As school begins, we start to get busy with homework and projects, but we are mostly busy with all of those after-school activities. You know what I am talking about. PTA meetings, soccer practice, soccer games, flag football practice, flag football games, ballet, The Little Gym, and the list goes on! Your leisurely summer schedule comes to an abrupt halt and the need for an organized after-school schedule becomes imperative! Since this is the first year that my little guy can actually participate in fun “after PRE-school” activities, and my daughter is in school all day, I have a new “game-on” time which is the 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. hours. We need to pack those three hours with a little homework, fun outdoor activities, and a bunch of transporting and unbuckling of car and booster seats!
So, lately I have especially seen the need to create a sort of command center or drop zone in our home so that our whole family knows who is going where and who is doing what each day. I also needed a nice spot to place all of the items coming in and out of our home and make it look semi-organized. It’s the place where you put the lunch boxes, backpacks, shoes, papers, mail that you promise you are going to go through tomorrow.
I have been eyeing all of those cool command centers and luxurious entryways to homes in Pottery Barn and Pinterest. Some have their own built-in cubbies for each child, and some have awesome calendars, to-do lists, grocery lists, etc… all posted and displayed in the most organized and decorative way.
Let’s get real here…most people that I know don’t have that perfect spot in their home, so they are left to create one on a small wall or spot that may not be perfectly ideal. That is my situation, and I decided to create my own drop zone in the most ideal spot in my home, which is actually my very small mud room/pantry/laundry room.
Let me begin by saying that even though I am a very organized person, I am not a very crafty person. I do love a beautiful (and clean) home, but I am not going to create things from scratch and sit on my computer for an hour to make a pretty color-coded child calendar (although, I might like to do that if I had a lot more time on my hands and certainly if a client requested one). Anyway, the thing is that you can get as fancy or go as simple as you want.
Hopefully some of these ideas will inspire you to create your own command center. But most importantly, if you add these 3 parts to your drop zone, you will be well on your way to an organized school year:
1. A spot for lunch boxes, backpacks, and shoes
2. Calendar area
3. Spot for papers for each child
You can add as many things as you want to your drop zone/command center. This last picture is of my simple but functional command center (shoes are hiding in the basket). I also added my children’s chore charts and used some little Command hooks to tie some burlap and use clothes pins to display their artwork that comes home. You can’t see in the photo, but there is a trash can in that room as well (which is where most of the artwork goes…not all, but most…Shhh! ) after it has been properly displayed for a nice period of time.