It’s not a resolution per say, but with all the organization buzz this month I decided to try and really improve my HMS. That’s Household Management System. Using an acronym makes me feel important, try to go with it.

After extensive research, my kitchen command center was born.

Since the kitchen is where papers pile up and where people tend to congregate, the counter was the perfect place. The command center consists of a pretty pink notebook for me (more on that in a bit), a file folder box, hanging folders, a calendar, and a pen/pencil cup.

Each one of us has our own folder, plus there is one for new unsorted mail. No more stacks on the counter! My notebook fits in neatly as well, and the calendar lets us know what’s going on at a glance!

In my notebook, I have a daily task and a weekly task sheet.

I downloaded these from Simple Mom, she has tons of useful forms here. Instead of printing them out every day or every week, I put them in sheet protectors and use wet erase markers to fill them out and erase them as needed.

Part of my organization goals includes meal planning 2 weeks at a time. Every day I write down what’s for dinner, so I don’t freak out at 5 wondering what to make.  I keep favorite recipes and coupons in the notebook as well.

The weekly task checklist helps me keep track of household chores. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all there is to do, but seeing it on a list and checking it off makes it more manageable.

What about you guys? Are you getting more organized this year? Have any tips and tricks to share?

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113 Responses

  1. ashley

    Good morning!Come on over to my blog and see that I awarded you as a stylish blogger…basically your on the top 15 every morning I read 🙂 Have a great day!

    Reply
  2. Janet

    Wow, I agree with Amy and bow down to your outstanding organizational skills! And could you share that Hawaiian Chicken recipe please! Sounds tasty!

    Reply
  3. Missy

    I was just about to make a command center in my home. I have been keeping an eye out for a cute file box. Any suggestions on where I should go?
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Lovely Crafty Home

      Missy- I got mine at Office Max, but I think they have some cute stuff at Staples and Target also!

      Reply
      • Rachael Evans

        I believe it was Office Max, but it was so so long ago – sorry!

      • April

        I love it to and came back a few days after I originally saw this post to see if you had shared. When I saw the 2011 date I was disappointed. Hoping my online search won’t take too long to find something!!

  4. Kassi

    I’m imressed with your system!!! Loving that you use the dry erase markers!! I have a goal to meal plan this year as well… Haven’t done any planning yet tho… Oops. 🙂

    Reply
  5. Emily Love

    Love it! I plan on making a similar command center as soon as my decide-if-I-graduate-grad-school-huge-exam is over next Wed!!!

    I just found your blog and love it!

    Reply
  6. Victoria S.

    Great idea to use sheet protectors. I print my list each week but I need to start doing this. Thanks for sharing. Saw you at Fingerprint on the Fridge.

    Reply
  7. Amanda L.

    Hello! I found a link to this from Pinterest. I’m doing something similar to this, but yours looks way prettier… so I guess I am going to have to make a trip to the store soon. 🙂 Thank you for the wonderful ideas.

    Reply
  8. EPIC FAIL: Magnetic Spice Storage

    […] want to cut into the tile on the backsplash. So that left two areas, the wall space above the kitchen command center and the wall next to the pantry.  But, the small wall by the command center is pretty much the […]

    Reply
  9. Erica

    Hey I saw this link from Pinterest and I really like your system. Was just curious… I love that file box! Where did you get it from?

    Reply
  10. Erica

    Hey I saw this link from Pinterest and I really like your system. Was just curious… I love that file box! Where did you get it from?

    Reply
  11. Tina Wolfe

    Just found your blog! Love It!! I am “stealing” your Blog Button to share on my blog as well 🙂
    I also plan on being more organized for 2012 and I must say… Your command center looks like just what I need! I will definitely be getting started on that!
    Thanks for Sharing!!!
    Good luck with 2012!!

    Reply
    • rachaelevans

      Thank you Tina! Good luck with your resolution, I need to have more resolve in that area as well!

      Reply
  12. Tina Wolfe

    Just found your blog! Love It!! I am “stealing” your Blog Button to share on my blog as well 🙂
    I also plan on being more organized for 2012 and I must say… Your command center looks like just what I need! I will definitely be getting started on that!
    Thanks for Sharing!!!
    Good luck with 2012!!

    Reply
  13. Sherrie

    I am so excited! I can not believe I never thought of this!!! I do this for my kids speed drill test, but never thought of it for myself!!! Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!!

