I have never been the organized type. It doesn’t come naturally to me at all. But with 2020 throwing all kinds of curveballs (looking at you, distance learning) I knew I needed a little extra help in keeping my life together! So I put together this simple family command center that will hopefully curb the chaos in our house.
I am a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants girl by nature. But this spring when we were all hurled into distance learning, I could not keep it together. Things were falling out of my brain as quickly as they were getting added.
I’m sure any of you parents out there who dealt with this understand what I’m talking about.
Summer was a welcome reprieve for many reasons, but when school started up again (distance learning to start, then a hybrid model coming soon, with potential changes as necessary) I knew I needed some extra help.
Family Command Center
We actually bought all the items for this family command center right before COVID hit. But because it wasn’t a priority at the time (hello, basement reno) we put it on the back burner until now.
I had seen some cute items at Michael’s that inspired me initially, but we didn’t end up getting everything there.
Michael’s had a large, gold-framed calendar that I had wanted initially. However, it was very large and when we went to pick one up, I found that every single one had damage of some kind.
I really wanted the gold frame, but I was also really picky about the design of the calendar portion as well.
It needed to be a monthly calendar, but one that also had space at the side or the bottom where I could write upcoming important dates as well.
I wanted it big enough to write legibly (with a whiteboard marker) in each day without it looking a mess or requiring absurd abbreviations.
After searching high and low, we settled on this one.
This magnetic whiteboard calendar obviously doesn’t have a gold frame, but it generally met the other requirements.
So to make it fit my vision, we also got a can of metallic brass spray paint. Because we were getting a set of wall baskets that were already gold, we chose the spray paint that best matched what we had.
If you find yourself in a similar position where you want to pain the frame of your calendar, here are some tips.
Find some paper of some kind (I used kraft paper because it’s what we had, but newspaper would work fine. Cut it smaller than the calendar face by about an inch on each side. Use a few small pieces of painter’s tape to tape it down in the center of the calendar.
Then use wide painter’s tape to cover the area between the edge of the frame and the paper. You’ll want to focus on getting the tape right up to very edge of the frame and keeping it straight. Don’t get lazy on this part or the final product will suffer.
I used the entire can of spray paint in multiple coats to get good coverage. It took some time, but I’m pretty happy with the results.
I will say that while I’m happy with the calendar in a lot of ways, the mechanism for hanging the thing wasn’t secure on its own. So we added two 3M Command picture hanging strips at the bottom corners to keep it in place.
In addition to the calendar, we also hung a set of three hanging baskets and two clipboards.
The particular set that we have is from Michael’s, but it’s no longer available. However, I found these really cute baskets with a similar feel on Amazon.
The two lower baskets will be for the kids. They’ll be used for important papers we have to reference again in the future. The top one is for other important household papers that tend to get shoved in drawers or sit out on the table for weeks. I assume that sort of thing doesn’t happen at your house, just mine.
I really wanted to find some cute gold clipboards, but I could not for the life of me find any that weren’t absurdly expensive.
I had initially wanted three, but we picked these white ones up at Staples and they only had two. And since I’m using them to display kids’ artwork, I couldn’t really think of what we’d use a third one for. Except that I kind of think it might look more finished with three.
While I’m still deciding, I used more command strips to put them up so I can easily change my mind.
As far as the placement goes, we put this in the back corner of our kitchen. I like it because it’s still easy to reference on a daily basis but isn’t easily visible from the main living area.
Do you have a family command center in your home? What works for you?
And tell me if you think I should do three clipboards instead. Should I swap them out with a different style? I’m still undecided. Let me know in the comments!