If you haven't heard of a “Family Command Center” then let me share this useful tip for helping your busy family stay organized and reduce the amount of questions you get asked every day! It's a one-stop-shop for your family's schedule, calendar, to-do list, chores, dinner menu, inbound and outbound mail, homework, and so much more!
We've shared how to become #productivityninjas with your schedule and routines, chore charts, meal planning, and to-do lists. We love to keep everything written out in one of our planners, and in our phones and calendars. There's a step further than you can go with organizing your family's life and it just might save you from hearing the same thousand questions every day too, like “Mom! What's for dinner?!”
It's called a Family Command Center. Have you heard of these? It sounds fancy and technical but it really is whatever you want to make it, and can be as simple as a corkboard from your local craft store!
WHAT IS A FAMILY COMMAND CENTER?
Sounds like some kind of military term, doesn't it?! I promise it's a lot friendlier than that.
Some families create a basic bulletin board with a calendar, to-do list, and menu planner, while others create a more elaborate system with multiple boards, folders, and color-coded labels or even a digitized screen. You know what's realistic for your family to keep up with.
At its core, a family command center is a dedicated space in your home where you can organize and manage all the information and tasks related to your family's daily life. It can take many different forms depending on your family's needs, but typically includes a calendar, chore chart, meal planner, and space for notes and reminders. White boards, corkboards, paper wall calendars – you pick!
Your family command center can include a week-at-a-glance style calendar written out on a white board or a large wall-mounted calendar with important activities like extra curriculars, parties, birthdays, meetings, deadlines, and so on. You can also include a separate section with the week's dinner menu. A smart addition is an “inbox” and “outbox” for important documents and papers. Inbox would contain anything that needs your eyes on it, like school papers that need a parent signature. Outbox would be anything you are returning to your kids' backpacks to be turned in, or items that need to be mailed off!
Keeping everything that the family needs to see in one central location can improve the overall organization of your home and help you create a system to run smoothly through schedules and routines when you've got a lot going on.
BENEFITS OF A FAMILY COMMAND CENTER
Here's why having a Family Command Center is a great idea:
When your kids yell “what's for dinner?!” or your husband says “have you seen my keys?,” you can automatically call back: CHECK THE COMMAND CENTER!
You're welcome. 😉 But in all seriousness, aside from removing redundant questions from your life, a family command center is a great way to help organize your busy life and help your family find a system to run smoothly! Creating a family command center can have numerous benefits for busy families, including:
- Organization: With all your important information in one central location, it's easy to stay on top of schedules, appointments, and other responsibilities. Sure, YOU have everything written down in your planner or in your phone calendar, but here it is accessible to EVERYONE!
- A sense of control: By having a clear plan for managing your family's activities and tasks and meals, you can reduce stress and feel more in control of your daily life.
- Improved communication: A family command center can help ensure that everyone in the family is aware of upcoming events and important information, which can improve communication and reduce misunderstandings.
- Reduced time and stress: With a well-organized command center, you can save time and reduce stress by streamlining meal planning, grocery shopping, and household chores.
P.S. If you're specifically looking for a homework station for your school-aged kids, check out this blog post!
HOW TO CONSTRUCT YOUR OWN FAMILY COMMAND CENTER
Step 1: Choose a Location
The first step to creating a family command center is to choose a location. Look for a space in your home that's easily accessible and visible to everyone in the family. This could be a wall in your kitchen, a hallway, or the entryway to your home.
Step 2: Gather Supplies
Next, you'll need to gather your supplies. You'll need a few key items to create your command center, including:
- A bulletin board or whiteboard
- A calendar
- A pen and pencil holder
- A file holder (optional)
- Push pins or magnets
You may also want to consider adding some decorative touches to personalize your command center and make it visually appealing like a bucket for fun colored dry erase markers.
Step 3: Create Your Calendar
The calendar is the heart of your command center, as it's where you'll keep track of all your family's activities and appointments. Choose a calendar that works for your family, whether that's a simple wall calendar or a digital calendar you can access from your phone. Be sure to include important dates like birthdays, anniversaries, and school holidays.
Step 4: Add a Chore Chart and/or Clipboards
If you have kids, a chore chart can be a helpful addition to your command center. This will help everyone in the family stay on top of their responsibilities and keep the house running smoothly. You can create a simple chart on your whiteboard or bulletin board, or create a more elaborate system with stickers or magnets. If you use our viral Clipboard System, include those clipboards here!
Step 5: Write Out the Week's Dinner Menu (and Even Keep Track of Grocery Lists)
Finally, add a section to your command center where you can share the dinner menu for the week. As long as everyone in your house is reading-age, this saves you from answering dozens of questions about what's for dinner! You can also choose to keep track of your grocery lists in this area if needed. This could be a separate whiteboard or bulletin board, or simply a section on your existing board. Keeping your grocery lists and meal plans in one centralized location can help you save time and reduce stress when it comes to mealtime.
Step 6: Bonus Items
Time to CUSTOMIZE! What bonus items would make the most sense for your family? We definitely like an inbox/outbox to share important papers that need your eyes on them and mail that needs to be sent. We like to include key hooks so that you never have to help your spouse search for their keys again….
A fun wall-mounted bucket to house your dry erase markers, erasers, fun magnets and other features is also a common component!
As families become increasingly busy, it can be challenging to stay on top of everyone's schedules, appointments, and responsibilities. That's where a family command center comes in! A family command center is a centralized location where you can keep track of all the moving pieces of your family's life, from schedules to grocery lists. Creating a family command center may take a bit of effort upfront, but the payoff is worth it. With a little organization and planning, you can help your busy family stay on track and reduce stress in your daily lives!
If you thought this was helpful, you're gonna love these posts!
- Chore Checklist for Summer + FREE Printable!
- The Best Systems & Hacks to Organize Kids’ Clothes
- How (And Why) To Do A Family Store to teach your kids discipline, delayed gratification, motivation, and financial literacy
Let me know what you think in the comments!