What is a Family Command Center and How do you Make One?

 Have you ever heard of a family command center? Personally, I hadn’t heard of them until just a few years ago.  They also go by the name of a “family wall organizer system.”  Whatever the name,  this year we finally implemented one and it’s life changing.  I’m going to share with you how to make a DIY family command center.

family command center

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A family command center is a location in your house where you can keep important information such as schedules, meal plans, homework, calendars, and more.  You can tailor this to suit your family’s needs so it may have all of the above or it may look very different.

Our kids are getting older, and with two teenagers and a pre-teen I felt like I could no longer keep track of their schedules and responsibilities.  Their social lives have steadily been growing, and I didn’t know if I was coming or going anymore to bring them to all their activities!  I decided it was time for a family command center so we could keep all the information in one location.

A command center can help manage the chaos that life brings when you are raising kids.  Communication can be difficult as the children get older because you most likely don’t spend as much time together with schedules getting busier.  It’s easy to get frustrated that you weren’t told of an activity or event, or that your children didn’t follow through on a chore because they weren’t sure what they were supposed to do that day.

That’s where a command center can help.  If the family knows where all the important information is, and it’s all in one place, there will likely be less confusion and fewer misunderstandings about what is going on.

I’ll let you in on a little secret – I’m not very organized most of the time.  I lose papers, and schedules, and important information constantly.  A command center has been a game changer for me.  All the information I need to keep track of is in one easy location.

HOW TO MAKE A DIY FAMILY COMMAND CENTER

Pick a location in your house. 

You want it to be somewhere that is not tucked in the corner.  That way you will have that visual reminder of important information you need to keep track of.  Our command center is in our front hallway near the front door. 

It’s close to my kitchen which is where I spend the majority of my time as a mom, so it’s very easy for me to walk over to our command center to look at any information I may need.  The kitchen is a pretty central place for most families and so if you have a corner in your kitchen or close to it, that may be the best place to put it.

Some people prefer to not use a wall, but will have things laid out on a table.  You can do that has well.  Whatever is the most user-friendly for your family works.

If you really are against the idea of having your command center out in the open, for anyone to see, you can do what is called a “hidden command center.”  This might be on the inside of a closet or pantry door.  This will reduce the clutter that is visible to anyone coming into your home.

Decide what you want included in your command center.

This will vary from person to person.  For our family, we use the following command center organization ideas in ours:

  • A white board for messages
  • Chore chart
  • Weekly meal plan
  • Schedules (church volunteer dates, youth group activities, swimming lesson times, and more)
  • Monthly Calendar
  • Key rack

Some other things you might want to consider adding may be plastic folders that hold homework, a pencil holder, a phone message pad.

Print out any templates you may need.

I print out my meal plan templates and my monthly calendar and change it out when I need to.

Keep it up to date.

A command center only works if you continually update it.  Make sure new schedules go on the wall.  Keep track of chores in the chore chart.  Have the kids put their nightly homework in the folders.  If it doesn’t get used the command center won’t keep you more organized.

IF YOU WANT YOUR COMMAND CENTER TO BE PRETTY, IT CAN BE

Look, I’m going to be straight up honest here – my command center probably doesn’t rank as the prettiest.  I literally just taped some papers to my wall.  But it doesn’t really bother me.  I don’t mind how it looks, and I’m just not too concerned that other people see papers taped to my wall when they walk in my house.

However, I’m still a girl so I still like pretty things, and I get that some people want their command center to look nice.  There are ways you can do that.

Instead of printing out the papers of the command center and taping them to the wall like I did, put them in some gorgeous picture frames that have a glass panel.  Use a white board marker to write the information on them.  This also allows you to use the same copy over and over and over again.

For homework, use some pretty wall hanging folders to hold it, like these ones.

 

 

Print out your printables in color, and choose printables that have a color option like these ones.

Add a chalkboard if you like the chalkboard look instead of a white board look.  This adorable menu chalkboard would make a command center pretty!  It even has a spot to make a grocery list.

 

Add some decor, like a little hanging plant, or a wreath, a family photo, or an encouraging quote in cursive.

There are plenty of ideas to spruce up your family command center.  If you love making every corner of your house look cute, add some personal flair to your command center corner as well.  You can make a modern family command center, or you can make it look more rustic.  Be creative and have fun with this!

WHY ADD A MEAL PLAN TO A COMMAND CENTER?

Aside from the fact that meal planning is just a good practice to get into because not only will it save you money, it will reduce stress because you’ll know exactly what you are cooking every night, my favorite reason to have a meal plan in my command center is to avoid my children asking me 5673 times what’s for dinner that night.

You don’t need to plan all your meals if you don’t want to.  You can just plan dinners if that’s easiest.  Or, if you prefer to plan everything, you can plan breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even snacks for the week.

WHY HAVE A WHITE BOARD IN YOUR COMMAND CENTER?

A white board or a chalk board can be used for multiple things in a command center.  I like to use our white board for any messages we may have for another family member, or if someone calls or comes to the door while I am away my kids can write it on the board.

But, as you see by my board, it’s also a fun place for the kids.  They like to draw pictures and doodle.

We also write phone numbers on there that the kids might need in case of an emergency.

MAKE CHANGES TO YOUR COMMAND CENTER AS YOU GO

When you first create a command center you might not know exactly what to put in it and what to leave out.  Just try different things and as you go you can change out the things that aren’t working for you.  You can always add new information to your command center that you may find helpful to keep track of in one location.

Your kids and your husband may ask you to add something to the command center to help them keep track of something important to them.  Basically, give yourself some space and time to tweak your new home organization system.

A HOME COMMAND CENTER CAN REDUCE STRESS

Why should you make a DIY command center in your house?  Because, creating a home command center can reduce stress.  It can calm the chaos.

It can help everyone in your home get on the same page.  Kids will know where to look when they aren’t sure what chore they are supposed to do that day.  Husbands will know where to find the daily schedule when he isn’t sure what’s on the agenda for that night.  Moms will know where to find their kids’ homework each day.

A command center can reduce the amount of times you butt heads with your children due to frustrations and misunderstandings that can be avoided with a family command center.

A command center is definitely worth the effort.  I encourage you to find a corner in your house and try it out for a little while to see if it helps you stay more organized.

 

 

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