Back to School Organization: How to Start a Family Command Center

Back to School Organization: How to Start a Family Command Center | Diary of a DIYer

Back to school season can get the best of us.

It starts in the weeks before school begins. The impending schedules full of appointments and football games. The never-ending piles of homework and questions of “What’s for dinner?”

If it seems like no one in your family is on the same page during the first weeks of September, now is the perfect time to get organized before the busyness of the school year gets to us.

One simple solution: start a family command center. Here’s how.

What is a Family Command Center?

It’s a really official-sounding name for a great organizational system. Simply put, a command center is everything you need to keep your family focused and organized in one spot.

They’re great for busy families trying to stay organized, which is a must when school starts! Adding one to your home will help a ton when it comes to balancing appointments, keeping track of bills, and much more.

What to Include in Your Command Center

When you’re planning your family command center, consider including these items:

1. Calendar

A calendar is an absolute must when the school year starts. There’s nothing more difficult than trying to balance appointments, games, field trips and more. If you really want to get into it, use colored pens for each type of event or member of your family.

2. Folders

Labeled folders will definitely keep everything organized. Keep your bills, invitations and receipts in an easy-to-find place so nothing gets forgotten.

3. Catch-All Tray

This is especially helpful in mudroom command centers. Use it to collect keys, sunglasses, loose change…really, anything small that has a tendency to get misplaced.

Make an effort to go through it at least once a week, though – you don’t want it to become a small-scale junk drawer.

4. Message Board

Whether it’s a whiteboard or chalkboard, a message board will be helpful for quick reminders. No one will forget to pick up a gallon of milk if it’s written big and bold on their way out! You can get creative with this one too. Use it to list the chores for the week or your dinner menu.

5. Charging Station

It never hurts to have a designated spot to juice up your devices. Find a docking station with cord management so there aren’t a bunch of stray wires in plain sight.


Where to Put Your Family Command Center

Two of the best places to put a command center in your home is in the kitchen or mudroom.


The kitchen is the hub of the home for many families. I know it is for mine! That makes it one of the best spots to set up your command center.

Clear some counter space to get started. My kitchen has a small counter with a couple of drawers and cabinets separate from everything else, which makes it the perfect spot. If your kitchen has something similar, use that!

But if space is slight, you can always use the side of your fridge as a command center.


For those of you with mudrooms, starting a command center couldn’t be easier. It’s the last thing you’ll see before leaving and the first thing you’ll see when you come home.

When you’re on the way out, take a quick glance at the calendar or message board for last minute reminders.

At the end of the day, take a few minutes to update the message board or cross off appointments on the calendar. This will help you stay organized when life gets crazy busy. And since it’s in the mudroom, you can use the space as a drop-off for backpacks, sports gear and anything else that doesn’t need to make its way into your main living area.


Back to school season is hard enough with all the chaos of getting ready for the upcoming year. Starting a family command center in your home will help calm the chaos to make this school year the most organized one yet!

Need more tips? Follow my Command Centers board on Pinterest.