31 Days of Organizing Tips: Day 26 (Command Centre)

Welcome to Day Twenty Six of the 31 Days of Organizing Tips series! Throughout this series I’m sharing organizing tips that will help you on your journey from overwhelmed to organized.  

Have you ever forgotten an appointment? Or had to figure out how to take kids to different places at the same time because you didn’t remember one of their activities? Do you have piles of paper on your kitchen table, counters, or island? Have you ever paid late fees because you couldn’t find a bill?

If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, then this post is for you!  If you are overwhelmed by paper, schedules, and dates, then you need a command centre to help you stay on top of everything.

Today I’ll give you some tips for creating a command centre or modifying the system you are currently using to make it work better for you.  I’ll also show you some great examples of command centres so you can customize one that will work for you.

Here are a few tips to help your command centre work effectively for you:

  • Establish your purpose for having a command centre. Is it a central communication area? Or a paper management zone? Is it a master scheduling centre? Or a combination of any/all of the above?
  • Choose a central location for your command centre. It should be someplace you and the rest of your family pass by or spend time every day. It should be someplace central and convenient. It might be combined with your organized entry. Other popular options are kitchens or hallways.  
  • Determine what elements you want to include in your command centre. Some suggestions are:
    • family calendar (dry erase or paper) – if you prefer a visual calendar than an electronic family version
    • memo board (chalk board, white board, dry erase on glass) 
    • bulletin board
    • baskets, slots or folders for incoming & outgoing mail, bills, receipts, and coupons
    • folders for school papers – calendars, activities, schedules, newsletters, and policies
    • weekly menu plan & grocery list
    • to do list
    • routine or chore charts/lists
    • motivational sayings, personal goals, pictures, family mission statement, etc.
    • emergency contact information, frequently called phone #’s
    • pens, pencils, markers, scissors, highlighters
  • Note:  your command centre is not a permanent place to file your paperwork. It is just a temporary storage place (instead of papers being dumped on the kitchen table, counters, living room table, or left by the door). The contents of your command centre will be constantly revolving.
  • Keep your command centre maintained.  
  • Continually evaluate your command centre and adapt it as your family’s needs change.

Every command centre is unique to your space and needs.  Here are some examples to help you decide how to set up or adapt your command centre.  Each of these pictures has a link below it that will take you to a post with more details and pictures.  I highly recommend checking them out because I just can’t go into detail here or show all the awesome ideas they’ve included 🙂

1.  I love the wire baskets in this one and also the use of black and white to make it appealing to look at as well as functional.

One creative housewife home command centre with wall baskets and dry erase board.

Time to Get Organized

2.  Here’s a simple command centre.  It has the basics: a calendar, page protectors on hooks with paperwork for each child, and a place to list things you need to buy or pick up.

Command centre with dry erase calendar and hooks.

Family Information Station

3.  I like this simple frame idea.  You can use it as a write on/wipe off weekly calendar, to do list, and menu plan.

Colourful command centre using picture frames as dry erase boards.

Weekly Calendar

4.  If you think you don’t have enough wall space for a command centre, here’s a creative idea to set one up in a little used corner.

Command centre with corner shelf, floral fabric pinboard  and baskets.

Organized Family Drop Spot

5. Here’s my command centre if you haven’t seen it yet. We’ve used it or variations of it for over 10 years and it eliminated papers all over my kitchen and bags in my entryway. It also made it easier for us to keep track of what our family was up to, work towards goals together, and keep schoolwork organized.

My Command Centre

Please remember to pin from the original source for all of these lovely pictures!

There are SO many amazing and creative and organized command centres and I could go on and on showing you pictures (don’t worry, I won’t!).  If you want to see more ideas, check out my Pinterest board!

For Day Twenty Six, determine what your greatest scheduling or paperwork needs are and then set up a basic command centre that will include elements to address those needs. If you’re just starting out, it’s better to start with some basics and then add other elements over time. If you have an existing system in place, evaluate what is working and what could be “tweaked”.

Be consistent in using your command centre and explain to your family members what you expect. It will take several weeks to establish a new routine but the payoff is worth it!

Do you have a command centre?  What do you include in it?  What’s the best organizing tip you’ve implemented?

If you need help decluttering or organizing, contact me for in-person organizing services in the Mississauga area, or virtual organizing services anywhere else. 

Happy organizing!