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What Is A Family Command Center?
A family command center is essential to help keep busy families’ schedules, paperwork and communication organized. Each family’s command center layout is personalized based on the needs of each family and the space available. The elements of family command centers may include a family calendar, a whiteboard/bulletin board, mail sorter or some type of paper organization system. I’m sharing my family command center as well as four others so you can see how each approach differs and so you can get inspiration for your own family command center.
family Command Center Layout
Planning is so important so you know what your family needs in the command center and finding (or making) the products to fit your space. Do you need space for a family calendar, meal plan, to-do list, whiteboard, etc.? Most command centers also include a decorative item or two to make the space look nice, although this is not necessary, especially if you are tight on space. The important thing is not just making a family command center but having systems in place so you actually use it and benefit from it.
My family command center includes a family calendar, bulletin board, an art display with clip, two file folder organizers and framed name photography.
Calendar to Share with Family
My weekly calendar has a color-coded row for each family member. The calendar is probably simple to make but I elected to have MangoLaneDesigns inexpensively make a personalized printable for me (they also offer a custom family calendar on a dry erase board). I inserted it into a picture frame and use a dry erase marker to write out the schedule for the week. I keep our full family calendar on Google calendar. My husband has access to the Google calendar and I add my oldest son to the invites that are relevant to him. The calendar in my family command center allows everyone in the family to see what everyone else has going on for the week. Even my younger son, who can’t read yet, likes to point to different items on the family calendar and ask what is going on that day. It’s also helped me get into the habit of looking at the schedule for the week every Sunday.
Even though I try to minimize the amount of paper that comes into our home, there still is quite a bit of paper to organize. The previous owner of our house left these file folder racks and I kept them because they offer a lot of space to organize paper. (You can find a similar wall mounted fill holder on Amazon and I’ve seen similar ones at Home Goods). I only use it for temporary paper storage. I keep coupons, receipts (select ones, temporarily), bills to pay, action items, weekly menu with the recipes needed for the week, box tops and a folder for each kid and my husband. The folders for each child contains any important papers for the school year and sports. So it may contain a paper with the login info for the math program they use at school or a copy of a form I filled out for soccer.
I could hide these papers away in a file cabinet in the home office but they are papers that I need the visual reminder or I need to have them on hand quickly. I have a schedule to go through the folders to take action or clear out what is no longer needed. For example, I go through the kid’s folders at the end of the year and bills weekly.
Art Display and Bulletin Board
I absolutely love quotes and I love to print and display quotes that are relevant at the time. The art display with a clip has storage space behind it so I can keep a lot of quotes on hand and switch them out as needed. I also use it to display kid’s artwork on occasion.
Another popular way to display inspirational quotes is with a letter board.
The bulletin board is used for invites, tickets, special coupons, etc. Basically, I use it for anything I want to keep visible so I don’t forget about it and can easily locate it.
I took an old bulletin board and covered it with outdoor fabric and furniture nails to dress it up. If you’re not up for a DIY project, you can find a nice memo board on Amazon.
Other Home Command Center Ideas
As I mentioned earlier, family command centers need to be personalized because not all families have the same needs or space. I found four other fantastic command centers to show you more possibilities and inspiration for your own family command center.
Family Command Center Wall
The Keele Deal has a beautiful command center wall. I love that the mail sorter also has hooks for keys. Using basic clipboards to display artwork is a great idea that will also help keep the cost of the command center down. Check out the full details of their family command center wall.
Family Wall Organizer System
The fun command center by Aubrie at Splendry features bright colors, a chore chart, a color-coded calendar and magnetic dry erase boards. I love products that have a dual purpose so my favorite item is the magnetic dry erase board – write a message or hang some artwork. I also love that there are a pen holder and a magnet on the dry eraser. The interactive chore chart is pretty cool, too.
DIY Family Command Center on Fridge
I’m normally not a fan of a bunch of stuff hanging on the front of the fridge but Chelsea at Making Manzanita shows how to create a stylish and organized fridge command center. This is a great option when your low on space or need maximum visibility (have you ever counted how many times you get into your fridge each day?). It’s definitely a DIY option but she shows you step-by-step how to recreate it in your own home.
Simple Family Message Center
Jacquie at Seeking Simple Life has an aptly named simple communication center. This is a great option for families that keep most of their stuff digitally or if you have a small space to work with. Her family message center includes a whiteboard, a small mail center and a chalkboard for the weekly meal plan.
Family command centers are all unique based on the needs of each family and the space available. A little bit of planning can help you create a beautiful place to keep your family organized.
Family Command Center Product Resources
Finding just the right products for your family command center can be hard. I put together a list of gorgeous resources to make putting your command center a breeze.
File Organizers/Mail Sorter
Desk File Organizer (for mobile command center)
Dry Erase Boards
Canvas Bulletin Board – made with self-healing technology that limits wear and tear when pricked. Comes in lots of colors and patterns.
All in One Message Center
Legacy Message Center with chalkboard, corkboard, hooks and more!
Decorative Items for Your Family Command Center
Art Display with Clip – great for kids artwork, printed quotes or even blank paper to write notes
Letter Board – perfect for quotes or fun messages
Metal Monogram Letter with name and date established
String Art Name Sign – gorgeous in person!
Push Pin Travel Map – While my map isn’t part of my command center, I could easily see it incorporated into a command center if you have a large enough space. I get compliments on mine all the time. It’s a unique way to track where each family member has traveled or to plan out future destinations.