Time flies – I have heard that phrase but never stopped to actually consider it – nor believe it. Until now. Here we are already tiptoeing towards Back-To-School. 2 weeks from today, actually, my kids will enter those school doors and the craziness of our busy schedules will once again ensue. If you’re like me and crave organization amidst chaos, then you probably need to implement a family command center like I did to maintain your sanity. 😉
The family command center not only keeps the whole family organized, but it also helps everyone stay accountable and teaches independence – 2 Montessori principles that are so important when implementing Montessori in your home.
There are 7 of us. My daughter moved back home with her 2-year-old a few months ago. We definitely needed to upgrade and find more space! I also realized I needed to get organized. Balancing a busy family with 3 super busy kids is enough and sometimes quite the juggling act when they all have to be at different places at the same time, but enter 2 more people to the mix and busy suddenly becomes crazy busy! I figured rather than run crazy every day and not know if I was coming or going, I would design and implement a ‘family command center’ to keep all of us organized. This system has not only worked, but helped our busy family run like a smoothly oiled machine. I love it!
Designing a family command center can be tedious, but it can also be a lot of fun, too, if you add little elements of your family’s personality. For example, the heading of ours is “Embrace Your Inner Superhero!” Okay, yes we are a DC family and we all have our own superhero aliases. Some days I actually joke that I am going to make a sign for our front porch that says “Secret Lair of Superheroes!” Maybe that joke will become more of a reality in the near future. 😉
It is also important to consider the elements of your life you need to organize. For example, I have a current month’s calendar that I made as well as a “Coming Events” list for the next month. Our command center is centrally located between the kitchen and the living rooms (conveniently across from my office space!), so I was also able to incorporate a menu list for dinners on it. Each family member has been assigned their own specific color of dry erase marker for their activities on the calendar (mine is purple, the boys’ are orange and black because those are 2 of their school colors, my younger daughter’s is blue – another school color) which help us quickly identify who has activities on what day at a glance.
I made a shelf from the old sideboards of our bed and painted cinder blocks to hold shoes, bags, sports stuff and other related items. For example, we have one bin that is specifically to hold wipes and a few diapers so we don’t have to keep running upstairs each time Squirrel needs a diaper change. She knows to go straight to her bin to grab them for us when she needs to be changed. I love implementing Montessori principles into our home. See my post about how to do that here.
I also have a glass cube that holds chargers for tablets and phones, a basket that holds sunglasses and lint rollers, and another for the boys’ baseball caps.
It is super important to tailor your family command center to the needs of your family so it works for you. You can also definitely switch it up as your needs change or as you identify new ones. I started the command center with a clip board for a shopping list, but I realized since I buy specific items at different places (some at brick and mortar stores and some online, such as Boxed and Jet) that I need a more specific type chart for my shopping list I have also realized I should have implemented the chore chart here as well – which I did this week. I have a pre-printed one that I am using for now while I am designing my own.
Our lives have not been the same since we implemented the command center and we spend less time trying to figure out who is going where last minute and more time actually enjoying our family’s activities. It has even made grocery shopping easier! Our life is much more fluid now and we have even been able to add in some quick family outings with the time saved as a result of not only the organization, but the implementation of the system! I am so grateful for this.
Looking for more printables and resources to help you be more organized in time for Back-To-School? Make sure you check out the free organizational printable resources library! Enter your email to have the password delivered straight to your inbox!
I would love to hear from you! Do you have a family command center? What special ideas do you have for your family organization that have worked for you?