk to my husband and get it all set up I will post about it on my blog. Thank you again!

  5. I have been in the process of streamlining my Command Center. I have a huge, very expensive desk we were gifted a few yrs back upstairs in my bedroom. I never use it, except as a catch-all. I want that out of the bedroom but I had to get organized. My sister sent me some of her 31 filing boxes. They’re pretty and girly (for a mom of four boys, this felt very important, lol). I put my homemaking notebook, homeschooling notebook (which is essentially my planning sheets, not any manuals or anything). And a notebook for taking notes like books I want to pick up from the library, house goals, gift ideas, stuff like that. I am not much a techie-girl, so I prefer to keep paper notes, paper menus, and paper calendars. I have pretty much organized most all of my favorite recipes on my pinterest board though, so that has helped to streamline my recipe binder.

  6. We actually have a large walk-in closet that is separated from our bedroom by a bathroom (we have a sleeping babe in our room, too). So, when we moved in here I immediately put my desk in there since I knew we wouldn’t need all that space for clothes. I need to pretty it up to make it more inviting and I LOVE the idea of compartmentalization. Men seem to naturally do that which is great because it gets things accomplished.

  7. This post is right on time. My command central used to be at the kitchen table, but it was just taking over and made it a pain to clear up at meal times. After thinking about it for a while I decided to move to the living room yesterday. Like you I set up a spot at my favorite chair and I’m using my end table as my desk. I have all my files and folders on an old shoe holder and I get to look out the window and enjoy the day. I don’t know why I waited so long to do this.

    • I was using the kitchen table too! I had the hardest time gathering everything up and moving it for meals, but I was scared my laptop would get ruined sitting there with spill-prone toddlers! Glad you have a lovely view. :)

  8. Boy do I need a workable command central. I have a few things here and there. My printer is in the bedroom with the baby’s naptime, too. There are piles of papers all around that need a home, but I’m not sure where to put them, etc. I like the charnging table conversion idea.

  9. Some great ideas! I find myself often overwhelmed by all the to-do items and no way to see it all in front of me, and I can’t keep up. Recently, I started making a Homemaking Binder, which allows me to carry around the sticker chart(of utmost importance, as someone is always needing a sticker for something, lol! :D )…and other important items. I love your idea of the command central corner. On the Pins you showed in your blogpost, I really like the wall-mounted file folders. Great idea for the ever-increasing Sunday School papers that come in x4 kids, x4 Sundays a month….lots of papers I have to keep but don’t know what to do with! :D

  10. I feel very cluttered when I deal with paper and I also don’t like the look of it so my command center is in my pocket. I have multiple, compartmentalized lists on remember the milk, keep meal plans and emergency and school information in Google docs and keep recipes in Evernote. It works really well and is available to me at all times and my kids can’t get into it. I do have a file cabinet to store financial documents such as taxes and other important stuff but use it rarely.

  11. I don’t, but this same thing has been on my mind. I’m great at making the lists, but bad about keeping them where I’ll see them. And if I DO leave them out, then I tend to not put them away promptly. Plus, I’m the notebook queen. I have one for Bible study notes, one for the budget, another for miscellaneous (kept in my purse but I get it out to retrieve notes I’ve jotted while away from home), one for goals and to-do list, etc… . You’ve inspired me to put some more thought into this and see what I can come up with going into the new year. Thanks!

  12. It’s honestly encouraging that I can totally hear the exasperation in your tone of…text. I’ve been sharing a desk with my husband, with absolutely no alternative table space and its driving me crazy! The thought occurred to me last week that perhaps we should get two desks, or a long skinny table for our bedroom, to keep our workspaces separate. I’ve always needed to have big calendar on the wall, and also like using a white board for to-do lists. Magnetic notepad on the fridge for grocery list. And my Well-Planned Day Planner open on the kitchen counter. Recently also got a sticky note program for my desktop for computer related “to-do’s”.

  13. Oh goodness, I think I’m inspired to stop *dreaming* about how to organize the perfect space and just make something work! I literally have so much stuff piled on the desk between me and my computer I have to reach my hand between stacks of papers, books, and notebooks to reach the computer mouse! No wonder I feel overwhelmed and scattered. Thanks for sharing your solution!

  14. Hi, Amy! I loved the ideas you shared. One thing that has helped me are the Thirty One bags that are capable of holding hanging file folders. They are so efficient and the best part is that they are portable, for people like you and me who live in small houses and don’t really have too much “designated” space. I keep one of the Thirty One bags next to my recliner, which is next to my son’s school desk. It has a pouch on the front that holds pens, pencils, a sticky note pad, and little things like my emery board (for moments I am sitting there waiting for him to finish something or need help!), then the main part of the bag holds my school daily planner and other books I am continually reaching for. I love when we can take something we already have on hand and use it to make our lives easier. It is such a blessing when we don’t have to go out and buy something extra…I love recycling and re-purposing items in ways they haven’t been used before. Thanks so much for the inspiration you consistently provide! You are a such a blessing.

    • Hey Katheryn! Just an FYI, the last 2 emails I have gotten from you and tried to reply to have bounced. I didn’t want you to think I was ignoring you!

  15. I do have an area in my kitchen in some “school” cabinets My Man hung up for me with my Binders of planners (for my Homeschool group leadership responsibilities, Home, school planning, blog, etc.), I can see them and use them when needed – usually! I am LOVING the post it board though ;) I will be pinning this page for these ideas for our new home – they will be great to incorporate as we build it :) I will have to look for your pinterest page to make sure I grab the pages to pin them from directly too ;)

  16. I have always had an area for my command center. Just went through it and reorganized before hip surgery. It worked well! Kids are running the house while my husband takes care of me.

  17. Love it. Hope it works well for you.
    One thing I’m trying to get enough self -control to use daily is a basket system. I think I got it from Julie Morganstern.
    I have a file for each month.
    And files numbered 1-31
    I can put things that need to be done next November in the Novemeber file. And the ones that need to be done on the 22nd of this (whatever this is!) month in that 22 file.
    I made it pretty (stamping supplies), put packing tape over my pretty edges …now I just have to make myself use it daily!

  18. God must have known exactly what your readers needed to learn about! Thank you so much for posting this. We just moved from a 2200 sq. ft house (with a basement, attic, and shed) to an 800 ft. house with no additional storage. It’s a tight fit for the 5 of us! We are slowly working through our clutter and I am nothing short of overwhelmed. The other big change from this move was pulling our 3 daughters out of school and now homeschooling. I am going to make it a priority to find myself a command central that can just be mine. I’m finding my former organizational techniques aren’t cutting it in such a small space. Thank you for the inspiration and reminder that through Christ, all things are possible.