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How to get your family’s command center in check |

How to get your family’s command center in check


  • (Rosemary Merrill Design/Houzz)

  • (Alair Homes Arlington/Houzz)

  • (QB Homes/Houzz)

For many this time of year, a common goal is to organize the family’s main hub in the house. A command center provides a great solution, acting as a one-stop-shop for the whole family to collaborate and stay on top of their to-do list. Whether you want to create one from scratch or improve upon an existing setup, use these tips to ensure a smooth-running household this year.

Find a location. Take note of where the high-traffic zones in your home are and look for an empty space nearby where you can start an organization station. Many are integrated into the kitchen, arguably the center of most activity in the home, as a wall-mounted drop zone on pantry door or a repurposed refrigerator end panel. Bookmark these small kitchen ideas to help you successfully integrate an extra space like this.

An empty wall in the hallway, an unused spot under the stairs or the space behind a door are other popular locations. You can also combine an organizational hub into another larger room, such as the garage, laundry room, pantry or even the mudroom. Just be sure to keep it in a spot that you and your family will remember to check before heading out the door every morning.

For those that already have a command center in place, analyze how often and well it’s being used and ask yourself if a change of place would make a difference.

Determine its main functionality. Most command centers include a place to keep reminders and notes, such as kids’ permission slips or grocery lists, as well as spots to store keys and bags for the family to grab on their way out. However, it’s worthwhile to think about which members of the family will be using this space the most and what activities will be taking place here.

If you have kids in grade school, you may want to orient the focus more toward their tasks and to-dos. Try keeping a chore chart and coordinating class and after-school schedules here. Note that having a separate homework station or home office altogether can also be helpful since this place is to be used primarily as an organizational tool rather than a workspace for the family.

For empty nesters, the activities above may be less common and unimportant in your day-to-day life. You may want to dedicate this space instead to paying bills, storing records and charging electronics. Consider keeping a laptop, printer and home phone here too for easy accessibility.

Add accessories accordingly. Finally, outfit your space with the items necessary for success. Hang a whiteboard or blackboard for a reusable writing surface or use a bulletin board to pin letters, bills or other important papers. If you don’t have room for a flat desk space, suspend baskets, buckets or wall hooks to substitute. Wall shelves and cubbies can also be helpful to store essentials.

Be sure to add a comfortable seat if your command center is located in or near your home office where you expect to browse the computer or sit for a while. If your space is integrated into the kitchen, consider getting matching counter stools or dining chairs to blend in with your existing decor. Arrange a decorative vignette to welcome guests if your command center is close to your home’s entryway.

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