Attention Adult Imposters: Set Up a 1THRIVE Center and Live Like a Grown-Up
Being disorganized can make you feel inferior like you’re not a “real” adult, just someone who looks grown-up and is semi-successful at faking it. Well, we’ve got good news and bad news – there are very few “real” adults and a whole lot of people who have mastered the masquerade.
The abundance of life’s little details has a way of absorbing not just your time and physical energy, but your mental clarity and confidence as well. Chaos is the mustachioed villain who has tied you to the train tracks, and a failproof organizational system is the hero who comes along and saves you from certain doom.
You don’t have to be continually losing things, forgetting appointments, and thumbing through long-forgotten piles of “to-do” paperwork to recognize the value of embracing an organizational system. Life is busy, and having a family command center that allows you to have everything in one location – calendar, meal plan, paperwork, car keys, reminders – is an effective and visually appealing time-saver.
However, if you are losing things, late to appointments, and piling up paperwork, we feel your pain. Because then life is busy and more difficult, and nobody – and we mean nobody – has time for that. Life offers plenty of challenges without you accidentally becoming your own villain.
A 1THRIVE Center can help you get organized, but there are a few things to consider before you select your system and set it up. You’ll want to:
- Admit your struggle to keeping everything organized
- Find a location for your command center
- Choose a system that fits your needs
- Come up with a strategy for when and how to get organized
- Get the family involved
We’re here to help save you time, money, sanity, and … yourself.
How to get life back on track
A 1THRIVE Center combined with a plan is the solution to accomplishing all the mundane details of adulthood. Science shows that the key to retaining information involves writing information down somewhere you can see it often. Using a command center inspires action, accountability, and eventually, accomplishments. Here’s how to make it work for you:
Step 1: Establish your own Grand Central Station
Okay, on Pinterest, #MomLife involves a lot of clean spaces, coffee mugs, and well-lit rooms with throw pillows on an artfully arranged bed. Do people live like that? Weird.
Have you ever felt like this is your life? Welcome to my foyer – please don’t trip on that pile of backpacks. Let me clear off a space on the kitchen counter so I can pour you a drink; don’t mind that stack of recipes, coupons, and grocery flyers. My home office? Yeah, don’t go in there. There’s some paperwork waiting to be signed that might be sentient now – best to ignore it.
While it takes hard work to be Pinterest-perfect, you can conquer at least some of the chaos. But first, you need to admit there is a problem. A central hub in your home for processing random papers, outlining goals or chores, making a meal plan or shopping list, and sharing your schedules. Sounds heavenly, right?
Sit down and consider which paperwork, deadlines, activities, information, or goals are the most likely to get lost in the shuffle and create a plan to save yourself by dedicating space to these items.
Take it a step further and plan to write down an inspirational quote, or create a vision board of vacation possibilities.
The goal here is to transform this area into an organized and intentional catch-all. This will help you during step three with the selection of your 1Thrive Center.
Step 2: Pick a spot for future progress
Pretend that your 1Thrive Center is an art gallery, and your life is a masterpiece.
Why are you laughing? Seriously. Stop. That wasn’t even one of the funny parts.
Anyway, you’re about to put your life on display to improve it. What’s the best area of your home to accommodate that? Choose a welcoming space where you spend time – if you hate the laundry room and hurry in and out like it’s about to catch on fire any second, that’s not the right space.
Your chosen location should support the intentions of the command center. Would it be the most helpful near the door, where you can hang up the dog’s leash and remind yourself of the day’s activities? In the kitchen, where the family hangs out to ask you what’s for dinner? In the playroom, to keep kids on track with chore charts, activity schedules, and goal-setting?
Think about what you need, where and how you plan to organize, and choose the footprint of your command center accordingly.
Step 3: Choose a system that fits your needs
Let’s be realistic; you can’t just hang something on the wall and expect the magic to happen. We all wish, right? If that was the case, your “Hang in there” kitten wall calendar back in 2001 would have ushered you into the world of organization long ago.
No. You need a system that works with your life.
Think about the areas your family struggles with the most and which tools would help.
- Do your kids have active schedules, including social outings, clubs, sports, and school events?
- Are you staring woefully into the fridge each night to answer the dreaded, “What’s for dinner?” inquiries?
- Are to-do lists and chore charts an ongoing battle?
- Do you need a corkboard for photos and invitations?
- Have you spent entirely too much time searching for your car keys or the dog’s leash this week?
- Did your “papers to be looked at” pile multiply into several? I hear them crying out for a file folder. I really do.
Prioritize your organizational goals and choose a command center configuration that will best suit your needs. Afraid of commitment? Don’t forget that you can move each piece around, and that add-on components are available, so you can truly make the system your own.
Step 4: Plan a set-up strategy
Okay, shopping is the fun part, but this is where the magic happens. The key to successfully integrating a 1THRIVE Center into your life involves actually putting it together and having an actionable plan for using it.
Choose a day of the week for creating and writing down your meal plan. Sit down with the family and make these decisions together to avoid the, “I don’t like that!” chorus at dinner.
Determine a time of day that you’ll go through everyone’s backpacks and schedules to add important information to your calendar – we like Sunday for this. Start throwing away the stuff that doesn’t matter. Trust us, it feels like freedom.
Next, you’ll need to decide which papers need to go into the file or envelope holders and make it a habit to put keys, leashes, or purses on the hook strip the second you walk in the door.
Attaching activities to specific times of the day or days of the week helps create additional accountability – don’t “do it later.” That’s probably how you ended up in this mess in the first place. Scroll through your phone calendar regularly and add birthdays, special occasions, and easily forgettable events. You’ll feel like a Super Adult once you can plan ahead and stop buying cards and gifts on the way to celebrations.
If you need inspiration for setting up your command center, check out our free printables for templates that will help you set up and stick to a routine.
Step 5: Get everyone on board
New habits can be hard to put into action until you get some momentum behind the idea, which is why attaching your actions to specific times is important.
Until it becomes an established part of family life, you may have to redirect everyone’s attention away from you – the former keeper of all household information – and toward the 1THRIVE Center. “What’s for dinner?” They’ll ask (because they always ask. Every day they ask.) “Check the menu board,” you’ll say.
“I need you to sign this,” they’ll say (inevitably at 10 p.m. the night before it’s due, wrinkled from its time spent at the bottom of a backpack). “Okay, I’ll need you to put it in the file folder,” you’ll reply. Yes, it will be slightly inconvenient at first, but trust us, it will work in your favor in the long run.
You can’t do it all alone. Well, technically, you can, but number one: that’s not fair, and number two: that’s not a great way to model collaboration or instill organizational skills in the rest of the family.
Make the 1THRIVE Center a part of everyone’s life. Ask your older children to add their activities or chores to the calendar. Teach younger kids to hang up their permission slips or school flyers. Ask your spouse to slip receipts or important mail into the file folder or to take on menu planning on alternate weeks. Think of your center as “mission control” for your lives.
Personalize your experience and make it fun
Add some love to your 1THRIVE Center with inspirational quotes, funny messages, sweet notes, family photos, funny comic strips, or silly drawings or images.
Help make your family want to look at your new hub of information and encourage them to contribute in a way that’s more appealing than a chore chart.
Shopping, strategizing, and customizing your system allows your inner child to come out to play while supporting your outer adult’s attempts at managing everyday life. Figure out what your family needs and create a plan to make it all happen in a fun and colorful way.
1THRIVE creates beautiful, customizable wall organizers 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.