Command Center Guide.
A command center is a system used for organizing all of the paper that comes into your home each day. School papers, invitations, coupons, bills and more – eliminate paper clutter by setting up a command center in your home.
The command center that I use in my home is something similar to what I found on Pinterest:
I was looking for something to manage clutter on my kitchen counter, and I was inspired by this idea. I switched it up a bit to make it into my own filing system.
What you need to create a command center
- Accordion file folder (keep it mind the size that you purchase – you don’t want it to be so big that it gets in the way, but you also don’t want something that is so small that you never see it)
- Folders (optional)
- Sheet protectors for your budget spreadsheet & washable markers to write with
I have 9 tabs in the folder in my command center:
- Christina – My personal mail to file away.
- Mark – My husband’s personal mail to file away.
- Mason – My son’s tab includes crafts and development spreadsheets that need to be filed away.
- New mail – When I don’t have time to sort through mail one day, I place it in this slot.
- Bills to be paid – I put my bills here when they come in the mail, and refer to my budget to determine when they need to be paid. I mark that date on my calendar.
- Bills to be filed – Once bills are paid, I transfer them here to file away in my office.
- Coupons – I put coupons in this slot when I get them, and every Sunday I clip my coupons and place them in my coupon binder.
- Invitations – Wedding, birthday, and shower invitations go in this slot.
- Budget – I do a weekly budget and place each sheet in a sheet protector with a washable marker to write on as needed.
Once you have created your command center, refer to it at least once per week and file away all paid bills, clipped coupons, check your budget, and sort through your new mail.
Options for filing your paid bills
More and more people are going the paperless route because it cuts down on paper clutter and it’s better for the environment.
You can request paperless bills from many companies and they will email you your bill every month. (If you’re notorious for not checking your email, this may not be the best option for you.)
If you’re trying to cut down on paper clutter, you can simply scan your paid bills and keep them in a file on your computer and shred those paper bills. If you or your partner runs a small business, this is a great tool to use to cut down on paper clutter.
Paper Bill Filing
This is how I personally file my bills. I use two file folders; one for business and one for personal & home. I purchased two of these from Walmart for about $10. These have 19 slots in each, so they are pretty large in size and can hold a lot.
I like that they don’t take up too much space in my office and I can easily store them away on a book shelf, in a filing cabinet, or in a closet.
Tips for naming your bills
Make sure you have a name for every bill. I know some people (i.e. my husband) will look for a tab and if it’s not there, will file it away under another tab – causing some major confusion later on. It’s a better idea to just make a new tab.
Be specific. If you have a simple receipt folder for all of your receipts, you will likely find that it fills up fast. Instead of being overwhelmed by receipts, separate your receipt storage. For example: kids receipts, car receipts, clothing receipts, grocery receipts.
File by year. Most government records need to be kept for 7 years. That’s a lot of paperwork. Removing your paperwork from your organizing system every year will be a huge help in freeing up some space.
I would suggest setting aside about one hour per week to look over the items in your command center. When looking everything over, you can update your calendar for the week, look over your budget, organize and file your bills and make sure you RSVP’d to events you were invited to.
Do you have a command center in your home?