1THRIVEr of the Month: Cheznee Hits a Home Run with The Casey
With a house full of boys, Cheznee has a lot on her plate. We love her for sharing her experience and how she makes it all work. In this 1THRVEr feature, Cheznee talks about:
- Making a designated place for important paperwork – that is not your countertop
- Hanging your command center in a central location
- Jotting down reminders as you go
- Getting the family involved with setup and décor
- Brainstorming fun plans for the future
A house full of boys equals a whole lot of craziness
With a husband and four sons, Cheznee is not only a stay-at-home mom but a de facto family team manager, too. Between her husband, Jared, and boys (ages 9, 6, 2, and 4 months old), saying she has her hands full when it comes to scheduling and organization would be an understatement.
And can you even imagine the noise and testosterone in that house? Even trying to maintain control is worthy of a medal of honor – or bottomless mimosas. Why not both?
Anyway, Cheznee is fully aware that she has a lot going on and was (mostly) managing it with a patchwork solution. That solution involved a whiteboard calendar for the important stuff and piles of random paperwork on the kitchen countertop for the minor stuff.
So, a friend’s baptism? Yes! That would make it on the calendar, and she’d show up with kids dressed and gift in hand. Remembering to send an item into school for a holiday-related event? Eh. 50/50 chance of it being remembered and retrieved from the pile of papers.
With cluttered countertops and a brain full of information about football games, basketball practices, birthday parties, field trips, lunch money due dates, BookIt assignments, and more, she did the mental math on only having 50% of her crew currently in school. She realized she needed a new plan unless she was willing to sacrifice all her counter space and most of her sanity in the upcoming years.
Enter a new way of organizing – cue the music!
And that’s how the 1THRIVE Center made an appearance in her life.
You know how in movies when the clouds part and a shaft of sunlight streams down, and you hear the angels sing? Its arrival was a lot like that. Kind of. That’s how we picture it anyway. Look, let us have this. You don’t know that there was no chorus of hallelujahs.
“When I opened it all up, I was like oh my gosh, this is like Christmas – because it’s beautiful,” she said. (As a quick aside: how adorably adult is it that the mom version of Christmas involves the hope of a more organized life? We love that. Imagine telling your 8-year-old self that one day you were going to get a family command center and absolutely flip your lid with joy?)
“It’s a beautiful piece, and I was excited to use it in my kitchen where we live day in and day out. Anything else I had considered looked too office-y or industrial. So, I opened it up, went through all the parts, decided which I was going to use, and it fits really well with our style.”
Cheznee recognized the importance of getting everyone on board early on, so she involved her kids with the setup process.
“I just had the kids help me play with different configurations, like what should we put here, what can go there so that they could feel like part of it. So far, we use it every single day. We love it. The boys like it because they can add their arts and crafts from school on it. They always ask, ‘Can I put this up there?’”
One of the fun parts for us in doing these 1THRIVEr of the Month interviews is seeing everyone’s personalities on display. Cheznee’s family command center has school pictures, team photos, and scribbles and doodles attached, along with the necessary information that keeps their lives on track.
It’s like a high-end piece of décor that’s been family-fied. (That’s a word now.) Like seeing Chrissy Teigen in mismatched pajamas with a small coffee stain and a messy ponytail – elegant but refreshingly relatable.
The easily movable components allowed her to set the whole family up for success. They keep the envelope holder out of the 2-year-old’s reach – and use it for stuff they couldn’t bear to lose, like football tickets to a big game. The boys’ chore list is down low for maximum visibility for the less vertically inclined members of the family.
The best part of Cheznee’s 1THRIVE Center transformation? Clean countertops. They use a file folder component to store mail and incoming paperwork, which forces her to go through the stack periodically and eliminates forgotten dates and lost documents.
She uses the metal cups for pens, pencils, and 1THRIVE’s liquid chalk markers so that she can just jot down reminders on the go as she passes. She no longer has to stop and search a nearby junk drawer for something to write with.
Forward-thinking at its best
As her boys get older, Cheznee looks forward to getting separate command centers so that they each have one in their room for goal-setting, scheduling, and to-do lists. She also has a section of her family command center reserved for date night ideas – it’s currently blank. She laughed when she pointed that out; that tired, semi-crazed laugh that all moms recognize. We get it, girl. That’s mom life when you have little kids.
But everything changes. One day you’re finally able to clean off your countertops. Before you know it, you’re getting a sitter and doing something more exotic than a dinner out with your husband. At least she’s made space for it.
The baby cried, Cheznee laughed, and our interview came to an end because that’s how families work in real life. We’re happy our 1THRIVE Centers are such an important part of so many family’s lives. Don’t get hung up on perfection; hang up a command center and get started on progress instead.
1THRIVE creates beautiful, customizable command centers with interchangeable components that support your efforts to live a more organized life. Find your ideal 1THRIVE Center here and follow us on Facebook for more advice on living your best life.