    Reply
  14. Niki Armstrong

    HELP I went to Office Max, Target, Walmart, KMart, Metro Office Supply and could not find the file box or anythig close to it! Is there anyway you could tell me the brand of the box or possibly the product number!! I am so wanting to get my kitchen counter oraganized and I love, love this idea!

    Reply
    • rachaelevans

      Niki- Sorry there aren’t any markings on it 🙁 There are always cute options though, I have seen some nice stuff lately!

      Reply
    • Kristen

      Just a thought … You could probably make your own fabulous box.
      Just find a regular old mailing box and or refashion it or some other pieces of sturdy cardboard and use a measuring tape, scissors and duct tape to put together your very own box of whatever dimensions you need. If need be, you could cover it all over with whatever prettiness you want. Just think “outside the box” and you’ll have something really cool and unique 🙂

      Reply
  15. Kristin

    Love this…found it on Pinterest! Where did you find your cute calendar or did you make it?

    Reply
  16. Jacqui

    I just created ours yesterday, after the much-anticipated file box arrived. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for creating a system we, as a household with a new baby, can embrace and grow with!!!

    Reply
    • rachaelevans

      Leighanna- We mostly just use it for mail sorting, but there are endless possibilities!

      Reply
  17. Stacey

    I have notebook that has a section for each person in the house. Their sections include school information, and the like. I also have a section for chores, calendars and menus. Just recently I added a section for coupons. I keep all of our information (important documents) like id cards, ssi cards, etc. That way if there is ever an emergency (like fire or tornados) we can just grab the book and go. I also have a board that hangs next to the kitchen door that has a place to put mail (we put bills in it as they come in), a bulliton/message board and a chalk board for the nightly menu. I bought it at the Goodwill for $2.00! So far this system has worked really well for us. But I like the idea of a command center too.

    Reply
  18. Laurie

    Just found your blog via Pinterest and think this is a great idea. I have a calendar and all these things but walk back and forth between rooms to get them. Having a box right in the kitchen – brilliant! 🙂

    Reply
  19. Rin

    This is a fantastic idea – I have notes and to do lists jotted all over the house, and never in the place where I actually need them to be, so I may just have to try this out!

    Reply
  20. Charity

    Wow!! This is such a great idea. This is exactly what I need and thank you for sharing it. I am going to get my supplies tomorrow. My kitchen counters are always getting filled up with papers from my children’s schools and mail. I feel like it’s a never ending battle but I am hoping this will help keep them cleaner now. Thank you again 🙂

    Reply
  21. cam

    I’ve searched for that file box everywhere! There’s one like it at Target, but I think it’s much bigger, and would be too big for a kitchen counter. I’m trying to compare the depth of the box, or distance from front to back (my husband says that’s the width…but I think it’s depth). If I made any sense at all, would you mind telling me what is the depth (or width?) of your box, from front to back?

    Reply
  22. Ashley

    Hey there! I just found your blog via pinterest. I LOVE this idea! I’ve been meaning to make something like this. Even though it’s just my husband and I (as we don’t have kids yet), things get very hectic! I love the idea of using the dry erase marker and that everything is in one spot. We’ve been trying to re-budget and I’m thinking I could some how incorporate this into this project…THANKS!

    Reply
  23. Jill S

    I just found this only pinterest and holy Martha Stewart, this is probably the best idea I’ve pinned in months. Our kitchen counter is ground zero for the disaster that is my house. This just made some dreams come true up in here. Thank you!!!

    Reply
  24. Jess

    I started using your idea this summer and it’s been SO AWESOME with school starting to corral all. the. frigging. paper. that comes home. I went to simple mom and got the forms, I even used some twine to decorate a tin can to make a cup holder. I have the perfect little corner of my kitchen to house it all and it’s been great. Thanks so much for the great ideas!! 🙂

    Reply
  25. Carol

    Great idea! Even with the just the two of us now, the papers tend to stack up and this might be a great solution. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  26. Organising Desk/Cabinet in Meals Area Corner | Nellbe Gluten Free

    […] I also tidied my command basket. This is something I got inspired to do after seeing another blogger (who no longer blogs) do it. Basically it’s a basket with some files in it, I have one each for my sons, my husband and I, bills, receipts, and a to-file. It is great for to keep those things that you cannot think where to put  and the fridge it too full. Things like school papers, prescriptions, party invites and also things to file, bills to pay and receipts to keep. Do a search on pinterest and you see lots of inspiration, mine is not as flash as some but it works for us. (here is a good one) […]

    Reply
  27. Tanya

    I have had this project pinned for ….well a long time…but I wanted to let you know it is brilliant! And I can’t wait to copy you! Your blog is super fun thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  28. Melissa @ freeing imperfections

    I love love love the idea of the wet erase pages! I feel like i rewrite those lists week after week. That makes so much more sense! I love the idea of everyone having their own folder too. It just gets so out of control! Thanks for the ideas.

