6 Ideas For the Ultimate Family Command Centre
Home design is constantly changing, and family command centres are quickly becoming one of the most popular features in a family home. This is a space where you can take control of the family’s activities – stash important papers, keep track of kids’ activity schedules, and organize a wide variety of other things. Your family’s command centre can be as small as a bulletin board on the wall or as big as an entire room, but these tips will help you create a space that works for you.
1. Location, Location, Location
Find just the right spot for your family command centre. Many people like to put it in the mudroom area because it makes it easy to grab homework and glance at the schedule on the way out the door. However, the centre needs to be in a place you can easily see. If putting it in your mudroom would mean you constantly have to walk around the corner from the kitchen just to glance at the schedule, that’s not going to work.
The kitchen is popular for command centres. Since you spend so much time here, this is usually a convenient location and it doesn’t have to take up too much space. On the other hand, some people choose to dedicate an entire room to their family’s command centre, including things like a desk and family computer. It’s all about what’s most convenient for you.
2. Include What You Need
Think about the types of things your family needs to have in a command centre. At the very least, it’s smart to have a main calendar and some sort of way to manage paperwork. Some people even like to include a week-at-a-glance calendar so they can easily see what’s going on in the upcoming week.
For organizing papers, baskets work well if the builder included some type of built-shelving in the area. If you’re trying to hang things on the wall, look for wall-mounted file folders. Each of the kids should have their own container, and you use this to put homework, permission slips, and other papers related to schoolwork or after-school activities. Parents might also want their own baskets to put bills or mail to sort.
3. Other Ideas
Add anything else that can help make your family’s life a bit easier. For instance, you might include a weekly menu plan to make it easier to shop and see what you have to make for dinner that night. You could also include a chore chart to encourage the kids to participate in keeping the home clean. Many people also find it helpful to include a spot for notes – phone messages, reminders, or things to add to the grocery list.
4. Separate Spaces
While much of the command centre has to do with keeping parents organized, many families incorporate some separate spaces for everyone to keep their things organized. In a mudroom, this is just an obvious solution. You want each person to have a spot to hang their jacket and place their boots. A builder might even be able to include lockers or cubbies in this space. In other parts of the home, the separate spaces might have a box or clip for papers that belong to each child, a spot to put lunchboxes, or a little message board where you can write important upcoming reminders.
5. Make It Look Good
While you need a command centre that’s practical, you also want one that’s attractive and blends in with the rest of your home décor. For instance, a traditional bulletin board gets a facelift when you cover it with a colourful fabric or put a frame around it. Metal hooks will look nicer than plastic ones. Tie it all together with some framed pictures or artwork with motivational sayings. You’ll find plenty of command centre ideas on Pinterest.
6. Erasable Elements
Most command centres feature one or more areas that change on a daily or weekly basis, like menu plans, to-do lists, and weekly schedules. Chalkboards and whiteboards are popular solutions for these, but they can get messy after you erase them. It’s a good idea to clean the surface with a damp cloth when you want to make changes.
Alternatively, you could print things out on a piece of paper. For a menu, you could print out your family’s favourite meals on card stock, then stick these cards to a large menu board, rotating the meals. Post Its are another good solution. It’s all about how you want it to look and how often you need to make changes.
A good command centre helps keep your family organized, but you have to make choices that work for you. Think carefully about what information you want to see at a glance and what types of things you need organized. Once you’ve done that, your centre should start to come together.
Check out our previous post “5 Family-Friendly Floorplans“ for even more ideas to keep your busy family organized!