Back to school means back to homework, sports practice, music classes and crazy, hectic routines. As moms (and dads), we know that keeping everyone in order can be challenging, to say the least.
So, what can we do to help you ensure that the kids get their schoolwork done, your grocery shopping list doesn’t get ignored, and that you and the entire family stay sane?
You might have heard of a Family Command Center before, but maybe you never knew you needed one. A Family Command Center will help you get organized and make sure that the whole family is on track for another successful school year.
What are some components of a great Family Command Center?
Corkboard or white board:
- Make this the centerpiece of your command center. It should be the largest item. It can be blank or have weekly or monthly designations.
- Use your board for important phone numbers, appointments and anything else you need to see on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
- Pin homework assignments, reminders, or grocery lists to corkboards.
- Use different-colored dry-erase markers for each family member’s activities and appointments.
- Use hooks to hang up your car keys, spare keys, and keys to the community pool.
- If you’re always losing your dog’s leash, hang that here too!
- Paint hooks in bright colors, or find unique hooks that each family member can call his or her own.
- At first it might be hard to get in the habit of leaving your keys on the hook instead of the kitchen counter. Soon you won’t even think about putting them anywhere else.
- If you have enough space, you can even use hooks to hang backpacks or lunch boxes so that you’re never scrambling to find them in the morning.
- Even if your whiteboard has the space for a whole month’s worth of information, there are still events and birthdays you’ll want to plan ahead for.
- Get in the habit of “penciling in” anything that comes up, and encourage your family members to do the same.
- You can even use a different colored pencil or ink for each family member.
- Make your command center a special place, not just “Mom’s corner.” Blow up a family photo, frame a quote that has special meaning, or hang artwork from the kids.
- Your command center helps you organize your family, so it should feel like a part of your home.
- You can make your command center stand out as much or as little as you want. Coordinate it with your decor so it subtly blends in, or make it a focal point and let your creativity shine.
- These are for the important documents no one can seem to find a good place for, like receipts, information about the school year, party invitations, and more.
- Create one folder for each family member, if you think you’ll need it. Or, you can just label one “Kids” and label others for things like pets, bills, and coupons.
- Be sure to clean these out every month or six months, depending on how full they get. If it’s old, toss (or shred) it. If it’s important but not needed on a regular basis, file it away.
- Designate one for daily mail that will hold everything until you can find an appropriate place for it.
- Sunglasses, hats, phone chargers, Post-it notes, scissors–anything that’s always out and cluttering your counters, but never really has a permanent home.
- These should live on a shelf or cabinet under or near your command center.
- Make sure that nothing from inside the bins migrates to the countertop. Again, it’ll take time to get used to it, but soon everything will have its own place!
- If you have room for these under your command center, you’ll definitely want to utilize that space.
- Get ones that lock and you can save important documents like birth certificates, report cards, passports, and tax information.
- Create a folder for each family member, and then separate folders for any other documents you need to store.
- Try to sort through these every year or so, to make sure everything is in its correct place and still necessary to keep.
- Whether they have daily or weekly chores, create a list that can be checked off for each family member.
- Make multiple copies of the list and put them on a clipboard you can hang and easily remove is case they need to be carried around the house.
- This is NOT for your clutter without a home. Keep office supplies, picture frames, and plants here, but no more.
- Your command space will only be commanding if it stays clear of clutter and retains its purpose.
The new school year has arrived, but it’s never too late to get organized. Did we miss an important command center component? Share in the comments!
Do you need a little more inspiration? Check out Unoriginal Mom for some awesome real-life command centers!
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