Building a Functional Command Center

Until recently, my husband and I had a chronic problem with clutter on our dining table. Mail, pens, coupons, coins, grocery lists, etc. were always scattered on the tabletop. Our solution to this problem was to create a command center, which is an area in the home designed to keep the family organized.

Building a Functional Command Center | Is disorganization plaguing your family? Streamline everything with the help of a home command center! Find ideas and tips for creating one here.

Let me describe the components we included in our command center and then I’ll share a few lessons we learned as we created it.

Command center components

Command Center Components | Is disorganization plaguing your family? Streamline everything with the help of a home command center! Find ideas and tips for creating one here.

1. Whiteboard. We included a 24 x 18 in. whiteboard in our command center. This board provides us with a place to record messages, document to-do lists, and take note of items we need at the grocery store.

2. Bulletin board. The largest piece in our command center is a 16 x 36 in. bulletin board. We pin assorted items (business cards, printable labels, etc.) to the lower portion of this board. We pin two very important documents to the top portion of the board:

  • Daily cleaning schedule. My daily cleaning schedule is the only reason our home isn’t an absolute mess! I keep it on the bulletin board so I can easily see what cleaning tasks need my attention.
  • Monthly menu. I plan monthly menus for my family (find links to the menus on my series page and read about how I plan the menus here). I keep our current menu on the bulletin board so I can check it each morning in order to plan ahead for dinner.

3. Calendar. The simple 12 x 17 in. monthly calendar in our command center helps us keep track of upcoming events and appointments. My husband and I do not constantly have to remind one another of medical appointments and meetings because they are posted for both of us to see. This calendar also helps us keep track of the birthdays of family members.

4. Magnetic strips. After much debate, we decided to include two magnetic strips in our command center. These provide a place for us to hang a number of items. I affixed a magnet to the back of my coupon organizer, allowing it to hang on a strip for easy access. Our postage stamps also hang on a strip, as well as other items including important receipts.

5. Hanging storage cups. A set of three storage cups and a bar on which they hang provide us with a place in our command center to store pens, pencils, scissors, tape, markers, and other assorted office supplies.

6. Mail and key holder. A small receptacle to hold mail completes our command center. It keeps the mail in one location so we are sure to take care of bills and other pieces that require our attention. The hooks beneath the holder provide a convenient place to hang our keys so they do not get misplaced.

We purchased these items from Amazon, Hobby Lobby, and Ikea. Some of the above links are affiliate links (click here to read about what this means).

Tips for building your own command center

  • Begin by deciding what you need the command center to accomplish. Take time to sit down and decide what you need from a command center. Do you need a place to compile a grocery list? Does each family member need an inbox for mail? Does it need to include a list of emergency contact numbers? Get all of this documented before you begin or else you will end up with a lot of useless stuff on your wall!
  • Purchase command center components based on their functionality, not their appearance. I can’t tell you how many cute corkboards, chalkboards, pencil holders, and similar items we saw when purchasing supplies for our command center. Unfortunately, many of these weren’t functional because of their sizes or shapes. Resist the urge to purchase items like these. We all want our command centers to look nice, but what’s most important is that they are useful.
  • Choose the right location for your center. There is no one location that is “right” for placing a command center. Consider your lifestyle when deciding where you should place yours. Where will it be seen and used by the family? In the kitchen? In the mudroom? In the dining room? In a hallway? Choose whatever works best for you, even if it is unconventional. We placed ours on a wall in the dining area that is located between our kitchen and living room.
  • Measure twice, cut once. These exact words don’t apply here, but the principle does. You’re going to be putting a lot of holes in your wall when you hang your command center components, so plan and measure carefully to avoid creating misplaced holes that will need repaired later.

Do you have a command center in your home? What components make it useful to your family?

Shared at the following link parties:

The Art of HomeMaking, Titus 2 Tuesday, Tuesdays with a Twist, Titus 2sday, Tuesday Talk, Inspiration Spotlight, Motivation Monday, Handmade Tuesdays, Think Tank Thursday, and Monday’s Musings.

Comments

  1. This is brilliant. I love how you have specific pieces that each serve a purpose. Yes, there are so many cutesey items for sale but they are not very functional and what you have put together is.

    • Hi Julie,
      I was so, so tempted to buy the cute items, but I really wanted this command center to be usable. It’s not the most attractive out there, but it helps keep us organized and this is what matters!

  2. Wow, this is a great post! Thanks for sharing.

  3. I like the hanging cups idea. We don’t have space for much of a command center but the hanging cups would really help with the space we have. #Tituse2Tuesday

    • Hi Julie,
      I really like the cups, too. They are one of my favorite components. I can always find pens or scissors when I need them!

  4. This looks great! Way to take action and take over your piles of papers and clutter! I need to look for a spot in my house to do this!

  5. These are really great tips. I’ve struggled with trying to figure out how to make a command center for my family, because the ones you see on Pinterest aren’t always catered to what I need for my family. I like your point of figuring out what you need it to accomplish, before making any purchases. And also figuring out the best location is absolutely key. Pinning, tweeting and stumbling this. Happy Friday!

    • Hi Lindsey,
      I think customizing it to your needs really is key. I’ve seen many on Pinterest that look wonderful, but probably aren’t that functional. In the end, I think we all need something that actually helps us be organized!

  6. This is an amazing idea! Thanks for sharing. Hi, I’m Anita visiting from Think Tank Thursday.

  7. Dmitris Cleaning says:

    Ouch! Using a sheet protector for you cleaning checklist is really clever and yet simple! Silly me, how could have I not thought of this! Been making copies of mine for a bit too long I would say, bejesus..

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