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The Family Command Center: Your Solution to Household Chaos



Wall of Post-It Notes Inspired Organizers

Family Command Center Essentials


I’ll never forget the first time I heard about the story of the “Octomom,” the poor woman who gave birth to 8 children at one time. Beyond the mind-boggling biological challenge of carrying and giving birth to this many children at once, I couldn’t imagine how any person could take care of 8 children at the same time. Then I found out she already had 6 children. Yikes.


Having a large family comes with plenty of logistical challenges, and as kids get older, managing everyone’s school, extracurricular and “the whole family” activities can take a lot of management. An organizational strategy needs to be created to get everyone where they need to be and home again. While space may be at a premium in smaller homes, it is really necessary to have a space where the “Family Command Center” can exist. Even if it’s a small foyer where this can be managed, if there’s no location for this management tool, the likelihood of the family plan going off the rails is almost inevitable. 


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Choosing the Right Location


While your Family Command Center doesn’t need to occupy its own room, it should be in a relatively high traffic location where the kids and parents will both have frequent views os the weekly events. I always encourage a place like the area next to the door to the garage to keep this information, as it is the space in the house you need to pass through to leave anyway. Any kind of hallway or entryway will do, and buy the time you finish reading this, you probably have a good idea of where this should probably be in your home. The Command Center also needs to be accessible to all family members, including small children. It won’t work if it doesn’t feel like something that includes all family members. 


Essential Components


Calendar:


The Command Center should have several features, and these will vary greatly based on the dynamics of your own family. The first and most important is a Calendar where all activities can be posted. Medical and dental appointments, dance recitals, little league practices and the like can all be put on the Calendar for a quick view of how busy a given day or week is. This can be a fun activity for the kids where they create their own placards for different events. The Calendar can be digital or a dry erase board, or even a laminate where the months and dates can be customized.


To-Do Lists:


The second must-have feature of any family command center should be a to-do list for individual or multiple family members. These don’t need to be associated with a date or time, just a reminder of tasks that need to be addressed by everyone. This is an easy way to keep track of daily tasks and chores, and it works great with younger children when paired with a rewards system.


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Mail and Paper Management:


The Command Center is a natural place to organize incoming and outgoing mail as well as other important documents. A three tray system incoming, outgoing and “other” should be sufficient to manage paper movement for the household.


Meal Planning:


Whoever plans the meals in your home should have resources like a recipe book, grocery list, and a meal planning Calendar to help them manage this critical family activity. 


Key and Item Hooks:


A small but important feature of the Command Center, hooks for keys, purses and backpacks will help create an easy organization system the whole family can utilize. If there is room for an entryway table or small shelf, this is also an excellent location for a phone charger, especially for those family members with “perpetually lost phone syndrome.”


Potential Additions


Whiteboard or Cork board


A whiteboard for quick notes between family members can be a great addition, as well as being a great location for family announcements that everyone should know about. This can also double as your location for the grocery list or reminders to one another. A cork board can also be useful for pinning notes, invitations and school schedules. You can add a little flair with some seasonal decorations.


Family Command Center Inspired Organizers

Organizers and Baskets:


Some components of your Command Center may require a basket or other container, so a small table is a good idea to provide some space for these additions. You can use items that match the home decor and even include some family photos or Artwork to dress up the area. 


Maintenance:  


As with any organization tool, the Command Center will require some regular maintenance and updates. Weekly cleanups of outdated items will keep the space manageable.  It should also remain flexible, so that as the family needs change, the Command Center adapts to those changes. 


A Family Command Center is an excellent way to improve household organization, reduce stress, and enhance family communication. Share your Family’s Command Center with us. We want to hear your unique ideas and creative additions to this incredible family tool Email us at Kevin@inspiredorganizersaz.com.

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