Every month I have a routine: make the meal plan, do the grocery lists, order 8 million dollars of stuff from Costco, and update our family command center. All the things that keep our family in the loop and happy (i.e. fed). This little area of our home came about last year when my kids asked multiple times a day "What's for dinner?" and started regularly scheduling activities when we already had plans.

Now I know a lot of you are thinking - google calendars will solve all of your problems. Duh. Set one up. I feel ya, and in fact, we have a shared calendar for both meals AND activities. However we all needed a little something that put the week's events in the spotlight so we were forced to see what was happening.

And so the command center was born. A place where our lives are centralized and posted for everyone to see, as well as a spot to drop mail and notices that need passing back and forth. (Why, oh why, do schools send home so much paper???)

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Our command center resides on a wall that leads from our kitchen to our basement. This is a very high traffic area and a space where everyone in our family will see what's on the calendars. When choosing a location in your home, I recommend finding a spot that is centralized so that your fam won't have to go out of their way to see what's happening.

The Calendars

We've broken this down into a couple of functional areas. First let's talk about the calendars.

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We want to see what's going on this month and this week. But oh, we are not satisfied with just that. In addition, we want to know what's going on next month. This means we have two monthly calendars, as well as two weekly calendars - one for activities and one for meals. Have you figured out yet that we REALLY like food in this house?

Since there are five of us, we each have a color assigned and write our activities on the monthly and weekly calendars in that color. For activities multiple people are participating in, we write those in black and add colored dots after the time to denote who is involved in that activity. Since space is limited on the monthly calendar, we just write start times in our specified color. On the weekly calendar we add more detail to provide context - start and end times and a description of the event.

When I set this up I envisoned making customized boards with beautiful frames, but settled for storebought, off the shelf dry erase boards. And you know what? It's pretty darn useful and looks cute enough for now.

Storage

We have a couple places for storage in this command center, the main section being some corkboards and a mail slot for each of the kids. I had some vinyl decals lying around so personalized each one with the kiddo's initial and then their mail/docs get put into the corresponding mail slot under their board.

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In addition, we discovered pretty quickly that we needed a spot for random notes and to hold the slew of dry erase markers that we have. I added a little mason jar holder with a spot for a notebook that keeps all of these items centralized.

It's a crazy amount of work to keep a family of 5 running smoothly, but we've got you covered. Have questions about how to organize your family? Want to share tips & tricks that work for you? Leave your thoughts in the comments!