School is back in session! (Can I get a hallelujah?!) There’s something so satisfying about getting back into a routine, and after our summer of being on the road visiting family back in the midwest and vacationing along the west coast, it’s time to simmer down and settle in!
Transitioning back into a school routine isn’t always the easiest, but one thing that can really help is getting whole family’s stuff in order. I like to wrangle it all with a DIY family command center — a fun, dedicated space to hang belongings, pin school announcements, check off chore checklists, write reminders and organize homework.
In this post, I’ll not only be sharing our newly refreshed family 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!
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DIY FamILY COMMAND CENTER BASICS
Before we get into the details of command center ideas, 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 a family command center?
What are my top command center must haves?
My 2023 Command Center Reveal!!
What is a FAMILY 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.
how to make a diy family command center
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.
where to put a family command center
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 stairs 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.
WHAT SHOULD BE IN A DIY COMMAND CENTER?
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 DIY family 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 family command center wall ideas into action, which should help if you are still unsure how to prioritize what EXACTLY should go into this space.
What TO organize in a FAMILY Command Center
The following is a list of ideas that you can mull over when trying to prioritize what kind of DIY family organization center works best for your family:
School Related Items:
- 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
Chores, Charts & RewarDS:
- 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 FOR A DIY COMMAND CENTER
The following are essential items that I recommend when creating your space.
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 family command center board, 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!!
My new Command Center Printables (2023 Edition):
2023 diy family command center reveal
And without further ado, I’m excited to share the latest family command center that recently debuted in our home!
From the cork board wall to the accessories that will keep everything organized, this DIY command center is going to be a lifesaver for our family! Each kiddo has their designated space for backpacks, lunch boxes, water bottles, homework and school announcements. And it all ties in perfectly with the space thanks to the fun wallpaper and its hues that complement the MOUNTAIN MURAL on the opposite wall of the room.
Now I can breathe a big sigh of relief! Having this space sets the tone for the entire school year and gives us more of a solid routine day in and day out. I’m sure these family command center ideas can work wonders for you too!