A couple of months ago, I decided to set up a family command center for the first time ever.
I realized something had to be done when I upset the stack of random papers on the kitchen counter on my way out the door. I was running late for my appointment because I was so busy picking everything up, and while I was doing it, I noticed an overdue bill and a letter I never responded to.
And then it dawned on me halfway to my appointment that my son’s dental appointment was scheduled an hour later. I had to cancel my appointment to go pick him up and take him to his.
Clearly my system for bills, mail, and scheduling was not working. I didn’t even really have a system.
So I started looking up ideas online to get everything organized all in one place, and I ended up finding a ton of fabulous ideas for family command centers!
You probably know what a family command center is; they’ve become a very popular concept over the past few years. But in case you don’t, a family command center is simply a system for organizing your household. You pick one spot in the house and you use it to organize everything:
Incoming and outgoing mail
Notes between family members
If you don’t have a family command center, what you have is a mess. Just keeping one part of your household running smoothly, let alone your entire household, can be next to impossible. And household members are rarely on the same page with one another.
A family command center lets you enjoy the following benefits:
Put an end to scheduling conflicts.
Keep chores, shopping, bills, schoolwork, and mail organized.
Tidy up the appearance of your home.
Save time and money.
Bring your family closer together through notes, artwork, and more. This is a place to celebrate what makes your family special and unique!
Ready to get started? The following 50 family command center ideas should provide you with plenty of inspiration for your own!
1. Make use of your wall space.
This is a great example of a family command center which makes use of very little in the way of desk space. Almost the entirety of the system is on the wall—there is even a cute little key holder on the wall! Notice the bright colors and the personal touches.
2. Make pretty file folders to personalize your family command center.
One wonderful way to spruce up a family command center is by creating beautiful customized folders for organizing. Click on the source link to find out how you can do it using plain old manila folders and contact paper.
3. Sometimes simplicity is all you need.
This family command center is entirely on the wall, and it is also entirely self-contained. As you can see, it is incredibly simple and minimal. But sometimes that is exactly what you need. You do not necessarily have to have everything in one place. Here you can quickly and easily check notes and grab what you need as you are going in or out of the house.
4. Make use of a small empty wall.
This command center spans from floor to ceiling. But what really impresses me about it is its location. It is on a narrow bit of wall which most people would simply ignore. It just goes to show, there is no such thing as unusable space.
5. Make use of cute baskets.
From a visual perspective, you’ve gotta love this command center. It’s got a lot of style. Aren’t those baskets adorable? And check out those custom labels she made … wow!
6. Black and white makes for a nice clean look.
Who says you always need to go with the bright and colorful look? Sometimes a monochromatic command center with high contrasts yields a bold, stunning effect. Plus, it certainly looks neat and organized! There is nothing here to distract you.
7. Simplify your life.
The sign above this pin board that says “Simplify” says it all. Is this a full-fledged command center to take care of all of your organizational needs? No, but it makes for a great bulletin board. If that is all you need, it would work great on its own. Otherwise, you could integrate it with a more comprehensive family command center. Find a tutorial at the source link.
8. Craft a wall organizer with a chalkboard.
Here is a beautiful handcrafted wall organizer with a chalkboard incorporated. There is a place to hang your keys, and enough room for incoming and outgoing mail along with a few additional items. The chalkboard could be used for messages, but a cute design is a great idea too!
9. Use a chalkboard for a calendar.
This command center shows an excellent use of a chalkboard to write out a weekly calendar. The letters denoting the weekdays are permanent, but you can erase and rewrite a new schedule every week. The envelopes for incoming and outgoing mail are also cute and simple.
10. Create a budget-friendly family command center.
Need to create a comprehensive family command center, but on a tight budget? Visit the Simple As That blog to learn some great ideas for getting your family organized on a shoestring.
11. Hide your family command center inside a cabinet.
This is a brilliant idea if you think that a family command center looks cluttered (no matter how organized it is, you still might not want to see scheduling, papers and the like). It is also a genius plan for making use of what little space you have if you live in a tiny house or apartment.
12. Make it minimalist.
This is not an idea for a full command center, but it is a really cool idea for a message board which you could integrate with one. A piece of glass has been painted a vibrant spring green. Dry erase markers can be used to write on the glass.
13. Use pastel tones for a softer look.
“Family command center” … it has a rather harsh military sound to it, doesn’t it? It makes you picture something on a battleship. Well, for a softer look and feel, consider using lovely pastel shades like this talented DIYer. Out of all the command centers I have seen, this one stands out from an aesthetic point of view.
14. Go for an industrial look and feel.
Here we have a chalkboard command center with some simple metal containers painted with industrial type. I love the beautiful simplicity of this system as well as the unique ambiance it creates.
15. Use magnet boards and dry erase boards to get organized.
Here is a great image which spells out exactly what you are looking at. I really like the inclusion of the magnet board! What a smart idea. It’s well worth clicking on the source link to check out other photos of this family command center.
16. Go for a rustic look.
The original source link on this one unfortunately seems to be broken, though it was posted on a site called Post Road Vintage. Everything about this command center is stylish, homey, and inviting! The mason jars, the flowers, the old-fashioned blackboard and the window frame with the distressed wood all combine for a lovely effect.
17. Learn how to build your own message system.
At the source link, you can view a detailed tutorial which teaches you how to build a message system like this. This particular example measures 30 x 22 inches. You can hang it up wherever you want—on a wall or a door. It would be easy to move if you ever decide to rearrange—very cool!
18. Create a “hanging office.”
Previously I shared a great family command center which took advantage of a small, unused section of wall. Here is another one which does the same thing. Running from top to bottom, it offers a great way for family members to stay connected and organized, and it looks fantastic. Check the link for a tutorial.
19. Never gift up looking for ways to beautify and streamline your command center.
Here you can see a “before” and “after” for an upgraded command center. The original command center had some functionality, but it was probably pretty limited—and it certainly was not pretty to look at. The “after” photo is a world away from the “before” photo—it looks incredible!
20. Keep everything neatly aligned for a clean look.
There are two things that grab me about this particular command center. The first is that everything has been neatly lined up in an obvious grid, and this gives everything a tidy appearance. The second is the dark backdrop, which brings contrast to the entire zone, helping you instantly see where everything is.
21. Here is an upgrade to the command center above.
Getting déjà vu looking at this image? That is because this is the exact same wall that was featured above! This is the updated version of it. Check the source link to visit the blog and find out more about the changes. As you can see, the neat grid has been abandoned to some extent, but the dark backdrop and high contrast remains.
22. Here is an elegant, minimal command center.
There is not a whole lot to this command center—just a couple of wire bins, a corkboard, and a calendar along with a strip of blackboard. But do you really need more than this? Perhaps not!
23. Build a command center in your mudroom.
Have you noticed that a lot of the featured command centers in this list are in the kitchen? Don’t forget that there are other areas of your home which are also convenient for your family command center—like your mudroom! Here is a great photo of a mudroom command center which tells you what everything is—very helpful for planning your own command center.
24. Here is a command center with a neat, simple look.
Some command centers are designed with bold colors or high contrast to help them stand out—but this one seems to me like it was built to blend in. And you know what? It does so beautifully.