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A “family command center” may sound like a fancy, high-tech, pricey item, but I assure you that it is not. The place where you save your family’s calendar, bills, and other forms of information you need to manage your home is simply known by this fun term.

Schedules, notes, assignments, chores, and more are kept in this convenient location. It’s the ideal answer for maintaining organization in hectic families. As back to school looms, there is no better time to improve the organization in your home by building one.

It’s surprisingly simple to set up and organize a family command center, and it’s the perfect easy DIY project for a night in! In fact, after you’ve got everything set up, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t do it sooner. You’ll know where your “crew” is going and what’s on the schedule. You’ll have access to vital information at all times.

Ready to give this home organization project a shot? Set up a family command center quickly and easily with these strategies to keep your home, family and day to day life organized.

Select a High-Traffic Area

As a family command center, a mud room or small area near the front door works well. But wherever you choose to create it, you’ll need a wall and space to hang your center’s items. If you have a place to hang baskets and stock up on up supplies, your command center will be even better, but if you live in a small space, don’t worry about it.

You’ll need a wall, a basket, and hooks at the very least. Aside from those items, you can make your family command center as complex or as basic as you want. The goal is to keep the hub near a high-traffic area, such as the main (or most often used) doorway or the congregation area.

You might be tempted to tuck your command center away in an office or a spare room. The trouble with this strategy is that things will still wind up thrown next to the door, on the counter, or wherever you (and your family) throw things. So, if you truly want your family command center to be useful, put it in a high-traffic area where you’ll see it all the time and feel motivated to keep it organized.

Don’t worry, there are plenty of adorable, “Pinterest-worthy” family command center ideas available. You won’t wind up with an eyesore in your front door. The key is to keep things organized, and that in itself will make your space look better.

Place a Calendar on the Wall

A calendar is a must-have in any family command center. Choose a calendar that you like, but keep in mind that function should always take precedence over form. You’ll need a calendar with large squares to jot down all of your family members’ plans, activities, and other vital to-dos. You could even make your own calendar and print it out to get the exact size you want.

You don’t have to write down every appointment twice for yourself, save your personal calendar for your own organizer/smartphone app. Only put events on your family command center calendar that affect your family, such as lessons, appointments, or vacations.

If you’re utilizing the calendar for smaller children, there’s no need to plan out the entire year. A simple “week view” is ideal for children. You may want to give them a month-by-month review as they get older, so they can begin to understand and read the calendar. They’ll also be able to independently count down the days until Christmas or spring vacation, which they should find interesting and exciting.

Include birthdays and key dates that everyone should be aware of on the calendar. To commemorate the date of significant occasions, decorate it with stickers or other visual aids. Give each member of the family their own color so that your children (and you) can see everyone’s schedules at a glance.

Include a Message Board.

A communication message board is another excellent family command center tool. A whiteboard, chalkboard, magnet board, or large notepad can be used. The goal is to provide a space where family members can exchange messages and communicate with one another.

Include to-do lists, goals, a motivational saying, or other critical bits of information as needed (e.g., “Don’t forget your lunch!”). Hang the message board low enough for everyone in the family to see and reach it!

Have Hooks for Everything

In your family command center, hang backpacks, bookbags, coats, jackets, and even handbags. Everyone should have their own hook or cubby to hang their belongings on (and find them later).

Hooks for critical objects, such as keys, could also be included. You’ll never have to scramble and hunt in the morning if you always hang them on the hook near the door! Also, if you have a canine kid, keep the dog’s leash and poop bags near the door. In the winter, you may also want to include a few items that you need but typically forget, such as an umbrella, hat, or gloves.

Keep Track of the Time

A clock is essential in every command center. While digital clocks are entertaining, if you have young children in the house, an analogue clock may be preferable. This aids new time-tellers in learning how to read the time and become comfortable with clocks. Look for a clock with a second hand, which is useful for timed jobs.

Clocks that display the time in different time zones can be great in certain family command centers. If you have family serving overseas or if Grandma and Grandpa live far away, this is a fantastic idea. You’ll always know what time it is for your loved ones, and your children will begin to understand the concept of time zones.

Make Use of Baskets

Baskets will also be useful in your family command center. Wire baskets or paper organizers can help you manage your command center by corralling materials and paper.

Make it a rule to open and sort mail as soon as possible. Junk mail should be promptly discarded, designated letters, magazines, and other important mail should be sorted into the receiving family member’s basket, and bills should be prioritized – not forgotten and misplaced. If you’re in a rush, having a “landing spot” in your command center is convenient – but it should only be temporary, or the mail (and other messes) will quickly build up.

Instead, use command center baskets for items that need to be returned to backpacks right away, or accompany your children out the door. If you have any documentation or mail that you need to review or sign, do it right away. In your command center, you might want to set aside an area for envelopes, stamps, pencils, and stationary. This makes it simple to send mail and deal with it as soon as it comes.

Include a Shelf for Supplies

Many efficient family command centers include a shelf where supplies such as scissors, tape, calendar stickers, pens, post-its, and other essential command center materials can be kept. The shelf shouldn’t be used for everything, but it should have a spot for the items you use frequently on your way out the door.

Sunglasses, lip balm, gum, and other “on-the-go” goods all belong in your command center. You could store those goods in your purse, but I find that carrying a wallet and only taking what I need for each trip is a lot lighter and easier way to travel.

Include a Meal Plan and a Shopping List.

Your meal plan can (and should) be included in your family command center. If you or your partner are running late, you’ll know precisely what to throw in the oven or put on the crockpot. Take time to jot down your weekly food plan on a page to clip on your bulletin board as you prepare it (more on meal planning here).

Make a grocery list and pin it to your board. This allows each member of the household to add items to the list as they run out. You’ll save money because you’ll be following one of the most important grocery shopping money saving tips: always shop with a list! Your command center will assist you in saving money by keeping you organized and giving you with all the information you need.

Stay Organized!

You’ll need to keep your family command center organized if you want it to be effective. Allowing paperwork and other stuff to pile up where they shouldn’t be is a bad idea. Add it to your weekly cleaning checklist: gather all the outerwear and extras that have found their way to the command center and organize them quickly.

It simply takes 5-10 minutes per week to set up and arrange your command center. All you have to do is pick it up and scribble down your weekly schedule. If your children have chores or household jobs, make a note of them on the calendar (or include a jobs checklist in the command center). You’re all set for the week now that you’ve updated the information.

With a well-organized family command center you will have complete control over the items on your family’s to-do list. You’ll be able to see where everyone is going and what they need to do.

Your family will feel prepared to leave the house with everything they need—backpack, coat, shoes, and keys. You’ll even have a better understanding of what the day has in store for you and what you need to get done! Your children will gain important organizational skills (as well as an understanding of time and calendars) too.

Try using some of these techniques to maintain your family command center as an orderly, functional, and valuable space for everyone in the house!

Extra Tip

Using clipboards placed with Command hooks or mounting strips (so there’s no damage when you remove it) and command center printables, is one of my favorite ways to handle the family command center organization. This allows you to have an easy-to-update command center that you can update while sitting on the couch watching Netflix on the weekends.

Doing this eliminates the fundamental issue with family command centers: as valuable as they are, standing in front of your wall planning your week isn’t anyone’s idea of fun. It’s far more convenient to simply get the clipboard, change it, and then return it.

Need more help getting your home, family or life organized? The Just Organized by Taya team is on standby and here whenever you need us. Get stated today by booking an appointment here.

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