Take Control Of Your Stress With A Command Center

Each U.S. household receives about 850 pieces of unwanted mail per year. This adds up to more than 100 BILLION pieces of mail per year for the US, about 44% of which goes into landfills without even being opened! The damage to the environment, carbon footprint, wasted energy, etc. are considerable. And let’s not forget about the frustration and wasted time – you’ll spend about 8 months of your life dealing with unsolicited mail (PaperKarma).

At the beginning of Stress Awareness Month we talked about how poor time management can add unwanted stress to your life, but another major source of stress can come from the way our space is organized. A stack of unopened mail, a pile of laundry, or the messy dishes left around the house can all cause stress, so can a space that isn’t designed to realistically suit your daily life. Disorganization leads to stress and every time you walk past that pile of clothes on the floor or see those bills on the counter, you’ll be reminded of your chaotic life. Stress can follow you around your own home and often we become numb to it over time.

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Of course we love to help organize space more efficiently! We’ve got a few examples of some awesome command centers that you can easily add to a high traffic area in your home to regain your sanity. This space can be as simple or as complex as you’d like. Here are some examples of sections to put in a simple command center design: mail, keys, stationary, calendar, spare change. Here are some examples of sections to put in a more complex command center design: incoming and outgoing mail, homework, art projects, keys, stationary, calendar, spare change, charging station, hooks for jackets, bags, dog leashes.

Creating a specific “home” for these items can significantly help reduce stress. Your command center can help you and your family have a central location for these things and can save you time and energy trying to find them scattered around the house.


Here are some questions to ask yourself when designing your command center:


  • Where in your house is the best location for a command center?

  • Do you have an area near your main entrance that can be turned into a command center?

  • Do you have a mudroom with space for a command center?


How are you managing your mail currently?

  1. Do you have a place for unopened mail to to be stored until there’s time to go through it?

  2. Is there a need and available space for individual mail bins for each family member?

  3. When you open your mail, do you tend to create another pile of envelopes and papers to be recycled?


Where do you store your keys now when you arrive at home?

  1. Do you often misplace your keys?

  2. How many sets of keys does your family have?


How are you managing your calendar now?

  1. Do you use a wall calendar?

  2. Do you prefer having everything digital?

  3. Do you prefer having a dry-erase or chalkboard calendar that can be updated regularly?

  4. Do you prefer using a weekly or monthly calendar?


Does your family accumulate a lot of homework papers or artwork from school?

  1. How and where do you currently store these papers?

  2. Would you like to save artwork that is brought home regularly?

  3. Do you want to display school, sports, or extra-curricular schedules?


Check out these diagrams to see a few ideas of how to create your own command center. There’s no one-size-fits-all system when it comes to organizing your space. Make sure it meets your needs, helps solve a problem in your space, and is functional and easy to use. You can also check out our Pinterest board dedicated to this specific project to get an idea of how other command centers are designed.

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command center kids.jpg

We suggest not letting your command center turn into an entire office set up. Try keeping just the essentials readily available like a few pens, a small note pad, and some stamps.

  • Keeping the center stream-lined and simple is important. You don’t want to add another complicated organization system to your space that you won’t be able to keep up with over time.

  • If you find yourself creating a mess when you go through your mail, try adding a small recycling bin and shredder near your command center or near the space you sort through your mail. This will allow you to immediately remove the extra papers instead of creating another pile to deal with later.

  • Try using PaperKarma – this app allows you to unsubscribe from magazines with just a few clicks on your smartphone. It’s quick, easy to use, and can really help reduce the amount of mail you receive.

Now it’s your turn to create your own command center! If you need assistance, The Little Details is here to help! We’d love for you to share your designs with us – please feel free to post them to our Facebook page!


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