    Reply
  29. Emily

    I love this idea! I need to work on my household notebook, it is rather out of control….as is our house right now! Happy New Year! I found your blog through Team Ibrahim and can’t wait to catch up and read more.

    Reply
  30. Nicki

    I like this idea. I found the perfect file box through Clever Containers at home party’s. They even have a “panic no more” set of file folders. We recently put our new computer in my daughter’s bedroom off the livingroom/diningroom/kitchen, so command center is going there.

    Reply
  31. Rhonda

    I write on my calendar what we eat for dinner each night. It’s not a meal plan but at least I have a historic reference.

    Reply
  32. Amanda

    What a lovely, crafty idea 😉 I was just curious as to what things you put in the files. I love the idea of this command center, but I’m wandering if “we” need files for each family member or just more basic files, i.e recipes, outgoing/incoming mail, doctors/RX. We homeschool, so I have a whole room dedicated to the “school stuff” Thanks in advance.
    Blessings,
    Amanda

    Reply
  33. Ashley

    I love this idea! 🙂 Where did you get the chores list? best one I’ve seen.. 🙂

    Reply
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    Link exchange is nothing else however it is just placing the other
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  35. Meagan

    Love this idea! With six people constantly on the go in my house this would be amazing! Thank you!!

    Reply
  36. Michelle

    This is a great post. I have gone through about 3 stacks that were strategically hidden around my kitchen. I found duplicate bills, old papers, and things that should have been filed. I should have taken care of this when I picked up the mail! Thanks!

    Reply
  37. Home Organization Tips - SO SMART!! - Princess Pinky Girl

    […] This is one that I actually did and WOW has it worked!  I have a file for everyone in the family, one for coupons and a few other files as well.  This has really eliminated the “I need this later, but not now” piles.  Each of the kids lunch menus, sport schedules, invitations to parties go in their own files.  LOVE this idea – thank you Rachael from lovelycraftyhome.com! […]

    Reply
  38. Mary

    This is a magnificent idea!

    There is one suggestion I have that’s REALLY IMPORTANT!
    We’ve had some robberies in our community because service people in the home looked at someone’s calendar and figured out when they weren’t going to be home. Sad story, but true.

    Reply
  39. Mélanie

    Hey, where did you get thaïs file folder box? I can’t find it anywhere??
    Thanks

    Reply
  40. Ashley

    Hi there, great idea! Im interested in the cleaning checklist however the link no longer works. Is there another one?

    Reply
  41. Sharon

    Love the ‘command center’. I get this sense of saying it proud with a diabolical kind of laughter. Bow down, underlings, to the command center. lol

    Reply
  42. Lia

    Brilliant idea! I’ve been seeking this style of organization for a month or two now – thank you for your mindfulness, Rachael! Unfortunately, the “Simple Mom” website doesn’t seem to exist anymore. Might you e-mail to me as many of “Simple Mom’s” forms that you have, please? I’d be absolutely delighted!
    Sincerely,
    Lia

    Reply
    • Rachael Evans

      Hi Lia, I’m sorry I don’t have those files anymore (several hard drive crashes ago!), but there are tons on pinterest…just search for “free household binder”

      Reply
  43. Jake

    I like this idea, but it’s not “per say.” It’s “per se.”

    Reply
  44. Deb

    Lea – I know it’s been a while since you commented, but just tried the links in this post and it took me to the website where the forms are. It’s not called ‘Simple Moms’ anymore. It’s called theartofsimple.net

    Reply
  45. Deb

    Lea – I know it’s been a while since your comment, but I just tried the links in this post and it took me to the blog with the forms. It has a new name now – theartofsimple.net, but the forms are still there!

    Reply
  46. Arlene

    Thank you for sharing all these organizing techniques!
    I have a question , where did you purchase the file folder holder?

    Reply
    • Rachael Evans

      Hi Arlene – a loooooooooooong time ago at Office Max I think!

      Reply
  47. Denise

    The forms aren’t available as the website is no longer up? Any idea where I can get so etching similar?

    Reply

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