Command centers can range from a tabletop file box to a well-appointed desk in a front hall. They can be out in the open or more private, like the inside of a kitchen cabinet or a drawer, or they can be in niches in mudrooms. It’s just about having a designated spot to gather those incoming items and then taking action on them.
When space is at a premium, think vertically. From the side of a refrigerator to an unused side wall, put those spaces to work. Situate cascading dry-erase calendars showing three consecutive months. DIY-ers can turn an old picture frame into a chalkboard. Attach wall pockets to serve as mailboxes, complete with color-coded folders for each member of the household. Label them In, Out, To-do, Done—whatever you see fit to manage day-to-day mail and file away important documents.
People are overwhelmed with what comes into the home and with the effort of finding things, says organizer Bonnie Riley, who is a firm believer in the simplification of tasks—that is, whatever it takes to get the job done. Even if “it’s a very simple file box on their desk, it still becomes a command center in a sense,” she says. “I find that most people don’t tend to go to their desk to pay bills,” she says. That’s another reason why the desktop bin is a good idea: Grab it, the laptop, the checkbook and sit down on the couch to take action.