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Easy Tips to Create an Organized Family Command Center

How to set up a home command center using smart ways to keep mail, schedules, keys, and documents organized for your family daily.

For a busy family, a kitchen command center is a great way to manage the important things in daily life. Blame it on our packed full after-school schedule or overcoming my ADHD forgetfulness tendencies, but I have tweaked our DIY family command center to perfection over the years.

family command center in a kitchen with herringbone floors and green cabinets

As your family grows and everyone has their own routine and tasks to complete, taking time to create a command center helps SO much to keep track of things. We’ve had ours in our kitchen for 5 years, and it’s the best system that keeps our busy family organized.

We’ve all been there before; it’s a hectic Monday with drop-offs and heading out the door to work. You get everyone to school or to their destination, and you realize you forgot lunches or forgot about dance class that afternoon. 

If you have a blank wall to spare in your kitchen, mudroom, or laundry room, a home command center can help you and your family members stay on top of daily tasks and events.

What is a Home Command Center?

A family command center is essentially a wall or station in your house to help your family organize schedules and important dates, to-do lists, chore charts, grocery list, mail, papers, messages, menus, keys, and/or bags. 

It’s a wall space designed to be the “drop zone” when you first arrive home, the “check out zone” right before you leave, and the place that helps your family’s day-to-day life run smoothly.

kitchen command center wall for family organization using calendar, mail sorter, key rack, and memo board

Kitchen Command Center Ideas

Setting up a family command center is really simple, but it helps to know the amount of space you can dedicate and your family’s functional needs first.

So here are some kitchen family command center ideas around our own organization system to help get you started. 

1. Choose a Blank Wall in a Central Part of Your Home

A blank wall in a central place of the house such as your entryway or kitchen is the perfect place to establish a family command center. The closer you can place it near your family’s usual path to enter/exit your home, the better.

Consider placing one in your entry way, home offices, or even the inside of your cabinet doors in the kitchen if space is limited. You don’t always need a large space to set up your own command center. Just choose the best location where the entire family will see it daily. 

This wall in our kitchen 5 years ago was a space that made me cringe every time I walked into the room, but it had lots of potential. The shelf on the wall was nothing but a clutter catcher.

90s wall shelf in a kitchen with shamrock cut-outs

Shelves like that are my nemesis because they hardly ever deliver real organization. After ripping it down, Robert and I discovered a quirky surprise behind it. Well, hello there fruity wallpaper! 

wallpaper exposed behind a shelf

So I ripped and patched and painted my heart out (asked the wallpaper if it had any great stories to tell from years past, but no luck), and we hung up its replacements to create our family command center.

kitchen command center wall for family organization using calendar, mail sorter, key rack, and memo board

2. Hang a Family Wall Calendar

Every wall command center in a home needs a whole family wall calendar. Choose a dry erase board, a chalkboard calendar, a simple paper calendar, or a peel and stick vinyl calendar you can stick right on the wall. Choose a large size with a lot of room for each member of the family to jot down important events.

We love this personalized acrylic wall calendar where we can also jot down menus, grocery lists, important reminders, and notes to each other. 

kitchen command center wall for family organization using calendar, mail sorter, key rack, and memo board

3. Include a Paper Sorter

Paper clutter scattered on our kitchen counters was a constant battle in our house until we got this wall-mounted paper sorter.

Use slots to keep track of receipts, coupons, incoming mail, bills, school papers, and other important papers. When using a sorter, label the slots with a label maker to make paper organizing at a glance easy peasy.

Add labels or file folders to super streamline it.

4. Keep a Key Rack Handy

Our family is notorious for losing keys, but a key rack keeps us sane while reducing clutter on tabletops. Just one little wall hook for keys from the hardware aisle can do the job, if you don’t have multiple key rings to track. 

mail sorter and key rack wall organizer

5. Add a Bulletin Board

Having a cork board to place last-minute notes from school or important items will keep everyone on the same page. 

Keep push pins available for any important documents, shopping lists, bills, school work, business cards, or whatever that need to remain front and center.

We love leaving sweet messages to each other on ours or displaying greeting cards that arrive from friends in the mail. 

cork board and wall basket with dry erase markers

6. Include Markers for Color Coding

Hang a small wall-mounted basket beside your family wall calendar to hold dry erase markers, and use multiple colors to color-code your schedule. 

Use a specific color for each family member or a specific color for each event type on the shared calendar.

family command center with wall calendar, brass planters, shelf, and memo board

7. Incorporate Storage Needs Specific for Your Family

If you have the space, think about what other storage you could include for items you normally need to grab quickly on the way out of the door.

Maybe add a row of hooks for backpacks and lunch boxes. Or include a small shelf for your purse.

We added a small ledge to place sunglasses and wallets when we get home. And we included a wall hook to store Lola’s leash and collar for walks.

hammered brass wall planters with hook for dog leash

Robert and I have adjusted and tweaked some of the items on our kitchen command center wall here and there over the years, but all in all, it’s remained very much a working system for our family.

Anything to make adulting a little bit easier is a win, right?

command center organizers

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Family Command Center Organizers

Here are some recommended command center organizers to streamline your family’s day-to-day schedule.

kitchen command center with wall calendar and bulletin board

Sources

One of these days, maybe we can even get our acts together enough to go paperless. Google Calendar or the Cozi app work well, if you prefer being all digital. But since our kids don’t have phones yet, setting up a command center is the best solution.

Do you have any organization tricks you use to make adulting easier or any other trick that works for your family? Or ways to keep the mail manageable?

More Organizing Ideas

Bathroom Linen Closet Organization Ideas That Totally Work

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How to Declutter Your Home Quickly with These Organizer Secrets

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Best Storage Solutions for an Organized Garage

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a command center in a kitchen?

A family command center is essentially a wall or station in your house to help your family organize schedules and important dates, to-do lists, chore charts, grocery list, mail, papers, messages, menus, keys, and/or bags. 
It’s a wall space designed to be the “drop zone” when you first arrive home, the “check out zone” right before you leave, and the place that helps your family’s day-to-day life run smoothly.

What should be included in a home command center?

1. Wall calendar
2. Memo board
3. Bulletin board
4. Key rack
5. Mail sorter
6. Ledge for small storage

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31 Comments

  1. Nice idea getting rid of the shelf hanging dillio. It did look so out of place and dated. Personally, what looks distracting is the air vent. Huge! I would have put some sort of slim width open shelving there to hide the thing with baskets so that it still received airflow. Perhaps my idea will help you complete it and compliment it. My eye immediately went to the vent and the dog dishes. Dog dishes need to go to some corner out of the way or at least the shelving would hide them somewhat if you put them to the left of my idea. I hope you finish it off!! Good luck!

  2. Great command center!! You thought of EVERYTHING!!

    So…how about those dog bowls? They’re AWESOME!! Any info/link for those?

    Thanks!

  3. We don’t have a shelf, but there is a section of our kitchen counter that just attracts…everything. Mostly things that don’t have real homes in the house and I don’t want to get rid of them, so they sit in kitchen purgatory.

    Somewhat unrelated – I LOVE your dog bowls!! Do you have a link to them?

  4. Lol, “the shelf lied”, I can totally commiserate with the command center thing. I’ve actually been afraid to even put one up because I know how counterproductive they can be sometimes. Good tips for getting one started!