Do you currently have a family command center? I did not even know such thing existed until a couple of years ago. And I was able to get away without it for a while… unit my son went to school. And what came with it was a lot of new responsibilities and thing to remember. At that time realized that my Google calendar by itself will not be sufficient.
What is a Family Command Center?
It’s a space in your house that helps your family stay organized and on top of things. It is usually located in an area of your house that is easily accessible and frequently visited. In our house, it is the kitchen. The command center is right off of the dinning/living room space where we are all the time. Which is why it works so great for us.
What does my Family Command Center have?
My family command center is very simple. One, I don’t have a lot of space to work with, so I had to be very intentional with what I put there. And two, it is located in the center of our house, so I did not want it to be cluttered.
Most Needed Items
Our family needs two basic items to get out of the house: keys and sunglasses. We wear our sunglasses all year round so it makes sense to have a dedicated spot for them, which in our case is a small decorative bowl. And I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I have ‘lost’ my keys before deciding to put a small plate in our command center where we all put our keys on. No more running around the house screaming ‘where are my keys?’ 🙂
Family Monthly Calendar
The focus point of my family command center is definitely the monthly calendar. This is where I put all the important activities for the month. Think about any events at school (red t-shirt day, pajama day, or school concert) after school activities (sport events, dance lessons, or gymnastics), doctor’s appointments, Holidays, Birthday parties, or early school dismissal days.
What I try to do is use color coding for easer understanding. So I would put after school activities in blue, school events in red, etc. Now that my daughter is starting to get into different activities as well, I might need to invest in a larger calendar so I can fit everything there. Right now only my son in enrolled in school, And some months already seem to be full of activities – especially months like December and May. So once they are both in school (and it will be two different schools) I can only imagine how my calendar will look like! 😉
I also like to utilize the area behind my monthly calendar. This is the reason why my calendar is not attached to the kitchen cabinets but rather standing on the countertop and leaning against the wall. I use that area to store any additional information about the upcoming events.
For example, my kids go to TaeKwonDo classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. However, from time to time something comes up (most likely a school related activity or one of the kids is not feeling well) and we cannot attend our regular days. This is the time when I would pull the entire schedule from behind my calendar to see what other options we have that week. That schedule is not something I need to reference on regular basis. However, I also want to keep it handy for those times when I need it. And it makes perfect sense to me to keep it in my command center.
Benefits of the Command Center
It is definitely something to consider if you don’t have one already. Here are the benefits that I have observed in my household.
With all the responsibilities and different activities that come with having kids in school and them participating in after school activities, having the command center helps us stay organized and on top of our schedule. We look at our monthly calendar at least a few times a day. It is a great tool to use especially as part of your morning and evening routines as you are getting ready for the day. This lets you take a quick look at what is happening that day and lets you prepare anything you might need. For example, if you have a sport event coming up the next day, this is a great reminder to get any sporting gear and clothes ready.
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Before we had the command center, I had to answer the same questions from my husband and son, over and over again. Are we going to TaeKwonDo today? Is the school concert this week? Do we have any school days off coming up?
Now, that everything is on the calendar they just go and take a look themselves. Don’t get me wrong, this does not work perfectly all the time. They still ask sometimes. But I just tell them: ‘go look at the calendar’ 🙂
Having the command center really helps me and my husband to be on the same page as far as schedule is concerned.
A Great Teaching Tool for My Son
I have noticed over the past few months that my 6 years old is really taking an interest into the command center. It helped him understand what calendar was and how to find today’s date. And it also helps him understand the importance of planning ahead and staying organized. It is great to see him developing those great organizational habits.
He actually is becoming quite a stickler for making sure that the calendar is up to date. Without fail, every first day of the month, he wakes up, comes downstairs and asks me: ‘why is the calendar not updated for the new month”?
Getting Out of the House Quicker
Yes, having one spot for my keys and sunglasses has made a huge difference. Because in our household, those were the two main things that would always get misplaced. There were so many times where we were all dressed and ready to go but I could not find my keys. And we obviously cannot leave the house without them 😉 So this simple trick of having a spot in our command center where we place our keys has been a game changer!
Do you have a commend center? If so, what items to have you in it to help you stay organized?