The Clutter Whisperers
Your Command Center – Or “Never Lose Your Keys”
Updated: Feb 1, 2021
June 2, 2018
I really hate it when I’m in a rush to get out of the house, am carrying my purse, tote bag, gym bag, and lunch, and forget something essential. Like my keys. Or my wallet. The other day I was all the way out to a meeting half an hour away when I realized – no money! And – no license, credit card, etc. There went my Starbucks splurge for the day (maybe not such a bad thing….).
But wait! There is a solution! Set up a command center and you’ll always know where to find your keys. What do we need for a command center?
Command Station. This can be as simple as a hanging calendar with a basket under it, or as fancy as this, this or this. You need a combo bulletin board, white board, key holder, mail basket. Place it as close as possible to the door you usually use to go in and out. Not what you should use – what you actually use.
Mail. Have a place for it to land (basket, drawer, box) then when you know you have two minutes, grab the whole pile and stand near your recycling bin. Quick go through them and immediately discard anything you don’t need or want. Great to have drawers or baskets for everyone in your household for an instant sort.
Bills. Decide where you want your bills to land. In a container or drawer near the Command Center? On your desk? Whatever works for you. Then, same as mail, whenever you’re ready to deal with them grab the whole stack and get to work. Of course the best and most eco friendly way is to have everything sent electronically, or better yet, auto pay the regular ones.
Coupons. Put them up on your Command Board under one clip and keep the most recent on top. Go through them weekly to remind yourself of a sale, and to get rid of expired one. I actually have one clip specifically for those Bed, Bath and Beyond ones – after I get a bunch of 4 or 5, they go right into my car in a seat pocket, ready for any BB&B emergency! Or go paperless with SnipSnap, The Coupons App or Track My Coupons.
Invitations. Decide if you’re going or not (if you get an evite this is even easier). If so – clip the invite on the Command Board along with any RSVP cards. Every time you go past it you’ll be reminded that you have to take action. If not – put in the bill pile to RSVP later.
Keys. Hang them up! You can DIY with cup holder hooks screwed underneath a shelf, 3-M removable command strips, or find a fancy one that fits your design sense like this or this. The point is – you should be able to hang them up and take them down easily in under a second. KEY RULES – hang up as soon as you get inside. I even keep them in my hand after locking the car and unlocking the door so it’s easy to just hang them up. And you will ALWAYS know where they are!
Sunglasses. Maybe not an issue if you live someplace rainy and dark – I’m talking about you, Seattle! But for the rest of us, we need sunglasses to drive or walk to Metro. In my house they multiply like bunnies – they end up scattered in the weirdest places and of course then you end up buying more which invariably look just like the ones you couldn’t find. Hang them all up in one place like on a rack or hanger or create a holder like this one from DIY Ideas – right next to your Command Center.
Wallets/Purses?Backpacks. Put a basket next to Command and get in the habit of dropping your wallet or purse there when you come home. Or have a few sturdy hooks for purses and backpacks in your mudroom or right inside your door.
So when you come home here is your path to organized exits and entrances:
1. Put keys on hook
2. Wallet/purse in basket (or backpack on hook)
3. Sunglasses on rack
4. Mail in mail holder