Take Control of Your Life with a Command Central Binder

KBB_colorful_calendar_even_closelierHonest-to-goodness, one of the best organizing strategies that I have used in my life has been the implementation of what’s commonly known among the organizing bloggers as the “Command Central Binder”. It has become one of the most important tools in my workflow system and if I didn’t swear by it, I wouldn’t be sharing mine with y’all today.

I have to give credit where credit is due: this is not an original idea. The idea of a Command Central binder was first introduced to me when I started receiving the Simplify 101 newsletter. (I don’t know anyone who works there I swear! I just troll the Internet for organizing resources because I have a serious addiction to that kind of thing.)

The reason why the Command Central binder is so useful that it is a collection tool designed to allow you more control over the various aspects of your life by keeping all information relevant to you stored in one convenient place. At first I struggled with the idea of creating one because it seemed to be geared towards the busy mother looking to manage multiple schedules, papers, records, tasks and other important information in a place that was at her fingertips. And it is that. But it’s also so much more.

I took the concept one step further and realized I could take the basic principles behind the Command Central binder and adopt them to my own workflow needs. I have a section for all of my to-do lists involving some of the personal and professional projects that I’m working on right now and another section that contains my monthly budget and all of my financial worksheets. The sections don’t have to be strictly utilitarian, either. There’s a section in mine that’s simply for all of books I want to read (the ones that aren’t already logged on my Goodreads profile) and yet another section that tracks future projects and wish lists that I’ve appropriately labeled “Wishin’ and Hopin’”

The key to a making a Command Central binder that works for you is to personalize it as much as you possibly can. It took me of years of tweaking my formula to arrive at the sections that worked for me but because I don’t have children I instead used my Command Central binder as a place to keep track of anything that has to do with my personal and professional well-being and growth. Some of the sections included are the ones I’ve described above; there are a few others as well. I’ll spare you the gory details.

Anything that you need to refer to on a constant basis goes here. Any tools to help your routines, schedules and workflow management belong here as well. Use some of my examples or create your own. Consider including: calendars, school lunch menus, extra-curricular and volunteer schedules, account information and passwords, contacts, chore charts, pantry inventories, budgets, wish lists, to-do lists, membership information, someday/maybe tasks…the list is virtually endless. Once you’ve figured out which pieces of information are most relevant to you, make sure they’re organized in a way that’s easy to use. Refer back to your Command Central binder and revise often to meet your changing needs. I hope you find yours as useful as I’ve found mine.

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Have you adopted a Command Central binder into your organizing system? Comment below and share what worked for you. Or drop me a line at keepingbusyb@gmail.com and I’ll try to include it an upcoming post. Still looking for other ways to get organized? Click here to read more about some of the methods I’ve found useful.

 

 

How Do I Choose the Right Paint Color?

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It’s amazing how something so simple as painting a room can change the feel of a space completely. It’s easy to see how paint can make such an important impact on the place you’re decorating. Unfortunately, we all too often fumble with this important decision. So if you find yourself in the paint aisle going cross-eyed from staring at paint chips for so long, here are a couple of rules I try to follow to make the best decision.

First, the color has to work with the rest of the room. It’s nice to want to pick a color because it’s your favorite or because you grew up with the same color in your living room, but if it doesn’t end up working with your textiles and furniture than it’s better off somewhere else- otherwise you’re going to end up hating it!

Keep in mind though when we’re talking about a paint color “going” with the rest of the room, we don’t mean matching. Making sure that everything is a room was the same color blue would make you feel as if you were living a giant blueberry. So unless your name is James and your last residence was a giant peach, stay away from matching everything.

Here’s the secret to why it’s frustrating: because not all colors are made the same.

This is your mini science lesson for the day: we all know that the human eye sees color based on a light spectrum. And that light spectrum is created when light bounces off of things. Unfortunately, that means depending on what the light is bouncing off of, the color will appear differently to our eyes. Smooth surfaces, textured surfaces, even different types of cloth are very rarely going to appear the exact same shade. Paint is never going to match a cushion, or a rug, or a smudge in a painting exactly.

So how do you incorporate color into a room that’s already filled with colorful stuff? Do what designers do and “pull” a color.

When in doubt, go for a neutral color. It’s hard to go wrong and it’s the safest bet for pulling everything in the room together, especially if you’re still recovering from blueberry syndrome.

Throw those paint chips up on the wall of the room you wish to paint and live with them a little bit. Move the paint chips around the room occasionally and see how the light bounces of of them. How do they look in the morning compared to the evening? In the night? With the lights on? Off?

Last but not least, if wavering between two shades of paint is making you go cross-eyed, go for the lighter one. Paint usually dries slightly on the darker side, and once you’ve painted the room you might find the impact of the darker shade harder to absorb at first.

The good news about choosing a paint color is that it doesn’t have to be that stressful. If you rally can’t stand the shade you picked, paint in again! It’s an effective and cheap way to makeover a room to suit whatever your style and needs dictate.

KBwB-BFlower-50Feeling inspired to make your space feel like your own? Visit my busy page for more ideas on projects that I’ve been working on around the house.