It’s back-to-school season, which means I’m furiously researching family command center ideas because this is the year I’m going to be an organized supermom.
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Or at least that’s the plan.
This year, I’ll have three kids in school for the first time ever. Two elementary schoolers, and one entering a pre-k 2s program. Plus all of the extracurriculars and themed spirit weeks and parent teacher conferences that go with it.
You know the drill.
In the past, I’ve had a few different versions of a family command center. I’ve had a built-in desk in my kitchen area, which had a handy file cabinet drawer, storage area, and peg board. But then we ripped it out when we did out first floor renovation last year, so since then I’ve been working to find alternate solutions.
My first go was this:
It’s an acrylic wall calendar, with a magnetic area below it to hold kids art and reminders.
It’s worked OK, but we simply need more room. I want to add a pegboard back in, plus some sort of shelving/storage for papers.
My idea is to use the wall that’s perpendicular to this one, in our playroom, for the rest of the command center, so it can also double as a homework area.
So, like I said, I’ve been looking at all kinds of ideas for home command centers, as well as homework stations, so I can figure out the best configuration.
Here are some of the top ideas I’ve seen, plus more on my plans and what to include in a home command center, below.
Family Command Center Ideas
1. A Family Command Center Wall
A family command center wall is easy to add to almost any home. All you need is some empty wall space, like in the hallway, an entryway, or kitchen. Here, Lauren from Bless’er House added an acrylic wall calendar, a shelf, a pegboard, hanging paper storage, and a clock to create a compact but functional command center.
2. A Modern Family Command Center
This adorable home command center is another example of putting a small wall space to good use. Here, Sunny Circle Studio added a simple (but chic!) mail catchall with hooks at the bottom. I also love the idea of installing a row of wall hooks for backpacks in this area!
3. A Back-of-the-Door Family Command Center
If you’re short on wall space, I love the idea of using the back of a door as a family command center. Just add a pegboard, a magnetic board, or spray-painted piece of plywood, plus some clips and baskets, to create a little area to get organized.
4. Mudroom Command Center
The mudroom command center is the dream, since then you can have all the backpacks, and coats, and gear right alongside your calendar and organization system. Our mudroom is in our basement, and the kids don’t go out that way for school, so a command center down there doesn’t make a ton of sense for us. If it works for you, it’s an ideal setup.
5. A Command Center with a Desk
This is sort of what I’m going for, function wise, on the second wall I’ll be using as our “command center extension.” I like the idea of having a desk for homework close by so paper/supplies and a calendar can be contained in one spot.
6. Command Center with Storage
If you’ve got a slightly larger wall area for a family organization area, a bin for seasonal essentials is genius. As soon as your kids come in the door, they can stash their hats, gloves, etc in a designated spot.
7. Add backpack storage
I have to save I love this combo of the rolling cart and the slotted storage basket for housing backpacks. It’s a great alternative to wall hooks.
8. A Peg Board Command Center
Honestly, sometimes I plan out a space, thinking I need certain features, and then it turns out I need something totally different, so I appreciate the flexibility of a pegboard command center like the one above. This one allow room for a calendar, storage bin, memo board, and hooks.
9. A Repurposed Closet
This is a clever idea! If you have an unused closet, or a close you can clean out without sacrificing much-needed storage space, you can transform it into a little organization destination for your family.
10. A kitchen organization center
The kitchen is a great spot for a command center, and I really liked having ours in there when our space allowed. This one, from The Turquoise Home, has all the basics, like storage hooks, a calendar and a spot for mail and keys.
What should a family command center have?
A family command center needs features that’ll help you manage your schedule and run your family life smoothly.
Here’s a list of things a command center commonly includes, but you don’t need to have all of them in yours (and feel free to add additional features you need for your own family)
- A calendar
- A bin or basket for mail and paperwork
- A magnetic memo board for notes, invitations and reminders
- Hooks for storing keys
- A drop spot to corral backpacks, outwear, and/or shoes
- Additional shelving or storage for things you need to maintain the command center, like pens or markers, an eraser, magnets, etc.
How to make your own family command center
You can carve out your own family command center in a few steps.
- Think about what you need. If you’re constantly forgetting appointments and meetings, a calendar is essential. If you’re tired of answering “what’s for dinner,” put your family meal plan there. If you want backpacks in the same spot every day, grab a basket or hooks.
- Carve out a spot. Once you’ve got an idea of what you need, find a space for it. Good place for command centers include: the kitchen, near a coat closet, in the mudroom, or on the way out the door that your family uses most.
- Measure the space, and order supplies accordingly. It’s a good idea to lay out the command center area before you shop for any supplies. Take measurements so you know what size your calendar should be, how many hooks you can fit, etc. You can even draw a rough layout on paper.