Something handy to have in the home is a family command center. This is a station that collects items that are often scattered in a disheveled manner throughout the house, such as mail or paperwork. It is also a place where family members can go for quick information, such as when and where the next soccer ball practice is or what’s for dinner.
The layout and elements of a command center will vary from family to family. And it will often change as the seasons of life come and go.
The command center’s location also varies. Some will dedicate an entire wall. Some will use the side of the refrigerator and use all magnetic organizers. Others will have it hidden inside a pantry or cabinet door. It depends largely on the space you have to work with, your personal preferences, and what works best.
In today’s post, I’m going to list some elements of a useful command center. If you are looking to create one of your own, these are to help spark inspiration. Pick and choose the elements you would find most useful for your family and proceed from there.
- Calendar. Whether it be a simple page calendar like you might get for free in the mail, a large desk-size calendar, or a dry erase one, a calendar is one of the most useful and often most important elements of a command center. Record where everyone in the family will be and when. You can even buy color coded stickers or washi tape to indicate which family member an event involves or to indicate categories of events (sports, holidays, etc.).
- Mail slots. Since incoming mail often becomes a huge paper mess, mail slots serve as great correspondence corrals. You could have several mail slots separated into categories like “To File” or “Action” (for those items needing attention) and/or you could designate one mail slot to each family member. Another method is to have several file-sized slots with files separating them into categories and/or designating certain family members.
- Menu plan. Whether a chalkboard or a dry erase board, a menu plan board comes in very handy. It helps keep you on track about what you’re making for the meals that day (so you know what meat to thaw, when to start prepping, or what groceries to add to the shopping list). It also prevents the nagging “What’s for dinner?” inquisition when the hubby and kids get home.
- Memo board. Keep track of to-do lists, important school papers, notes, and more on a memo board. The memo board can be a bulletin board, a bulletin board strip, a chalkboard, or just a section of wall with a frame to place sticky notes.
- Writing utensil organizer with writing utensils. Keeping writing utensils handy make the command center easier to use. If you have a chalkboard menu plan, keep some chalk nearby. If there’s a calendar, have a pen or pencil.
- Hooks or pegs. Hooks and pegs come in handy for many things. In our home, they contain keys and work gloves. In other homes, they are used to hang backpacks, handbags, jackets, and more.
- A tray or box for pocket contents. A tray or box can come in handy for temporarily storing things such as wallets or cell phones.
- A charging station. Fancy or simple, a charging station is helpful for storing your mobile devices as well as charging them.
- Small papers organizer. A small paper organizer is helpful for storing receipts and coupons.
- Decorations. Your family monogram, vinyl inspirational quotes, pictures, paint, and more can make your command center stand out and look awesome. And, yes, it’s necessary to keep it looking nice because people tend to use something more eagerly if it looks good.
- Shoes. Some command centers have a place for shoes. Cubbies, a shelf, or a mat serve well for this purpose.
- Fabric drawers. Fabric drawers can be useful for corralling things like baseball mitts, gloves, and hats. You could have one drawer per family member or have a couple that are divided according to category.
Be sure to return next Monday as I reveal Check out this post to see our DIY ultimate command center–complete with directions to create your own. It’s spiffy and I’m most excited to show it off to you!