Family Organization Station | Essential Elements of a Family Command Center

You may find yourself asking, how do I keep my family organized? One of my all favorite family organization tools is a command center.

So, what exactly is a family command center? Let’s take a look at some fantastic commander center ideas before we jump into the essentials you need to make one of these for your family and start karate chopping your chaos at home.

hallway command center

Command Center Must Haves

So you’ve decided that you need a family organization station, but what are the essential elements of a family command center and where do you start?

Family Command Center Calendar

I absolutely love a good calendar. Paper, digital, wall– I love them all. My family calendar of choice is having a google calendar , it’s digital, it’s synch-able and I can look at it anywhere.

But my kids are getting to an age where we have tons of after school activities, they have chores they are responsible for, we have birthday parties, special events– all coming at us at 100mph.

So I’ve found having a wall calendar to give us a look at whats happening during the month allows us all to be on the same page with what we have coming up.

My kids can see when their grandmother is coming to visit. They can track how many days till we go camping. They know when they have things due.

Have I convinced yet why calendars are made of total win???

Some of my favorite wall calendars:

I love this 48″ x 36″ reusable dry erase wall calendar. This calendar would not work for families who have space constraints, but I love the size of this calendar. If you have a ton of things to track, you could easily (and neatly) give everything a home on this reusable calendar.

This framed magnetic calendar whiteboard is option for families who are looking for more than just a calendar whiteboard. I love that it’s magnetic, giving you that extra versatility. Plus, it’s super cute and it comes with hanging brackets on the back making it super simple to install.

If you are more of a DIY-er, either because you are on a budget (yes, queen!) or because you are uber creative and just dig it– Krista from The Happy Housie has a great article showcasing 20 DIY family wall calendars.

Memo Board

A place to leave quick notes, hang up reminders, leave messages for your kids or spouse. There are tons of uses for these and they are completely versatile. 

I personally love this half dry erase, half cork board because it serves as double duty and it’s a pretty good size, without being too large. 

Weekly Menu

Keyona from Professional Mama recommends including your menu for the week as part of your command center.

This is a great way to let your family know what’s for dinner each night as well as yourself so you can make sure you are prepared each day for what cooking and/or shopping needs to be done.

Backpack Station (Or Backpack Storage Bench)

Ya’ll, nothing screams cluttered mess like tripping over backpacks (or lunchboxes) as you enter and exit your house.

I totally get it. Your kids are tired from being at school all day and all they want to do is get inside and grab a snack or relax.

So what do they do?? Drop those babies right inside the door.

Answer? Creating a place for those backpacks.

Depending on your space and family needs you have two options.

You can create a backpack station with simple hooks on the wall OR create a storage bench for their backpacks.

Check out this storage bench with drawers! Super accessible while still concealing the mess!

Charging Station

Smart phones are here, y’all. Chances are you have a cell phone and or a tablet of some sort.

Wrangling all those cords and devices is a thing, ya’ll. Having a dedicated place to keep these ensures that you know where they are and they stay charged and ready for use.

Enter a charging station. This is a convenient holder that can manage multiple devices at the same time.

While none of my kids is old enough for a phone yet, I love this for mine and my husbands phones and the tablets we use for our kids school work.

Organization for Paper Clutter

Is it just me or does the paper entering your house exponentially increase when your kid starts school?!

Between art projects, permission slips, school notices, tests, quizzes, homework, the random doodle– hoooooly paper clutter Batman!

I’m not here for it ya’ll! Not. Here. For it.

So this is your chance to get a system in place before all that paper starts multiplying like rabbits.

We have a few categories for paper: Trash it. Shred It. Save it. Repurpose it.

Trash it. There are somethings that 100% don’t need to be kept. For us, thats old homework, tests, quizzes, etc.

Shred it. Anything with my kids names on it or personally identifying information, I shred or at least rip their name off (like on their tests) and toss it. Call me an overprotective parent, but it just rubs me the wrong way to have their full names or names and addresses floating out into the world in a way that I don’t get to supervise. So I shred it.

I like keeping the shredder at the command center so it makes it easy that as mail and papers are coming in I can handle it right away.

Save it. There are some things that my kids bring home that are treasures (like my pre-schooler’s Mother’s Day poem in which she accurately reported my age as 73. I look ah-mazing for 73 if I do say so myself)

If you have your own treasures I like to file these away in a filing cabinet for the current school year (at the end of the school year, I transplant this folder to their keepsake boxes).

If you are looking for a super cute (and inexpensive) way to get this organized check out this set from The Joyful House.

Repurpose it. We are all about art in my house. We’ve got washable paints, markers, and crayons and we are not afraid to use them.

Paper costs money and let’s be honest, not every drawing is a masterpiece. So, if something comes in that I can re-use– like the backside of the school’s bake sale announcement, I keep it in a basket for my girls to grab from for their latest project.

Paper that Needs a Return Trip. If there are papers, folders, notebooks, etc that need to be sent back to school. Or even library books that have to go back. Each kid gets a basket and those returns live in there until they are needed.

