Are you looking for a way to organize your family’s daily activities? If you find yourself juggling grocery lists, kids’ extracurricular activity schedules, work schedules and more, you may want to create a command centre in your home. A command centre can help you organize the activities and tasks of all of your family members.
What is a Command Centre?
A command centre is simply a location in your home where schedules, shopping lists, contact phone numbers and other important information is kept. One family may set up a table with a large bulletin board hanging above it. Another family’s command centre may consist of a desk and a laptop computer with a calendar. It’s the place where family members go when they want to check a schedule, look at a seasonal maintenance list, add to the grocery list, look for a phone number or find other family-related information.
What Would You Like to Keep Track Of?
The best thing about a command centre is it can be anything you want it to be. It’s a place to keep a running list for the weekly trip to the grocery store. So you and your kids can add items to the list when you think of them during the week.
A bulletin board featuring all of your kids’ names and their daily activities is another thing to include in your command centre. Soccer practice, choir rehearsal and horseback riding lessons may be listed under one child’s name. Another child has piano lessons and cooking class under his name. This is an organized way to keep track of the days and times of practices, rehearsals, lessons and more.
A calendar hanging above your command centre can have all of the days and times you plan to work overtime at the office. So your kids and spouse are aware of these occasions ahead of time and don't have to ask you each day.
Other information to keep in your command centre:
- Vacation days for work or school
- Special occasions such as school plays, concerts and graduations
- Medical and dental appointments
Create a System Tailored to Your Family’s Needs
The workings of your command centre should not be difficult to figure out. You could use a simple method of having different colours to highlight important events on the calendar. An event highlighted in pink indicates a doctor’s appointment while an event highlighted in blue indicates a grocery shopping day. One glance at your command centre calendar should be all a family member needs to know about what is happening that day.
Add Some Baskets to Organize Your Daily Mail
Choose three small metal or woven baskets to help you sort your mail. Label one basket for junk mail so you can recycle it at the end of the week. Label another basket for important items such as bills and official letters. The third basket can be for personal mail such as Christmas cards, postcards etc.
Make Space for Supplies
Notepads, pens, highlighters, tape, paper clips and scissors are just a few of the supplies you may use in your family’s command centre. Put up a small shelf to store and organize these supplies.
Take a Few Minutes Each Week to Refresh Your Command Centre
Even a command centre that operates at top efficiency can become a little messy. So, be sure to take a few minutes each week to straighten and put away supplies, check the items in your mail baskets and update the calendar.
The Major Benefits of Maintaining a Command Centre at Home
Maintaining a command centre is very helpful year-round, but it’s especially useful around back-to-school time. The start of school means kids must shop for and keep track of the supplies they’ll need for classes. Also, they'll need to plan out their daily schedules of after-school activities. Having a command centre takes the guesswork out of which kid is heading in what direction after-school.
A command centre can help parents to plan out their work schedules. For instance, if you have a young child in daycare, you and your spouse can make note of who's picking up the child on what day. Parents can also use the command centre to let family members know about doctor’s appointments, therapies, dentist appointments, etc.
You can also use it to plan special events. For example, a list displayed there can show the tasks assigned to each child in preparation for an upcoming birthday celebration for a grandparent.
Keeping a command centre can contribute to the health of a family’s pets. A calendar can be used to keep track of a dog or cat’s vaccinations, grooming appointments and general checkups.
A command centre would be helpful to a neighbour who is watching your home while you and your family are on vacation. The list of things to do such as water plants, feed the dog and close the curtains would all be laid out in an organized way.
Creating a command centre in your home can be valuable especially if your family members have a lot of activities. Once you create your system, don’t be afraid to tweak it to improve its efficiency.