The Ultimate Command Center Guide – Smart Ideas For Back To School
I don’t know about you… but the 2020 pandemic has sent our normally organized and fairly scheduled family into a whirlwind of never-ending summer vacation randomness. Now that school is gearing back up (can I get a HALLELUJAH?!?), it’s time to get back on top of our regularly scheduled programming when it comes to our family routines.
In this post, I’ll not only be sharing our newly refreshed command center but I’ll also be answering the most frequently asked questions I have received when it comes to command center planning and executing. As a bonus, I’ve also rounded up a TON of helpful resources and ideas for you to create your own organized space in the home!.
This post contains affiliate links. Purchasing through these links may give me a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting Haute House Love!
The Basics OF A COMMAND CENTER
Before we get started with the meat of this post let’s quickly talk about the basics:
What is a command center and how do I make it as functional as possible for my family?
Where is the best location in the home for a family organization?
What can I organize in this space?
And finally, what are my top command center must haves?
What is a Command Center?
First and foremost, a command center is defined as a place to provide a centralized command for a purpose. Today we will be talking specifically about creating a functional, organized space in the home. When it comes to family, having a centralized location for schedules, school work and housekeeping expectations are key to ensure that proper order is maintained. Command centers not only provide an organization “station” of sorts but also assist with whole family communication.
Location & Functionality
When it comes to command center functionality it’s impossible to pinpoint one “right” way to create one inside of a home. When I help my clients create these functional spaces I tend to emphasize three main things: Space, Priority, and Attainability.
How much space do you have? Some homes have wide, open hallways and large blank walls, while others have smaller nooks and corners. First and foremost don’t ever let space overwhelm or deter you from creating an organized space in your home. A wealth of amazing command centers are created in spaces just like yours! The key is choosing what is right for your family. When it comes to the actual placement, I generally recommend choosing an area that is both centrally located (meaning a place where family members frequent) yet more “out of sight” from main living spaces and places where guests congregate. Common recommended areas could consist of a back hallway, entry area from the garage, dropzone/mudroom, kitchen, or laundry area.
In our home, we have a long hallway that stretches down the middle of our home from the entrance of our garage. The laundry room/drop zone is on one end, the stars to our second floor come out from the other and there are plenty of doorways and available walls in between. Our family is up and down this hallway multiple times a day and with it being directly off of the garage it is the perfect landing point for our command center.
Prioritize Your Needs
Once you secure a location for your family command center it’s now time to prioritize how the space will be used. The first thing I recommend to my clients is to make a priority list of the items they need to include in their space to keep their family functioning at top-notch efficiency. From there Items can be chosen and mapped out based on both need and space allowed. Our top family priorities include space(s) for school-related items, chore charts, and a space for everyday items like a calendar, grocery lists, and event invitations. Larger spaces will obviously be able to include more of the items on the list but having a large space isn’t always the best thing, which brings me to my third point.
Make it Attainable
You can have the biggest, functional, most beautiful command center ever but if it’s so large that you can’t keep it maintained, it becomes nothing but wasted space. I typically recommend starting with a smaller area to implement new schedules and routines then slowly add/refresh as habits are established. You don’t want to count your chickens before they hatch.
Now that you understand how my brain works when it comes to conceptualizing an organized space let’s talk more specifically about how we put these ideas into action, which should help if you are still unsure how to prioritize what EXACTLY should go into this space.
What can I organize in a Command Center?
The following is a list of ideas that you can mull over when trying to prioritize what will work best for your family:
School Related Items & Information:
- Spelling Lists
- Weekly Newsletters
- Daily/Weekly/Monthly Schedules
- Student ID numbers
- Special Class Reminders (I.E wear sneakers on Wednesday for Gym Class)
- Class Calendars
- Library Books
- Items to Return
- Face Masks
Chores, Charts & Reward Systems:
- Daily/Weekly Chore Lists (mom and dad too)
- Daily Responsibility Lists (AM/PM/After School Routines)
- List of Paid Chores
- Allowance/Money Tracker
- Family Calendar
- Grocery/Shopping List/
- Meal Planning Calendar
- Event Invitations
- Paper Filing System
Must Have Items
The following are essential items that I recommend when creating your space.
My Command Center Printables:
Overall, consider the function of your home (space, location, and attainability) when choosing items to use in a command center. Prioritize your family’s needs when deciding what to put in your command center then have fun shopping (both your home and stores) for items! Be sure to keep in mind that if you find an item that you love but it isn’t quite your style, consider painting it!! I will be giving more inspiration and ideas in future blog posts.
If you are interested in using my design services to organize a space in your home my service menu can be found HERE. You will then need to fill out my CLIENT QUESTIONNAIRE in order to get started.
Any further questions can be emailed to email@example.com
In the meantime, you can shop my faves below.