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A family headquarters might just be the solution to your organization problems!
What Is a Family Headquarters, you ask?
Every smooth-running operation has a headquarters.
Google has the Googleplex.
Congress has the Capitol Building.
Secret-spy organizations have super secret headquarters.
These headquarters serve as a hub of operation.
A hub literally means the center part of a wheel, where the spokes come out from. Without a hub, a wheel can’t work!
This is the same principle applied to a Family Headquarters: it helps to keep your family organized and running smoothly!
A Family Headquarters is a spot inside your house that is dedicated to keeping important family organization items.
It’s a place that holds important information, tools that keep you on track, and things the family uses often.
Our Family Headquarters is a desk in our living room.
Whenever I or Hubby need to know what we are doing on Tuesday, we can check out the Family Headquarters. If Hubby is curious about what I’ve planned for dinner tomorrow, it’s there in the Family Headquarters. Want to find a coupon before you go grocery shopping…guess what? Yup! It’s there in the Family Headquarters.
Consequently, having a Family Headquarters has been really helpful for us. It centralizes a lot of important information and tools when it comes to the various plans and activities in our life.
Curious about how to create your own Family Headquarters? Read on!
Speaking as an impulsive person, planning is always a good first step. (Trust me. I have started a lot of projects without planning. Started, being the key word!)
It’s important to decide exactly what pieces you want to have in your Family Headquarters before you begin putting it all together.
So first of all ask yourself, what are the things that help your family run smoothly?
This is a list of things that help us function as a family:
- meal planning
- daily prayers
Do you have your list? Take a second to jot it down. 🙂
Okay. Now that we have our list of things that help us function, let’s make a list of tools that help us do those things.
For us, this looks like the following:
- scheduling: Orthodox calendar, white-board calendar, Happy Planner
- meal planning: meal planning book
- chores: daily chore chart (which you can download FREE here!)
- budgeting: budget book
- daily prayers: prayer book
Go ahead. What are the tools that help you?
Next, we need to plan for those little tools that help us use the tools we just listed.
Let me clarify. It’s great to have a white-board calendar in your Family Headquarters, but only if you have dry-erase markers there, too. Otherwise you have to walk to wherever you have the markers and then back to the Family Headquarters and then back to put them away. Yikes!
The purpose of our Family Headquarters is to help us run smoothly, so we want to make it as easy to use as possible!
Here are the little tools we needed at our Family Headquarters:
- Orthodox calendar: no additional tools needed
- White-board calendar: dry-erase markers, eraser, dry-erase cleaner spray
- Happy Planner: stickers, pencils, pens
- Meal-planning book: pencils, post-it notes, coupons
- Chore chart: chart (which you can get FREE), dry-erase markers, eraser
- Budget book: pencils, calculator
- Prayer book: bookmark
Alright! We are almost there.
Once you have your list of big tools and little tools you want to include in your Family Headquarters, our last piece of the planning is to add anything else you think will be useful for your family.
In our Family Headquarters, I also wanted to have a bulletin board where we could stick important notes. In addition to that, I wanted a place to sort important papers that require action, our stationery, and our health tracker.
Once you have your final list, we can start working!
Step #2: Pick a Place
The next thing to do is choose a place for your family headquarters to be located.
There are two main things you should take into consideration when making this decision:
- Who is the Family Headquarters for?
Is this for the whole family, or just for mom and dad? Whoever you decide to have utilize your Family Headquarters, make sure to have it in an accessible location for them.Right now, Little E is much too little to take advantage of our Family Headquarters, so I didn’t have to worry about him not being able to reach things or see parts of our planning center. Instead, it is just Hubby and I using it.However, as Little E grows older I would love for him to be able to use the Headquarters, too. Kids can learn to be more independent if they can see and have access to things like the family calendar or the daily chore chart.Because we wanted our whole family to use it, we put our Family Headquarters in a central location: our living room.
- Where do you have the space?
A very practical question, this is important to discern before setting up your Family Headquarters. In the first step, we planned the various items that we want to include in our Headquarters.Based on these choices, decide how much space you will need.
If all you want to include is a calendar and a meal-planning book, you won’t need much space at all. Perhaps just a corner near the kitchen will work perfectly for you!
If you included more things on your list, like we did, you probably need a bit more space.
The closet in our bathroom was built into the living room, so the wall of our living room bulges out a bit. This is the wall we set up our Family Headquarters on. It is just big enough to fit a small desk, and there is enough wall space to fit a lot of our planning materials on the wall.
Step #3: Make It
Now it’s time to put it all together!
Once you have gathered all your materials, you can set up your area.
Here are a few tips to make your Family Headquarters function well:
Create your space so that it makes sense and is easy to use.For example, if you use your planner every single day, don’t put it at the bottom of a stack of other books.Base the organization of your space on what you use the most and what you need ready access to.In our Family Headquarters, my Happy Planner and our Meal Planning Book are the first two books there. This makes them super easy for me to grab!Being organized in this fashion also makes it easy to put things back where they belong, a huge plus when it comes to keeping things tidy and running smoothly.
- No Clutter
On the subject of keeping things tidy, it can be easy to quickly fill up this space with clutter.This is why it is important to keep it down to the most important things your family uses to stay organized. If we start adding too many things to the area, it will become cluttered and hard to use.It’s not helpful to lose your most important organizing tools in a mess of other, non-essential things!
Arrange your Family Headquarters in a way that is visually appealing.
Not only is this important to the overall feel of your house, (especially if your Family Headquarters is in a central place like the living room!), it also will help you keep it tidy and organized.
I am much less likely to set trash down on something that I consider to add visual appeal to my living room.
Step #4: Decorate
This leads us to our final step: decoration!
Before you start, it is really important to take time to read the second tip of Step #3 again: No Clutter!
When decorating your Family Headquarters, be sure to live by the rule of simplicity. Too many tchotchkes (while adorable!) will make the area cluttered and much harder to clean. This can also take away from the functionality of your Headquarters.
I suggest picking one or two simple decorations to add to your area. We have a cross and a Bible verse decorating ours, and it’s just enough to create the visual appeal discussed above!
Alright, that’s it! Four simple steps to creating a Family Headquarters in your home.
Once your headquarters is up and running, reevaluate your set-up in two weeks. This gives you enough time to become accustomed to using it and to learn what things you might want to change about it.
For example, I had our books (my planner, the meal planning book, our budget, etc.) in a stack when we first set ours up. I liked how visually appealing this was. However, after a while of using our Family Headquarters, I realized that I didn’t like the hassle of putting books back at the bottom of a stack where they belong. So we switched our books over to standing up with a bookend. Much more functional for me!
Do you have a Family Headquarters in your home? What are some things you keep in yours? Leave a comment below!
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