Check out these simple tips for setting up a command center in the kitchen!
As a wife and mom, it is important to keep track of everybody else’s schedule and paperwork. But sometimes keeping track of your own schedule and stuff can be hard enough already – what more when you need to keep track of three or more others?
This is where a family command center should come to the rescue!
A command center gives you a place for the mail, bills, permission slips, notes to each other, to-do list, shopping list, meal plan, chores for the kids, the family calendar, and other matters – all in one place.
However you set up your command center should make life easier for you. This is probably why many homemakers choose to set it up in the kitchen.
Why the kitchen?
Think about it – the kitchen is considered the heart of the home.
It is where the family gathers to enjoy a meal together and talk about everyone’s day. It’s where you spend most of your time as you prepare meals. And it’s also one of the rooms that everyone in the family uses daily.
Plus, the kitchen is an area which your guests do not pry into, so you can be assured of the privacy of everyone’s plans and papers!
So if you are looking for a solution to be able to pay the bills on time, tame the paper clutter in your home, and not miss out on anyone’s events and appointments, setting up a command center in the kitchen may just be what you need to keep your house in order.
What to put in a command center?
Again, a command center should make your homemaking life easier. What must be included in it will depend on you and your family’s needs.
Every family is unique, but we can’t deny, there will always be needs that we will find in common to one another.
So here’s a rundown of what moms usually put in theirs. If it benefits your home life too, be sure to include it!
Now some of these may not be practical for you, so I have shared some details on how we do it in our small home. You may find these more helpful when you also live in a small home.
A calendar is one of the most important things to set up in your command center. Choose a calendar with squares big enough for notes that can be read clearly by everyone in the house.
Personally, this is my favorite tool. I can’t imagine my life without a big calendar at home! It helps me so much. Many times I write my to-do list in it and it’s just so easy to review which tasks are yet to be done.
Time check – what time is it already? When you check what needs to be done, you might as well check the time too.
At home we have a clock in the bedroom and in the living room. We don’t have one in the kitchen. So whenever I want to know what time it is, I go to the living room. I tell you it can be time and energy consuming just having to check the clock every time you need to know what time it is.
So just put one in the kitchen command center!
3. Message board
This is the part where you and your family can leave notes to each other. You can use any type of dry-erase board or chalkboard for this – if your space can accommodate it.
If it can’t, then just use the space on the fridge. We do this at home. We don’t have a space for a formal command center, so we simply use stick notes.
Get a stick note, write your note, then stick it on the fridge, and that’s it!
4. Mail or file sorter
Another important element of the command center is to have a mail or file sorter. This will help a lot when it comes to taming the paper clutter. You can use a binder, cubicles, folders, and baskets, for this purpose.
We simply use a basket as a dumping ground. Then I just sort them out and put each paper where it belongs. Easy peasy!
5. Emergency contact numbers
Make a list of emergency contact numbers for days when you are not around and the kids are left at home. Include the numbers for the police station, hospital, your office, and relatives that live close by.
6. Chore chart
If you have kids and are teaching them to be responsible, setting up a weekly chore chart will be a wonderful addition to your command center. Turn it into a checklist that your kids can tick off when they accomplish a task.
A command center is a commonplace to leave keys so a couple of hooks will be useful. You can also use hooks to hang wire baskets or to act as a mini mudroom where your family can hang their coats and bags.
8. Writing tools compartment
Of course, you need to put up space to accommodate the writing tools you will need for the command center. It can be chalk for a chalkboard, markers for a whiteboard, or pen and pencil. Make sure to have space for the erasers too.
We only use a pen to write our notes at home. I just put the pen in a small bin. Easy peasy!
9. Charging station
If you have an outlet nearby, you may also set up a charging station in your command center where the family can leave gadgets to charge. This will surely give them another reason to look at the command center you set up.
10. Meal plan
Let everyone know what’s for dinner – so that everyone will also know what to prepare.
This also helps you remind yourself what ingredients you need to buy for the week’s meals. And you don’t have to constantly think – what’s for dinner? It’s there already!
11. Grocery list
The grocery list is a fixture for kitchen command centers. Family members can easily list down what they need right away so there is no need to do a long inventory before you go out to shop.
When you’re going to the grocery store, just grab the list and you’ll know which supplies to buy.
Kitchen command center setup ideas
Now here are some of the most popular kitchen command center ideas that we have found. See whether you can adapt these ideas in your own home!
1. Refrigerator command center
This is definitely us! But you know what? Before command centers were a thing, most households use the refrigerator as a message board.
You can definitely set it up the same way – only in a more organized manner just like this example!
To make this simple and effective, make sure that the surface of the refrigerator is not being used for anything else. The command center then can stay neat and orderly.
2. Kitchen cabinet command center
If your kitchen can spare a cabinet, turn that one into a command center! This will give you storage space to place more things that the family needs.
This is a great idea of a hidden command center setup! Just make sure that the rest of the family checks on it every time.
3. Cabinet doors command center
Okay, maybe you can’t afford to give your whole cabinet space for a command center? No problem! You can use the door only!
Using your kitchen cabinet doors is another way to set up an invisible command center. Make sure you use the right adhesives so that everything will stay in place.
4. Hideaway cabinet command center
Here is another version of the hidden cabinet command center.
Rather than taking up the whole cabinet space, just use the side! Then simply install cabinet doors to keep it hidden. Brilliant!
5. Pantry door command center
If your kitchen cabinet is really not available, you may also use the pantry door as a hidden command center- same as the idea of using the space behind your kitchen cabinet doors.
This will probably give you more space for the command center if you have a large pantry. Make sure to add a grocery list! It’s already in the pantry, so taking note of which pantry supplies need replenishment is so easy!
6. Kitchen counter command center
Let’s say you do not need much on a command center. You can keep it as simple as this example – the kitchen countertop is used.
Set it up in a space far from the cooking and food prep area of the kitchen.
7. Appliances corner command center
Everyone uses the kitchen appliances such as the microwave, coffee machine, or toaster to start the day. The area where these appliances are makes it a good spot for your command center – it is an area that nobody will miss.
In this example, the way the calendar is set up makes sure that you get to see if there are some important events or appointments set for the day first thing in the morning.
8. Kitchen entrance command center
If you do not have a spot to spare in the kitchen itself, consider using the entrance of your kitchen. There might be a wall space that you can use like this one. It could be a wall dividing your kitchen and the dining room too.
9. Hanging command center
You can use ready-made hanging command centers for a quick and hassle-free setup. These organizers already have pocket compartments for your needs. You just have to think of how you would utilize these pockets in accordance to your needs.
You can hang them behind the door, on the refrigerator, behind the pantry door, or on the kitchen wall.
10. Kitchen workstation command center
Do you have a workstation in the kitchen? You can set up a command center right there! This is great when you’re a mom who work from home as well!
11. Kitchen wall command center
If you have a blank wall space in the kitchen, you can turn that into a family command center just like this one. Again, use the right adhesive to keep everything in place. Add some quotes or framed family pictures to make it look more appealing!
Time to set up your command center!
A command center is indeed helpful and important to help you stay in charge and in control. But again, remember, the key to making your command center work is to personalize it to according to your needs.
Keep it simple so it’s easy to use. Don’t complicate. And declutter it regularly so that it stays neat and up-to-date.
If you need more ideas for setting up a command center, check out our related article – 20 Command Center Ideas That You Can Easily Adopt In Your Own Home