Setting up the Home Command Center
1 SEPTEMBER 2016 | ALICIA VICTORY, PSY.D.
How many mornings are you running around, looking for shoes, homework folders, that paper that was supposed to be signed so your child could attend the field trip at the end of the week? How often are you fumbling around, running late, nagging and fussing just to get out of the door to get to school? I don’t think there is a single parent that does not know this scenario, and for some this is a daily occurrence. The end result: frustration, anger, tears, and someone having to run to school later in the day for that forgotten item. I know I don’t enjoy this, and I am sure that you do not either. So, let’s get your home command center in order.
A home command center is a central place for everything needed to keep your child functioning, to keep things in order, and to keep your insanity. The home command center should be a space or a room in your house that is devoted to organization, one that is passed by as often as possible, and one that you and your children come into contact almost immediately upon entering the house. This is your home base and these are the items that will help you to be most successful:
- Monthly Calendar for appointments (dentist, doctor, etc.), sports practices, major family events, and even long-term project deadline dates. Each person should have his or her events highlighted or written in a different color.
- Hooks for backpacks and sport bags (Be bag specific and have separate bags for each area). The backpack should go on the hook when you arrive home, come off for homework time (the whole bag), and back on when the homework is complete. Prior to heading to bed, your child should make sure all folders, books, and homework are in the backpack and all sporting equipment is in the sport bag.
- Dry Erase board for leaving notes to and from, for keeping track of needed items (deodorant, pencils, etc.), and other information that is important that one might forget.
- A charging cable/dock. This is where electronics should go during homework and studying. This helps to insure focus on tasks without distractions.
- In/Out box for items that you need to sign to return to school or items that need to be checked for accuracy or completion.
- Chore boards/charts with space to cross off or somehow mark that the task has been completed. There is a sense of accomplishment in visually marking things off of lists.
- Any other things that will be useful for your family.
The command center is the central hub and once you set it up and start using it consistently your life will become easier. Make it a habit for your child to go to the command center several times a day until that becomes a habit. You won’t regret it!