Family Command Center

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I don’t know about you, but I have A LOT to keep track of. I have three children in school with different classes on different days, after-school activities, and don’t even get me started on fundraisers and theme weeks. Besides being a mom, I’m a small business owner and writer. I have a husband who has a full-time job, for which he sometimes travels, and his own activities. I haven’t even mentioned our three animals, household bills, maintenance and friend and family events. How do I manage it all? My Family Command Center, of course.

A family command center is an important space in every busy household. Find out what they are and why you need one.

**Disclosure: This post contains links. Some are affiliate, some are not. If you make a purchase through them, I may earn a small commission. I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I may or may not receive.**

What is a command center?

A family command center is an assigned space for your family calendar, papers, and important information. For me, it’s my brain outside my body. I literally could not run my house without this space and the information contained within it.

Where should I put a one?

It can be a countertop, a kitchen cabinet, a desk area, or a small section of wall where you keep all.the.things. It doesn’t have to be big or fancy, but it has to be functional. No two commend centers will look the same. Put it where it works for you, where you can check in often and easily find the information you need.

What should it include?

This answer will vary based on the needs of you and your family, but there are some basics that are useful.

1. A Calendar or Planner

Me? I have both. This is where you will write your family’s schedule — all their comings, going, events, and special occasions. I have a big old calendar that is just covered in boxes. It’s functional and exactly what I need. I keep it on my pantry door in my kitchen, visible from the rest of my command station.

A Limelife Planner and notebook, essentials for me, also live in this space. The calendar is for my entire family, while my planner is more for me. I write my plans, lists, and reminders in it. If anyone in my family touches my planner, they’ll have some explaining to do.

2. Paper Storage

Magnetic paper storage keeps the paper mess at bay in this command center.
To save counter space, I use a paper bin that attaches to my fridge.

Now be careful. Sometimes when people create paper storage, they quickly fill it up with ALL THE PAPERS. While this may prevent papers from being on your surfaces, it diminishes the functionality of the system and you will still lose a lot of time searching for the paper you need. Plus, it will look like a mess, get full quickly, and then you’ll still have junk on your surfaces.

Use your paper storage wisely.

Do not use it for:
  • junk mail
  • completed classwork
  • sales flyers you don’t need
  • receipts you don’t won’t use again
  • long-term storage items
Do use your paper storage for:
  • papers you need to refer to again soon
  • invitations
  • receipts you may need for a return
  • sales flyers you will need
  • important mail
  • report cards
  • tests or assignments you need to follow up on

Depending on the size of your family and the size of your command center, you may want a few paper baskets. You could have one for each child. You could have one for coupons, one for bills, and one for outgoing mail. The options are endless and these places are totally customizable, which is why they can be so helpful — just try not to create a complex system you won’t be able to keep up with.

Edit your paper basket frequently to ensure that everything in there is relevant and easy to find. I stick my children’s school papers I plan on keeping (according to my criteria) in mine until I’m ready to file them away more permanently in their memory boxes.

3. A Place for Pens

Make sure pens are in your family command center!

Whether you clip it onto your calendar, have pens in a drawer under your counter, or hang a cup on the wall or side of your fridge, it’s essential to have a pen handy when you’re jotting down notes or writing something on the calendar. In the 30 seconds it takes to look around for a pen, you may forget what you had intended to write. Not that I know this from personal experience ;).

Command Center Extras:

Other items that may be in your command center depending on where it is and what your needs are:

  • A hook (or hooks) for keys
  • A charger or charging station
  • A house phone
  • A clock
  • A planner
  • A checkbook

You could walk into 10 different homes and find 10 different command centers, each working perfectly well to meet the needs of the family they belong to. There is no right or wrong, as long as it works for you.

My Command Center

My command center is on a little chunk of counter top at the edge of the kitchen. Open on the counter, I have my LimeLife Planner that contains our daily, weekly, and monthly plans. I also list our week’s menu in my planner for easy access. Next to/under/on top of my planner is a notebook in which I keep a running to do list each day.

My family command center in my kitchen includes paper storage, a planner, pens, and a phone.

As you can see, this little space is next to my refrigerator. Perfect for a space saving magnetic paper holder. I also grabbed a magnetic pen holder, so I’d always have a pen handy. Also stuck on the fridge is a small notepad where I keep a running list of groceries as we run out of them.

Paper storage and a spot to jot a quick note are also helpful additions to a family command center.

The pineapple air plants just make me happy.

Towards the back of the counter are our house telephone (yes, we still have one of those) and an Alexa Show. The Alexa Show is nice to have in this spot because it connects to our Ring Doorbell, allows us to check the weather, set timers, and play music.

A family command center, complete with a planner, is what I need to keep my family on track.

Right across from this space is my {teeny tiny} pantry. I hang my aforementioned calendar on a command hook on the pantry door and clip a pen on the hook on top of the calendar for easy access and just too high for the pen-stealers that live in my house .

Since this space is in our kitchen and we enter the house through our mudroom, there are no purses or hooks for keys here, those all live in the mudroom.

Do you have a command center? Do you NEED a command center? What do you have in yours that I left out of mine??


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