When you’re trying to declutter your life and don’t know where to start, nothing is more helpful than a home command center. It is a centralized place to keep your family’s calendars and important paperwork, helping you stay organized and keep your family on schedule.
Our command center and mudroom hallway get a lot of traffic and as much as I loved this old door, it has definitely served its purpose and it is time to say goodbye and make some updates! We have a kindergartener this year, so our processes and schedules have changed quite a bit and I have some ideas of how to make things a little easier for my whole family to stay on the same page.
3 Things to Consider When Building Your Family Command Center
All homes (and people) are different, but the kitchen counter tends to be a common dumping ground for so many. Schoolwork, mail, and anything else incoming needs a home! I’ve also heard others say they get the “what’s for dinner tonight” question and would love to have somewhere to post it for everyone to see. A centralized command center is perfect for all of the above!
Our command center’s purpose is to keep everyone in the loop and to keep all family calendars, etc. centralized. I love having a place where everyone can stop and take a look at this week’s menu, school calendars, work calendars, and anything else going on for the month for our family. Along with calendars, we have baskets for school papers and library books to be returned, a wall grid for upcoming events, as well as a clipboard for each of our boys to showcase their favorite artwork.
Wall grids and clipboards lead me right into the importance of added features to your command center. When thinking of your command center and trying to find a centralized space in your home, consider an area that has enough space for added pieces such as hanging file baskets, picture frames, clipboards, wall grids. This is the best part about building the command center and truly making it your own!
Our command center has a large calendar as the focal point, but I wanted to leave space for greenery to add a subtle touch of color and decor, a wall grid to keep extra notes visible, and file baskets to keep school papers organized.
3. Positioning & Space
I have seen command centers in hallways, outside of bedrooms, dining rooms, kitchens, and even laundry rooms. The positioning goes hand-in-hand with functionality and the layout of your home. You'll want to find a great place in your home so that your entire family knows exactly where it's location is, which only helps aid in the success of your command center in the long-run. At your next family dinner, ask your family members where they'd like to see the command center and gather input. It will help them feel included in this fun project, too!
For our family, the hallway is the perfect location because it is the highest traffic area and where we all get ready for the day. Coats, backpacks, purse, keys, and all other necessities for walking out the door are in our mudroom, so this is the absolute best location for everyone to stop and take a look at what is going on.
The most important thing is to do what works for your family and your home! Now that we have started to think about the command center, let’s start building!
How to Set up Your Home Command Center
As I shared above, the location of your command center is the key to its success.
Find Your Location
1. Start by finding a centralized area in your home that would work best for your entire family.
Of course, once I took my old command center down, I had lots of holes to patch and really wanted to brighten up my space so I decided to go with a fresh coat of white paint to give it an extra clean look!
Hang Your Calendar
2. Hang your calendar in a central location, then work around the calendar, adding items as needed.
Make sure your calendar is big enough to write everything your family has to do each month. I had my friends @circleandsquare.decor create a custom board for my family’s needs and I couldn’t be happier with it!
Begin Hanging the Rest of Your Features
3. After you have found the perfect location for your command center, start thinking about the components your family will need within the planning station. Think about the ways your family will use the center to determine what’s right for you.
Items to consider adding to your family command center:
calendar – acrylic boards!! Chalkboards are so much messier/dust allergens
meal plan area
a place to file school paperwork or any other loose papers
office supplies such as pens, markers, and paper
notes section – space for messages to highlight important reminders
hooks for keys – keys must have a parking spot – helpful to have near garage
something pretty – greenery, a family saying or mantra, or maybe an inspiring/uplifting picture or quote that you would love to see every day
The acrylic board is hands down my absolute favorite piece of our new command center! I really wanted to get away from paper calendars to 1. save a few trees and 2. I love the clean look, ease of use, and customization of acrylic calendars. Don’t get me wrong, I loved having the entire 12-month calendar hanging in the hallway, but this option is more efficient and practical for writing multiple things each day for my busy family. I love how large it is so I can easily write on it and make quick changes if needed, not to mention how stunning it looks on the wall!
We use this wall grid for current events and activities. I love our wall grid because it is small, yet easily holds a few items such as invitations, school bulletins, or any other upcoming happenings we need to consider when planning each week. I purchased these wet-erase chalk pens with my acrylic board and am so glad I got the neon 8-pack so I can use different colors each month! The memo board cup keeps the pens close by for easy access, yet out of reach of little ones. I update our board at least weekly, so having these nearby is a must for me.
We have two wire wall organizers, one for each child, for school papers and calendars, and books that need to be returned to the library. I also love having a wall clock near the door, so we always stay on time!
Another favorite and must-have on my list is having a place for my boys to display their favorite artwork. Each child has an acrylic clipboard and they absolutely love hanging new creations every week!
Added Storage & Functionality
4. In addition to hanging important items on the wall, it’s also a good idea to include storage space in your home command center or a nearby location.
Hooks are a simple way for kids to hang up backpacks, lunch boxes, hats, and coats. We have our mudroom cubbies directly across from our command center and utilize our hooks every day. And yes, I added some pretty greenery here too!
That's it! You've officially built your command center. The best part about this project is that you can make it entirely your own. Your family will love having a place to find all of the information they already ask you for on a daily basis. I hope you can find some relief from the chaos and stress with your new command center.
The best way to ensure your home command center is successful is to make sure you maintain it regularly. That means throwing away outdated paperwork, clearing away excess items that don’t belong, and sorting the mail each day. It’s also a good idea to take a few minutes each week to organize the station and ensure everything is up-to-date.
Our command center gets updated weekly. My routine is to erase the past week’s activities on Sunday and add all of the upcoming week’s activities. I recycle any bulletins or invitations that have passed to make space for the current week’s plans. I also have my kids change out their artwork each week with a new one that they recently brought home from school and place the old one in their basket. We go through the baskets together at the end of each month, sorting to keep a few of our favorites, and taking photos/recycling the rest. I also make sure I always write their names and dates on their artwork for future reference.
My freshly finished space wouldn't have felt complete without this beautiful new rug. Just another added personal touch to make a big difference!
Once you’ve completed your command center masterpiece, I would love to see it!
Remember to take pictures and tag us on Facebook or Instagram @thesimplelifeindy! Can’t wait to see how yours comes together!
Photos taken by: Lindsey Kate & Co. Photography