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How To Establish A Command Center

It can be hard enough to keep track of your own schedule and belongings, much less those of everyone else in your family. If you’re having trouble with both mental and physical clutter, you might want to consider setting up a family command center.

The following family command center ideas can help you reclaim precious real estate — on your floors and in your mind.

Where Should You Put Your Family Command Center?

The first thing you’ll need to do is determine where to set up your calendar, family organization board and any other materials you will need. The best location for a command center is somewhere that members of your household gather regularly or an area that everyone passes through. Because of this, kitchen command centers and mudroom command centers are very common.

What Should You Put in Your Family Command Center?

Once you’ve decided where your family command center will be, you can figure out what items you’ll place in the area. The organization techniques and tools you use will be determined by the needs of your family.

Below, you’ll find several family command center ideas. It’s tempting to use them all, but keep in mind that the purpose of your command center is to reduce clutter. Remembering this will help you avoid the temptation of overstuffing the area.
  • A clock
  • A family calendar or schedule
  • Key rings
  • A chalkboard or dry erase board for leaving notes and reminders
  • Hanging wall files for mail, bills or important paperwork
  • Wall files to hold kids’ permission slips, workbooks or homework assignments
  • Clipboards or a magnetized area where kids can show off artwork, good test grades and school photos (limit this to one item per kid to avoid clutter)
  • Shoe rack or bins
  • Hooks for coats, scarves or backpacks
  • A chore checklist
  • A binder filled with coupons
  • A list of the dinners for the week so whoever is cooking can take a glance and know what ingredients are needed and how much time should be budgeted
  • The school lunch menu so kids can pack a lunch if they see Brussels sprouts or liver coming up
  • Wall files that hold a goal-oriented bullet journal for each member of the family

Family Calendar Ideas

In many family command centers, the calendar or schedule will be one of the most important components. Here are some ideas to help you figure out how to set up your household’s calendar.
  • Try color coding: Hang a chalkboard calendar and assign each member of the family a different colored chalk marker. Use the individual colors so that you can see who is doing what when. Don’t forget to select one color to represent the entire family for events you’ll attend together.
  • Paint the wall: Have a large family and a lot of events to keep track of? Consider painting an oversized fill-in calendar on the wall using chalkboard paint or whiteboard paint. That way, you don’t have to worry about finding a physical calendar that can fit the agendas of everyone in the house. Additionally, you won’t cramp your hand trying to write small enough to squeeze everything in one tiny square. Bonus: Any extra painted space can be used as a family organizer board where you can write notes and reminders to one another.
  • Look forward: Why settle for a calendar that’s only good for one month? Empty your mind of three full months of the year by drawing three calendar pages on a chalkboard or simply disassembling a paper calendar. When you look up at your board, you’ll be able to know at a glance what the next quarter of the year has in store for you.

Add a Personal Touch

Don’t forget to personalize your family command center so that it’s warm and inviting. You can use a patterned wall decal to set the area apart from the rest of the room or even paint the space in a different color. Make family the primary focus by finding a wooden cutout of your last initial or stenciling your last name or a family-related quote on the wall.

Your family isn’t a business, but instilling a little order can leave you with more time and energy to actually hang out and enjoy one another. Looking for other ways to spare some hours so you can do the things you really love? Contact your local Merry Maids for some housekeeping backup.