38 Inspiring Ideas for Family Command Centers

38 Inspiring Ideas for Family Command Centers ~ Tipsaholic.com #family #organization #commandcenter


School begins and all intentions to stay organized for the year can quickly deteriorate as kids lug home backpacks filled with art projects, handwriting practice, permission slips, sports equipment, and more. Keep things under control by creating a personalized “command center,” where every family member can unload, reload, and store their everyday gear – and Mom can more easily see what, when, and where everyone’s going. Use these 38 ideas to inspire your family’s command center, drop zone, landing zone, organization station, after-school station, or whatever else you want to call it – and get organized for good!




Martha Stewart

1. We love this command center setup with its multi-purpose shelf unit for catching loose items, storage, and hanging coats and bags.



Girl Loves Glam

2. Make your own modern organization board with Girl Loves Glam’s free printables and tutorial for making a fun stained backdrop.


p4cc3 The Container Store

3. A great idea from The Container Store to use simple labeled bags to corral gear for individual children, plus some tips on what to include when building your command center!



The Handmade Home

4. This organization station serves a purpose but looks amazing too with its fun abacus feature.




5. If you’ve got two small areas to use for your landing zone, consider some of these ideas and make both rooms feel cohesive.



Pottery Barn

6. This idea comes directly from the Pottery Barn, and although it’s pricey to buy, it could inspire some fabulous DIY-ing!




7. A couple of simple storage rails or towel rods can go a long way in keeping a small station together. And the corkboard backdrop? Perfect.



iHeart Organizing

8. Use a basic shelf system and some creative accessories (that mirror!) to give your command center some real flair.



The Yellow Cape Cod

9. A hanging tote for each family member makes it easy to transfer items collected during the week to be carried to their rightful homes.



Achieving Creative Order

10. A kids’ art gallery and a fun set of reminder boards? Clever ideas to add to your landing zone at Achieving Creative Order. 




11. Sometimes all you need is a pretty shelving unit and a collection of bins and baskets.



Simply Fabulous Living

12. Industrial baskets and an oversized clock are great pieces to use when organizing on a small section of wall.



Bliss @ Home

13. Don’t forget to add patterns, colors, and fun details to add some great aesthetics.




14. If you’ve got some free time and want to try something permanent, this is a great command center to add to a home! Check out the full chalkboard wall and large photo print.





15. A mounted pocket for homework, permission slips, bills, and more make it much easier for busy parents to keep track of the needs of each family member.





16. Give an unused kitchen corner a useful makeover by turning it into your organization station. And framing recipes from vintage cookbooks? Pure genius when it comes to personal touches.




I Am Momma Hear Me Roar

17. Get access to some weathered wood from an old barn or fence and follow this tutorial to create a rustic command center like this one. Our favorite feature is the painted clothespin family!




Sweet Aprils

18. There’s a lot to love in this landing zone – the clipboards, family rules sign, key holder, chest… And if the frames and accessories you have don’t match, give them a quick coat of spray paint for instant unification.




Tatertots & Jello

19. The base for this project consists of two cheap wooden doors. Paint, textures, and patterns make it a fun and functional part of the home. Simply lean it against a wall or screw it down for a more permanent, sturdy unit.




iHeart Organizing

20. A command center doesn’t have to be elaborate to be useful. Choose accessories that make the most sense for the space and fit your family’s needs.





The Handmade Home

21. Here’s a unique idea for helping kids keep track of their daily tasks, all made with plexiglass so the pieces can be used like dry erase boards. And take a look at the simple string of photos and artwork adding some family love to the wall!




Beneath My Heart

22. If you’ve got a lot of space to work with this command center will give you some great ideas! A big chalkboard painted onto the wall and surrounded by a simple frame makes the perfect background for a three month calendar and some practical add-ons.




23. Sometimes all you need is to repurpose an old piece of furniture. This buffet makes the perfect organizational unit for a command center and a large mirror can double as a message board.




The Elusive Bobbin

24. Can’t quite find the command center boards and accessories you need? Try building your own with these instructions from The Elusive Bobbin.




The Elm Life

25. Make use of kitchen appliances in a kitchen command center! The refrigerator that hugs this wall becomes a great place for little kitchen extras like a menu planning system and cleaning schedule.




The Crafting Chicks

26. Keep things simple with a coat hook and clip for each family member. This organization station uses a magnet board and magnetic clips.




27. This great find from LegacyStudio is up on Etsy—you can buy one or use it as inspiration for your own single-unit command center.



Ana White

28. Another more permanent unit, this one can be built and customized with these plans from Ana White. 



Shaken Together Life

29. Check out these creative customizations – chore boards, baskets for snacks and school supplies, and a special notice board for Mom.



Just a Girl and Her Blog

30. We love the artsy details and crisp colors of this command center. A basket for backpacks is a great alternative to mounting hooks on the wall.




So You Think You’re Crafty

31. This build-it-yourself unit has a great old-school look and the pegboards add a lot of versatility. See the tutorial for a list of inexpensive materials and all the details.




Inspiration Organization

32. Helping kids keep track of their own gear is easy when they can clearly see their names (and initials!) in the command center.



The Lily Pad Cottage

33. Dress up a plain dry erase (or chalk) board by adding painted frames to highlight important lists. Another fun idea – magnets stating the days of the week that can be moved wherever needed.





34. The clean lines in this command center really make things feel organized, and Kikki.K gives five simple steps to creating yours.




Oh So Shabby

35. Oh So Shabby definitely gets the award for sweetest accessories! We’re totally in love with the idea of using mini-mailboxes to stash each kid’s electronics and the cute flower and banner details.




Living Locurto

36. An in-box and out-box for each family member is another great organizational tool to consider when designing your command center. Plus you can snag some free back-to-school printables to go with it at Living Locurto.




