What is a family command center?
A family command center is basically ONE area where the entire family goes to for important family-related information, meal planning, phone numbers and contact information, to-do tasks, events, “requires action” papers like permission slips, bills to be paid and the list goes on.
A place within the home that everyone has access to and sees on a daily basis.
You love the idea, but you don’t have the wall space
As much as we all love the beautiful Pinterest looking family command center walls, not everyone has the luxury of the wall space. So what’s your best option at this point?
A family command center binder!
Why should you have a family command center?
Today’s families are so busy with extracurricular activities, appointments, client meetings, meal planning, shopping, etc. that having one area where all this information is kept, is essential to keeping your life organized and less stressed everyday. All of this in one area creates a habit for your family to know where to go when they want answers to important questions like; “what’s for dinner?” Now all they have to do is check the weekly meal planner and see.
A family command center allows everyone in the home to be on “the same page” when it comes to where to write things down or for children to know where to put important papers from school, like permission slips, tests that need a parent’s signature, and report cards. This also eliminates the last minute (as you’re trying to get everyone out the door because the family woke up late);
“I need you to sign my test”
or the ever so popular;
“I need $10 for my class trip, it’s due today”!!!
What should you include in your family binder?
What you include in your binder is really up to you and your family’s needs. The main ones I personally suggest are the following;
1) Family calendar (whether this means just a one monthly sheet, each person has a separate slot for each day of the month, or similar to planners; an hourly breakdown)
2) Meal planner (the one in this post is just a blank sheet that I laminated and wrote each day of the week on and then you can add your meals while saving paper clutter at the same time…win-win)
3) Dividers with pockets (with a label of each family members name. The pocket is for those loose papers that need attention, but you don’t want to get lost. For example; permission slips from children’s school or a bill that needs to be paid)
4) Three ring pencil case (to hold all the dry erase markers, pens, stickers, sticky notes! etc. The last thing you want to do is going searching for a pen)
5) A don’t forget page to add any reminders on (I suggest having that as your first page to your family command center binder so it’s the first thing the family sees when they open the binder. Again, a laminate blank piece of paper where you save even more paper clutter)
6) A page with emergency numbers (I would even suggest adding it to front or back of the binder, those binders that have a clear pocket, use that)
Where do I keep my family binder?
Keep your binder out in the open where everyone can see it, have access to it and in a central location that you use everyday. Most families have them in the kitchen on the counter. Everyone goes into the kitchen, at least once a day, having it on the counter makes it visible so you are reminded to look at it and add your reminders for the next day. Kids can easily reach and add there permission slips, tests that need a parents signature, etc. Plus, with the family meal planner, it’s easy to access when it’s kept in the kitchen, you know, where you actually cook the meal.
So make sure you don’t hide it away in the cupboard for the family to forget it’s there (“out of sight, out of mind” is not the idea here). If you don’t like the look of traditional binders, there are more decorative binder options.
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The whole idea of a family binder/command center, is so the entire family can become organized together. It’s the place where all family related information should be kept. In doing so, this creates a habit where you no longer have to think about where that permission slip is, or ‘what’s for dinner?’.
= Less mind clutter!
I hope I’ve inspired you to start your own binder.
Do you have a family command center or family binder? I’d love to hear what’s working for you and your family in the comments below. What are your must haves?
From my desk to yours,
Want to check out #1minutebehindthescene on how I did these photos myself with only my cell phone and some help from Amy Paris Jackson from Learn Blog Photography?
Watch the video!