Need a way to get everything you do organized? Planners are great (for the person using them). But what happens when the rest of the family is not as organized as yourself?
You become the go-to person for the day’s tasks, errands, chores, etc. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a way to get your whole family organized and on the same page? This is when you may need a command center.
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Who Needs a Command Center?
If you have been on Pinterest, you will see hundreds of beautifully organized command centers. However, not everyone needs one.
As an organizer, I love the idea of getting the whole family on the same page. But creating a command center means taking up valuable space on a wall in your home.
So who needs a command center? If you fall into one of the following categories, then you may need a command center. Do you:
- deal with lots of paperwork on a daily basis and you can’t seem to get it organized. Examples: school papers (permission slips, homework, school notices), bills, receipts, mail, and more?
- have a large household?
- have a schedule filled with lots of errands on a daily/weekly basis: doctor’s appointments, shopping, after-school activities, meetings, etc?
- Are you the only person that takes care of all of the above and no one in your home does anything without being told (very common)?
If you don’t fit in any of these categories but need something in place, scroll to the bottom of the post for a budget-friendly and space-saving suggestion that can help.
Placement of Your Command Center
If you have decided that you need a family command center, the first thing you want to think about is its placement. Some places to consider are:
Just remember to also think about how much space you will need as you choose your spot. This would be a good time to take measurements. If you prefer, try our free project planner <– to help you plan out your command center.
Next, you will want to make a list of those things you need to be organized and/or scheduled. These are the reasons you felt influenced your decision to create a command center. Below are some suggestions:
- scheduling needs: errands, appointments, and other activities
- chore chart/to do list
- paper sorting: school papers, mail, bills
- prep-and-go station: school bags, lunch bags, keys
- menu/shopping list
If you are a great planner and schedule your activities carefully, then you may only need a simple paper calendar.
However, if you find yourself always rescheduling activities especially if you have a large family, then a whiteboard or chalkboard may be more helpful.
This will make it easier for people to find the information they need instead of trying to decipher items that do not appear crossed out or follow arrows that jump from day today. It will also look prettier than a bunch of scratched-out lines.
If a board is too large for your space or not within your budget, use post-it notes that you can easily move around and reuse on a regular paper calendar.
If you do decide to purchase a board, consider one that is magnetic or has a corkboard attached. These are great if you are unable to add a paper catch-all (see below).
For some, this may not be necessary but for others, it is a must. Consider adding a clock if you find yourself running lots of errands and attending appointments frequently.
- dry-erase markers
- magnets/magnetic clips (to hold papers)
The following are what I actually consider extras. For some families, they may be considered a must and for others, it is a nice touch to their command centers.
- chore chart
- shopping list
- family binder
- family rules
- narrow table (the kind you find in entryways or hallways)
- stickers to mark calendar holidays, birthdays, and other special days
- Color-coded stickers to sort responsibilities by for each family member (mom is red, dad is blue, etc)
- different colored stickers to sort categories like appointments, chores, etc. (orange is doctor’s appointments, green is for after-school activities, etc.)
Use a narrow table to hold library books to be returned, bookbags, and bins. Under, you can place shoes or umbrellas as part of your prep-and-go station.
If you are going to add a number of these extras, make sure to label everything so everybody can find what they need.
Add Some Personality
You can also add some small personal decor to make your command center look nice and friendly as well as motivational and inspirational. Below are a few suggestions:
- family motto
- Bible verse
- inspirational quote
- family name initial (you can find in most craft stores, or you can get crafty and make your own)
- family photo
Ideas to Try
Using Second-Hand Picture Frames
Instead of buying a whiteboard or chalkboard, pick up a large picture frame (with glass) from a thrift store.
Disassemble the parts and do a little DIY by cleaning and painting the frame. Remove the picture (if any) and clean the glass.
Next, use decorative contact paper and stick it to the backboard of the frame. You can also use scrapbooking and even decorative wrapping paper.
Just make sure to use a light-colored and non-busy pattern. Reassemble the glass and frame so that the decorative paper is shown through the glass.
Using a Sharpie, create a calendar grid. Then, use dry erase pens to fill in dates and notes throughout the month. This same technique can be applied to smaller frames for menus, notes, to-do lists, or chores.
Plastic clipboards are great if you want to assign tasks to certain members of the family. Not only can they hold papers for that one individual but you can also use dry erase markers to create a chore or task list right on the clipboard itself instead of using paper. Use a sharpie to make checkboxes.
If you’d prefer to use magnets, purchase some magnetic paint and apply it to parts of your wall. To get it to work well, you may need to apply a few layers.
Add hooks to hold items like keys or a leash but also bookbags, lunch bags, and even jackets as part of a prep-and-go station. This is very handy especially if your command center is part of your entryway.
Install in/outboxes or bins for incoming and outgoing mail.
You can even add a bench so one can sit and put on their shoes before heading out the door. Try placing a basket under the bench for things like books that need to be returned to the library.
If you do not have the space for a command center but need a way to organize your family and activities, no problem. Try creating a home management binder that can hold everything you need and is accessible to everyone in the family.
If you have never made one before, you can read and download a free copy of my home management printables to help get you started by clicking here.
Like a planner, you can add a calendar but also pages specifically for each member of the family. You can divide it into different categories like a section for chores or the weekly/monthly menu.
Try adding some empty page protectors where you can store papers like permission slips or sort mail for family members.
You can also place checklist templates in page protectors and use dry erase pens to add tasks or check them off. This way you can reuse the same template over and over.
Let’s Get Organized
If you are ready, let’s get started on creating your command center and get your family organized.
Need help with scheduling chores? Click here to read how you can create a chore schedule for you and your family.
Know someone who’s looking to create a command center for their household? Use the share buttons above and below this post to help them out.
Have a suggestion for a command center I missed? Leave a comment below and I’ll add it to this post.
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