A family command center can help you keep your sanity throughout the school year. As kids get older, they get busier with school, activities, and friends. And us adults have work, daily family care-giving, and our own hobbies and activities to keep track of.
I don’t know about you, but I really don’t like being late for anything. And few things make me feel like less of an adult than showing up somewhere only to realize that I forgot something I was supposed to bring.
None of us are perfect little robots, but there are things we can do to be better organized and prepared for the stuff life throws at us. And for me, creating a family command center has helped me, as the mom of the household, stay on track.
So What Is A Family Command Center?
A family command center is a combination of a few things. Typically, these will be the practical items and information that help a family function smoothly on a day-to-day basis.
For one, it acts as a family message center. It’s a place where parents can keep each other up-to-date on important dates and events, such as birthdays, parties, appointments, and other happenings.
Another thing a family command center is good for is acting as a designated area to place essential items for leaving the house. For example, school backpacks, briefcases, and things like jackets and shoes can all be placed near the command center. It helps make leaving home for school mornings quicker when no one is searching for their shoes, jacket, backpack, or car keys.
Creating a family command center is also a good way to keep important mail, notes, reminders, and papers that need to be returned to school such as permission slips and report cards all in one place. Instead of being lost somewhere on the counter, in someone’s backpack or in a desk drawer, important papers stay where they can be seen and found easily when needed.
How To Set Up A Family Command Center
Creating a command center for your family doesn’t have to be expensive and you don’t need very much space. For example, for the first command center I made when my daughter started kindergarten, we just used magnets and command hooks on the side of our refrigerator.
It didn’t take up much room at all and it cost almost nothing to set up, but it helped immensely with keeping us organized.
You may not need all of these things, but here are some elements you should consider including in your family’s command center:
- Backpack hooks
- A place to put important papers, such as school lunch menus, schedules, tickets for upcoming events, etc. A bulletin board or a clipboard mounted to the wall work well for this.
- A place to hang jackets if there’s not a coat closet nearby
- A place to stow other outdoor gear such as hats, mittens, and umbrellas, so that they can be easily found when needed.
- Key hooks
- A shelf where items that need to be returned somewhere (such as outgoing mail or library books) and that can also be used as a place to quickly sign permission slips, checks, etc.
- A place to keep a couple pens, postage stamps, and cash at the ready in case they’re urgently needed. For example, if you forget to tip a delivery person, or when kids need to bring cash to school for trips, lunch money, etc on a short notice, it’s good to have some cash right there.
- Having a place to store your own bag/briefcase is good, too.
- A place to charge phones
A few hooks on the wall help keep jackets, bags, backpacks, hats, and scarves within hand. It also helps keep the floor clutter-free.
Having a clock in your command center can help kids learn to tell time. It’ll also keep the guesswork out of it when it comes to leaving on time for school, work, appointments, and activities. If your family struggles with lateness, try setting the command center clock a few minutes ahead.
A large calendar is ideal for a command center because it ensures you’ll have enough space to write down important dates and events.
All-In-One Command Center Solutions
Okay, so maybe you’re the type of person who doesn’t like to waste too much time figuring out simple things like home organization.
I totally feel ya. Our time is valuable, too. So here are some fantastic all-in-one command center options that solve the problem of designing a family command center.