Super simple.

I am in love with these awesome extra-large industrial wire baskets, but you can certainly use whatever you have already. 

Homework Station Supplies

So this may not apply to everyone, but it’s worth mentioning. If the homework struggle is as real at your house as it is at mine, I like to having everything they’ll need to get it done in an accessible way.

Whether it’s paper, pencils, scissors and clipboards in a basket or tray. If it’s highlighters and a calculator.

Whatever your kid(s) typically need to knock out their homework, I like to have this handy and portable basket available to grab and go.

Makes for a smoother process when they’re getting started.

Command Center Ideas

If you are looking for family command center wall ideas– look no further. I searched all over Instagram for some of my favorite command center inspo.

Here are some great examples of command center layout ideas.

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“The backpacks were hung on the wall with care, in hopes that the 1st day of school would be here….” . . Operation hallway drop zone is finished just in time for school to start. No more scavenger hunts to find my kids’ backpacks or lunch boxes on the floor. . I designed this area with the family in mind: since our walls are smooth, I just painted the bottom portion of my wall white, installed a 1” x 4” with screws into the studs, attached hooks to it and then added vertical strips with the pneumatic. Easy peasy & cheap! The hooks are just the right height to foster independence in our kiddos and the board and batten-ish design makes it look a little more complete than just hooks on a wall. Each girl gets 2 hooks for their belongings and shoes will still go in their designated baskets by the front door. The only thing I’m missing is some sort of mounted paper roll because I am always scrambling to write stuff down 🤷🏼‍♀️ . . . . . . #diy #handmade #commandcenter #hooks #walldecor #family #dropzone #pinterest #currenthomeview #boardandbatten #havenconf #fixerupper #whitesandwoods #atlanta #homeblogger #maker #backtoschool #calendar #hobbylobby #targetstyle #walmartfinds #letthembelittle #mykiddecor #hearthandhand #brightandairy #blesserhousepresets

A post shared by Brittany • Ellison Made (@ellisonmade) on

Favorite wall command center elements here are the chalkboard, the cork board and the hooks (great for keys, jackets, purses, etc.)

Favorite wall command center elements here are: the mesh wall basket- perfect for corralling mail, school papers and folders and binders. The to-do list is highly visible and I love all the hooks for those backpacks. Everything looks super tidy and organized.

View this post on Instagram

I shared my command center in my stories on Saturday night and my messages have been exploding ever since. I thought it warranted a post so that it’s easy for y’all to reference. I’m sure if you’ve been around a while you will recognize most of the items, but for those of you that are newer, I will share. The local sign was from Hobby lobby clearance a couple years ago, the mailbox was a Michaels clearance find from last year‘s fall line but I believe they released it again this year. The notes and the list are currently available in the Target Dollarspot. The metal bakery sign is from HomeGoods, mine is old but I recently saw it there again and it’s less than $20! The small wreath was an old Hearth and Hand Clearance find, and the calendar was $2 from last weeks Michael’s clearance I shared. I love having a space that is not only cute but functionable. As soon as I remember to buy a dry erase marker that is. 😂 . . . . . . #commandcenter #michaelsclearance #targetclearance #targethaul #targetdeals #targetdollarspot #bullseyesplayground #clearancehunter #bakery #hearthandhand #hobbylobbyfinds #hobbylobbyclearance #homegoodsfinds #hearthandhandclearance #blackandwhite #neutraldecor #falldecor #farmfreshpumpkins #mailbox #falldollarspot #commandcenter #organization #organized #menuplanning #menuplanner

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Favorite command center elements here are: all the pretty decorative touches– while not necessarily functional, here it’s a great marriage showcasing function meeting fashion! The dry erase calendar to ensure you are keeping up with what’s happening around your home. Plus, those little rolling notepads are on point, ya’ll!

View this post on Instagram

Happy weekend friends! My kids survived their first week of school, but their backpacks and school paperwork are already taking over my kitchen counters and the school year just began! I really need to put together a good family command center, because if I take my kids school stuff to my office, it will fall into the giant black hole of paperwork in there. So, I got searching for some fun ideas for Backpack and Command Center Organizations Ideas and found some great ideas! I am LOVING this idea of turning a small closet into a command center from @thehappyhousie! To see more ideas click the link in my profile! #commandcenters #backpackstorage #homework #organization #organized #organizing #declutter #simplify

A post shared by Pam Dana (@overthebigmoon) on

Favorite command center elements here are: the charging station (because those pesky power cords have a tendency to disappear), how self contained it is, especially including the desk, and the filing cabinet.

Bringing it All Together

If you are looking for ways to organize your life a command center can be a great place to start. They are completely customizable and can be changed up to suit your needs as your family grows or your daily lives change.

I would love to hear (or see!) all about your command center tips and ideas. Please comment below!

essential elements of a family command center
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Kristen is the founder and content creator at Mom Managing Chaos where she teaches busy moms how to simplify and organize their life and finances. She writes about frugal living, budgeting, productivity and organization.