If you struggle with overall chaos in your home, then what you might need is an answer that is super simple and one you can start using today. Check out this list of my top 5 Family Command Center Ideas that you can set up and start using today. Over the years I have learned that a great way to help control some of the family chaos and paper clutter is by using a command center in your home. And the best news is, you probably have all the things you need right now to set one up.
When it comes to a cluttered and chaotic home, more often than not it’s a group effort.
- Kids and school papers
- Incoming mail
- Appointment cards
- Papers from work
- To-do lists
- Shopping lists
I could go on and on and on.
Those papers can all add up to one big mess and if we are not careful we might misplace important things without even realizing it.
The year I finally had enough of it all was the year I learned about family command centers. Yes, that was the year that allowed me to see the possibilities of what it would be like to have an organized home. And, spoiler alert, it literally changed everything.
If you are not sure what a family command center is, let’s begin there.
What is a family command center?
A family command center is an area in your home where you control and organize the daily chaos of life.
It is similar to human resources at work. Rather than a full office, however, all you need is an open surface.
Where is a family command center located?
In order for a command center to really work well for your family, you will want to put it in an area where everyone will see it daily. A high-traffic area so you know this hub will be helpful to everyone.
A few ideas are:
- A bare wall in your entryway.
- A cabinet in your kitchen.
- A shelf on a cabinet in your mudroom.
- The front of your refrigerator.
- A wall in your laundry room.
- A will wall in a hallway.
The choice all depends on the layout of your home and where your family tends to “drop” their stuff.
Why family command centers are useful.
Do you remember in college, when a student would raise their hand, ask a question about the schedule of the class, and the professor would sternly reply: “Did you check the syllabus?”
That is basically what family command centers are. They are the “syllabus of the house.”
They are meant to be an organized, “catch-all” for things like schedules, meal plans, bills, chores, mail, school papers, to-do lists, and anything else you see fit.
Sure you can just use a wall calendar, but that can get cluttered and disorganized pretty quickly.
Everything is organized and located in one area making it easier to find what you need right when you need it. No more searching for lost papers or missing bills. And if we know anything it’s this, less chaos equals a happier family and a happier us.
So when the kiddos start asking, “Mom, what’s for dinner?” You can simply respond with: “Did you check the menu in our command center?”
Another pro is that family command centers are a fun way to inject a little bit of your family’s personality into another space in your home.
They’re easy to create, you can DIY one rather quickly just by using what you already have, or you can skip the DIY and buy a system that fits your home’s personality to a “T”.
Another bonus of a home hub is that it works for any stage of life. From school-aged children to teens even to empty nesters.
The Different Types Of Family Command Centers
Crafting a highly personalized family command center is fairly easy. Just search on Pinterest for the most trendy command center ideas and start gathering pieces that will go in your chosen area. Pick and choose what you like and create a family command center that fits your home and hour family.
The great thing about this way of creating a family command center is that you can go upscale or keep it extremely affordable by collecting pieces over time.
Local home improvement stores will have different wood you can use for shelving, different sized hooks, and beautiful accent options, along with chalkboard paint that you can use to turn a framed picture into a menu board.
You can also check out your local Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity Re-stores, and area thrift shops. All are perfect places to hunt for baskets, hanging cabinets, and other items you’d like to add to your space.
D/M PRO TIP: Before heading out to the stores, remember to shop your home first. You might be surprised at what you may already have that you are not using. An old shelf or bulletin board will work well in this space. Take a wire basket and hang it on the wall for a mail collection bin. Paint up a few old clipboards and put them on hooks to hold shopping lists or family menus.
If you’re on a budget, you can “throw together” a cute, efficient command center for under $100 by shopping around and piecemealing items.
If you’re like me and not the most creative person, or maybe you just don’t have enough time in the day, you can purchase a premade command center off of Amazon.
Here are my 5 favorite Family Command Centers available on Amazon:
Remember, there are no rules when setting up a system for your family hub. Mix and match or go all in. Whatever works best for you. The most important thing to remember is to set up something that is easy not only for you to use but for your entire family as well.
Fav #1. Keep it Simple
I love this simple approach to a command center and if you are just starting out this might be a great option for you. So many times we tend to go “all in” and create organizing systems that can be too confusing to use. Keep it simple with a chalkboard, corkboard, and bin to hold mail and keys.
By having three separate pieces you will have a bit more control over the setup so you can better create a layout that fits your home more efficiently.
Fav #2. All in One
If you are short on space, then this all-in-one option might be a better fit for you. Remember you can always add in a few other things to really customize this idea into one that will “fit” your family better.
Fav #3. Mix and Match
If you are like me and not quite sure what you need in a family command center, then I suggest you do a little mix and match. Let’s break it down by areas to make it easier to set up.
Baskets for mail, incoming papers, takeout menus. This is a great way to drop these papers until you have more time to go through them. A solution to the paper clutter struggle that so many of us have in our homes.
Chalkboard for weekly menus or a simple to-do list. I am so in love with this full-sized board and how it not only adds valuable space for planning but it also dresses up the room.
Shelves are great to hold bulky items along with keys and coats. If you are looking for more in your family command center this may be an option to consider. Having a large shelf with pegs allows you to have a set location for keys and purses is a great way to help streamline a family more efficiently.
Finally, a corkboard is always great to hold all the miscellaneous things that many families have. Party invitations, sports schedules, take-out menus, and other papers that you want a reminder of.
I love to mix and match to really create a wall of art that also works to organize our family hub.
Fav #4. Magnetic Command Centers
I love this option and I think it is perfect for anyone that has little space. Your fridge is a great area to set up a command center and this magnetic organizer setup is just perfect. You have three options that allow you to really streamline your entire family’s schedule.
Fav #5. Counter Top Option
Let’s face it, not everyone has an entire wall that they can dedicate to a family command center and if this sounds like you, then this idea might be the best fix. A countertop organizer will help you to turn a surface into a family hub.
I love this option because you can also use it to organize your kitchen cookbooks as well.
Dry-erase boards are another of those simple organizers that can be used for so many situations.
- Meal plans
- To-do lists
If you are setting up a command center on a countertop then an easel dry-erase board is a great option to add on.
What do you put in a command center?
The typical family command center has:
- A monthly calendar
- Displaying work schedules, events, sporting obligations, holidays, and bills
- A meal plan
- Displaying the different meals scheduled for the week, along with available snacks
- Chore list
- Chores for each family member so no one forgets!
- Bills and/or Mail
- A cabinet or hanging wall file folder where incoming and outgoing mail is kept
- Holds bills and other important documents you need to have on-hand
- Room for extras such as shoe rack, extra outerwear, and even sports gear.
- A cubby hole for shoes
- Places to put umbrellas
- Hooks for jackets and accessories
The great thing about a project like this is that you get to decide what you want in your family command center. It’s all up to what works best for your lifestyle and family.
Family command centers can be as small as to fit inside a cabinet or on your refrigerator — or as big as taking up an entire wall beside your front door. The elaborate, or minimalist design is completely up to you and there are options to make whatever you choose to fit your needs!
Where is the best place to set up a family command center?
The best place to put your family command center is the kitchen or the entryway, but again, it’s totally up to you! Here are a few popular locations to create your family’s go-to space:
- Inside of a cabinet
- Built-in sitting area
- Any high-traffic area of your home
Family command centers are a wonderful, efficient way to organize your life and give your space a little spark.
Do you have a favorite family command center idea? Let me know in the comments below, I would love to hear from you.