Getting a family organized requires more than a few well-chosen New Year’s resolutions. Increasingly, homeowners are carving out a physical space — anything from a single kitchen cabinet to an entire spare room — that can function as a family information center and workstation.
In an effort to battle clutter and keep track of schedules, designer Brian Patrick Flynn helps clients kick the habit of spreading out items around their homes.
“These days, it’s pretty much a given that families use their kitchen islands, dining tables and/or coffee tables as prime real estate for laptops, school papers, iPhones and mail,” says Flynn, founder and editor of decordemon.com.
“When I’m designing entire homes, especially ones for young families, the first thing I focus on is locating a seldom-used corner, section or nook somewhere easily accessible to create a creative and organizational hub. This usually follows my tirade of, ‘No more using the dining table or breakfast nook as a clutter station!’”
Here, Flynn and two other interior designers offer tips on creating the perfect family headquarters to wrangle homework assignments, invitations, permission slips, calendars and more.
WHAT DO YOU NEED?
The key pieces are:
A calendar (paper, digital or both) that the whole family can access.
Accessible storage space for incoming mail, invitations and permission slips where things won’t get forgotten
A message board (dry-erase white boards and/or corkboards are popular) where family members can post and share information.
A labeled bin or section of corkboard space assigned to each family member.
A power strip for charging electronic devices, with shelf or desk space to keep those items while charging.
Ideally, the space will also include a work surface where kids can do homework and parents can handle tasks like filling out permission slips. Many families also include a laptop or desktop computer for homework or checking e-mail. If you have a computer handy, you’re more likely to enter information digitally and eliminate paper clutter.