Creating a family command center is easy — and it will help make you feel every bit the superhero that your family already knows you are!
School is back in session. There are soccer games, ballet lessons, and birthday parties. There are meetings for work and appointments at the pet groomer. And on top of all that… here come the holidays!
Your house may feel like a revolving door some days, but we’ve got an approach that can help you stay cool as January, handling schedules efficiently and effectively, stress-free. (Well maybe not 100% stress-free, because there’s not much we can do about the bake sale tomorrow that nobody told you about.)
Creating a Family Command Center custom-tailored to your needs.
It is easy, and even kind of fun, to create one, and personalize it.
This designated area provides a central location for all the details you, and your family, need to know. It’s a great place to drop the everyday items that you need each time you walk out the door: car keys, school papers, and mail.
A family command center is the place that combines the activities and events of the entire family, making scheduling much easier. And it’s the simplest key to reducing chaos and stress.
What you include here is totally up to you and depends very much on your family, activities, and how much information you want to collect. It can be very simple and streamlined, or as decorative as a scrapbook. It’s entirely up to you. And a lot will depend on the space you have available.
What are the core items to include in a family command center?
The calendar is a must-have. It should be large enough to write on (and even better if it includes next month as well). Use a printed calendar, or pick up a dry-erase version that can be reused each month.
- TIP: assign a color marker to each member of the family, so you can easily see what is going on with whom.
A Place for Stuff
In addition to putting appointments and events on the calendar, you need a place to store stuff: to keep keys, corral the mail, and make sure those school papers that need to be signed don’t have leftovers on them. Since a family command center should be the place where everyone stops when they come in, and again when they go out, you may want to consider bins or boxes for each family member.
If you have a BUSY family, and sometimes you miss each other coming and going, use your command center to leave messages. Think about a corkboard, a dry-erase board, or similar dedicated space where each family member checks daily. You can use the color coding again with pushpins or markers in the color assigned to the person who gets the message.
Containers to Keep Everything Neat
Containers may need to hold pens, push pins, papers, mail, keys, and whatever else you choose to keep in your control center. They should be both functional and look good, too, (how about that mug with the inspirational message you love but don’t like to drink from?). Small cubbies, baskets, and slotted mail holders all work well and look great too.
Now, where do you put your family command center?
Determine how much space you need and how much space you have. Be sure that this is a place that all family members have easy access to every day. A few suggestions:
- By the front door
How to keep it under control
Even a control center can get out of control. To keep yours running smoothly, start by setting some rules. For example, schedules, mail, and keys may be part of the control center, but you may not want magazines, shoes, and backpacks.
Scheduling just a few minutes each week for maintenance will help you keep it under control. If the scheduled item is finished, get rid of reminders. Sort the mail. Organize the corkboard. Erase old messages.
You can reduce your stress and never miss a family obligation if you optimize the use of a family control center. If you still are unsure of which products will work in your space, check out some of our favorites.
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