Get Organized: 10 Command Center Ideas for the New Year

We used to have a killer command center. It was amazing.

And that’s not even a GOOD picture of it.

At the current moment, and I’m almost ashamed to admit this, but we don’t even have a command center. I have all the components for it but I haven’t found a great place to house it yet. I’m thinking somewhere in the mudroom when we get it finished. I promise to stop being a disappointment and get on that…someday.

I wanted to use today’s round-up as a way to gain inspiration for my own to-be command center, as well as inspire you all. If you haven’t used a command center to organize your family’s time, you really should try it. It’s very helpful. If you’re a visual person, it will be extremely valuable to you. Typically, I’d write a short description of each one, but today, I’m just going to share links and pictures.

Source: 1Thrive

You will notice a common theme amongst all of these command centers. It’s a way to keep up with your schedule, but also a way to cut down on paper clutter and filing. Think of it as the busy mom’s assistant. Every single one of these pictures is different, but they’re all useful and they’re all pretty. Which one is your favorite? Comment below and let me know πŸ™‚

Have a wonderful weekend.

Five Friday Favorites: our favorite apps for staying organized in the new year

Most of us enjoy being organized, and others of us want to be more organized. Some of us fit into both of those categories. Better organization and a more simplified life is at your fingertips…look no further than your smartphone.

There are a few apps that have proven indispensable to our family and I’d like to share them with you.

1. Cozi family organizer (free, premium version available)

Do you have two or more children with several activities on the calendar? Do you struggle to plan meals, keep track of schedules and to-do lists? Cozi is for you!! We use it to catalog recipes, share shopping lists and keep track of schedules via the calendar feature. Each week, it emails all members of your family the events for the week.

2. Spotify Family

I was already a Spotify Premium user and I originally tried to share my account with family. This worked great until we all wanted to listen to something different at the same time. For less than $20, you can have up to five members on one account…not much more than one Spotify Premium account. We also take advantage of their under 12 account, where you can block explicit content and see what your kid listens to.

3. Poshmark

Are you cleaning out closets for the new year and getting rid of outgrown clothing? Make a few extra bucks by selling those clothes on Poshmark. You can also save a few bucks by purchasing gently used clothing for your fast- growing littles. We do!

4. My Macros

Take charge of your diet and fitness by keeping track of your daily food intake with My Macros! I have used this app for about a year and a half now and I love how easy it is to track my calories, fats, carbs and proteins. I highly recommend it.

5. Instacart

No time to grocery shop? Uncomfortable going into the grocery store? Give Instacart a try! I have been making a weekly grocery cart, adding to it throughout the week, and finalizing my order when it’s finished. Then, I arrange a pickup time, drive to the store, and pick up my order. I pay online so my stuff is already paid for when I get there, and they even load it for me. It saves me so much time.

What apps do you use to keep your family, food and fitness on track? Comment below!

Grocery shopping with Instacart: A Simplified Experience

Grocery shopping with Instacart_

I don’t know about you guys, but I absolutely hate grocery shopping. I make a list, I go to the store, and somehow I come home an hour later and find out that I managed to forget some of my most important purchases.

Grrrrr.

And how many of you have tried to grocery shop with your toddler or preschooler, only to have them get restless/fuss about wanting things/make the trip take twice as long? Shopping with little children can be super stressful, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

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Don’t let the sweet face fool you- she has a black belt in temper-tantrum throwing.

There’s this fantastic app called Instacart and it makes shopping with kids super easy. In fact it makes shopping easy in general.

All you have to do is this:

  1. just log onto the Instacart site or download the app.
  2. choose your local participating store,
  3. shop for your groceries,
  4. and submit your order.

That’s seriously it! I promise!

You may choose to have your groceries delivered, or you may pick them up. The store will even bring them out and load them up for you!

You don’t even have to leave the vehicle…or unbuckle your little one from their carseat. It’s amazing.

Now, everyone please pop on over to the Instacart site and check it out! It’s a game changer!

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Organize your time with a family command center

Organize your time with a family command center
Courtesy of Good Housekeeping

Most of us have a calendar hanging up somewhere in our home, and some of us may even have a meal planner calendar. When we hear the words “command center,” usually images of something decorative and organized come into our minds. Did you know that a command center doesn’t have to be anything big or elaborate? It just has to work for you.

Back in the day, I used to have this big elaborate command center in our home office. It looked great, but it ended up being too overwhelming.

So I tried to simplify it a bit. This, too, worked for awhile.

We began to realize that this wasn’t working, and it didn’t have anything to do with how elaborate it was. It was due to the fact that the command center is in a room that we barely enter. Your command center should be somewhere you will walk by it multiple times of day and see it.

For now, our command center looks like this:

But, after our kitchen remodel is complete, I’d like it to look like this:

I would use the frames to post quotes or scriptures, and our school schedules. I also love the basket at the bottom for bookbags and lunch boxes.

Stay tuned! Our command center is about to get a major underhaul.

Simplify Saturdays: Simplify Your Cleaning Routine

Simplify Saturdays: Simplify Your Cleaning Routine

I don’t know about you, but cleaning is a struggle at my house. My house isn’t all that big but it is time consuming to give it the attention it needs. With two children and a full time job, it is even more difficult sometimes to get the house clean.

Before I share the things I have learned, I want to make it clear that I have not completely figured it out yet. These are just a few tips that are helping me work toward finding a balance, even though I have far from found that balance.

1. Develop a routine and stick to it

Developing a routine and sticking to it as much as possible is a great way to have a cleaner house. We have tried to assign small duties to each night, allowing for flex time on the weekends to catch up on any tasks we have missed. We try to perform the same specific duties each day, but perform a different task each night. Here is our weekly checklist:

You will notice that starting the washing machine each morning is on the list. We have a washer with a delayed start and I use it daily. I throw laundry in the washer before going to bed and set it to finish as I’m getting up. This way, I wash and dry a load of laundry before leaving the house, and have one more load to complete when I get home. I still have to fold them and put them away, but the waiting game is over.

2. Delegate!

You don’t have to do everything, and you can’t. Assign chores to the other members of your household. My oldest daughter is eager to earn a small allowance for her own money, and she doesn’t mind helping me around the house. Pay your children to help you, convince your significant other to help you, but stop trying to be solely responsible for all the cleaning.

3. Set aside time for extra attention

I try to have a deep cleaning day one Saturday a month where I tackle cleaning tasks that don’t necessarily need to be done weekly, but still need a little extra love. These are areas like baseboards or dusting the door and window moldings. You could even break these deep cleaning tasks up and do one each Saturday. It’s all about your schedule and making things work for you.

4. Be reasonable

Sometimes, you won’t have time to clean because you’ve had a busy day. Or maybe you did clean, but something happened and your room is no longer clean. These are the moments when you must have grace with yourself. Your house can’t be perfectly clean all the time but neither can anyone else’s house.

I hope you have enjoyed these tips for simplifying cleaning. As I said before, I am still working to simplify cleaning at my own home, so if you have any tips for me, I’d welcome them πŸ™‚ Have a wonderful day!