Clean and Scentsible

37. If you’re looking for something versatile but not sure how to put it together on your own, get some inspiration from this command center, then head over to Staples’ Martha Stewart section here  to pick your own pieces!




Achieving Creative Order

38. As the family grows and dynamics change, it’s nice to be able to make appropriate changes to your command center as well. Achieving Creative Order does just that with her family’s wall.


 38 Inspiring ideas for family command centers ~ Tipsaholic.com #family #organization #commandcenter


Remodelaholic has 10 more great ideas for Family Command Centers! Check them out here!


Kayla Lilly is a photographer, writer, wife, and mama making a house a home in eastern Idaho. She met her mister while working at an amusement park and married him a year later after deciding there was no way to live without him. The amusement has continued as they’ve added three kids and a passel of pets to their lives while finishing college and starting a photography business. Drawing inspiration from the whirlwinds of marriage, parenthood, and the media, Kayla blogs at Utterly Inexperienced, and spends the rest of her time chasing chickens, organizing junk drawers, diapering toddlers, and photographing everyone willing to step in front of her lens.


Featured image via Better Homes and Gardens.

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How to Encourage Independence in Your Children this School Year




As children get older they tend to develop a strong desire to spread their wings a little more and test new boundaries. As school begins again, you may find that it’s a great time to start giving them opportunities to grow by allowing them to take control of some of the tasks, habits, and personal items they require. Assess the needs of each child and use these suggestions to start encouraging independence in your children this school year.


Let them take responsibility for their breakfast

Breakfast is something parents often take care of but can easily be entrusted to the kids. You can set the boundaries by choosing what foods go on the table, but most school-age children are ready to start serving themselves. If you want to get creative, consider a “breakfast station” like this one, full of breakfast options like oatmeal packets, bagels, and cereal that they can make on their own. Be sure to include some grab-and-go foods like fruit and granola bars for mornings when there are a few kids in a rush.


Allow them to choose their own clothes each day

Help the kids figure out a system for choosing school clothes each day so mornings don’t become too hectic when socks and underwear are nowhere to be found. Will the choice be made right before bed each night? How about choosing five outfits at the start of the week? A simple daily label placed on a hanger – like these free printables from Sweet Bella Roos – with each outfit can eliminate a lot of confusion. It’s likely the kids will become more confident in who they are as they find ways to express themselves through their clothing choices. Let each child find what works best for them and help them stick to it.


Put them in charge of their own lunch

Delegate the morning task of lunch-making to the kids! Set out the ingredients in a way that works for your family, with options from each of the food groups. You can see an example of a lunch station here. Every child can put together a lunch they actually want to eat and you can have more time to sign permission slips and comb hair. And if a child doesn’t get up on time, consider letting the natural consequence of missing out on lunch that day be a lesson to him or her. You can practically guarantee they’ll wake up tomorrow!


Make them responsible for their “stuff”

Allow each of your children to inventory their own backpacks when they walk in the door. Being in charge of their jackets, school papers, and sports gear takes a load off of your plate and uses natural consequences to teach kids why it’s important to keep track of those things. A family command center is the perfect way to give kids the reins but still provide a bit of guidance. There are many ways to create one and you’ll want to customize it to suit your family’s needs, but some basics might include a coat hook for each child, a calendar, a chalkboard, and a basket for each child’s shoes or loose items.  Keep chalk or pens nearby so the kids can write down project deadlines and things they need to remember. Make it clear that they will be responsible for their own gear, and this is the place to keep it if they want to have quick access to it in the mornings. You can see more great command center ideas on Remodelaholic.


Allow them to choose their snacks

Fill a basket (let the kids help too!) with healthy snacks your kids can munch when they get home in the afternoon. Here’s a great example from I Heart Organizing. Kids can choose what they will eat from the basket, but you are in charge of the options that go into the basket. It’s a great solution when trying to balance responsibilities between parent and child.


Put them in charge of some things at home

Including a few household tasks on their list of to-do’s is a good way to keep kids involved at home. Assign simple, age-appropriate tasks that they can choose to do before or after school or use a chore chart or chore wheel like these and perhaps a rewards system to help them start to understand the value of contributing within the family.


A few tips for children who are less enthusiastic about becoming independent:

  • Create routines – a routine establishes a predictable pattern that a child can learn and become confident in. Guide them through the first week of a new routine and then slowly begin to withdraw, allowing them to take responsibility for following and completing the routine.
  • Ask questions – when your child comes to you with a problem you think they can handle on their own, ask questions that will get them thinking for themselves. For example, if your child tells you a friend is talking and disrupting things at school, you might ask, “What could you say to your friend to help her focus on what the teacher is saying?” Or if a child keeps forgetting their homework, “What could you do to help you remember to put the papers in your backpack each night?” Many children can solve their own problems with a bit of encouragement.
  • Believe in them – it can be difficult to step away as your child learns to take care of him or herself. They’ve needed you for so many things for so long! Trust them. Trust that they can make good choices. Trust that they can figure things out, and tell them you trust them. It may be just the thing that gives them the confidence to take the next step


Featured image via Better Homes and Gardens.

Kayla Lilly is a photographer, writer, wife, and mama making a house a home in eastern Idaho. She met her mister while working at an amusement park and married him a year later after deciding there was no way to live without him. The amusement has continued as they’ve added three kids and a passel of pets to their lives while finishing college and starting a photography business. Drawing inspiration from the whirlwinds of marriage, parenthood, and the media, Kayla blogs at Utterly Inexperienced, and spends the rest of her time chasing chickens, organizing junk drawers, diapering toddlers, and photographing everyone willing to step in front of her lens.