Family command centre ideas - avoid overwhelm with these clever organisation solutions

How to set up and customise your families' organisation and planning hub to keep things running smoothly

Blue wallpaper with command centre and storage unit
(Image credit: Future PLC)

Yes, you can multitask like a boss, but there are still times when parents’ evening gets forgotten and the milk runs out. That’s when a family command centre would have your back. It’s a dedicated space where you can keep track of who’s doing what and when, menus, shopping lists and all the things that tend to be put down never to be seen again. 

If organisation isn’t your strong point, a family command centre idea will be a total game-changer. If you’re already the Queen of Lists, it will take your family management skills to the next level. It will form a hub for key information, forward planning and everything that needs to be picked up and packed up before leaving the house. It is a natural companion to hallway storage idea, and will make sure your days of leaving the house without your mobile, wallet or security lanyard are over.

Family command centres are modular. You can customise yours depending on your family’s needs and the space you have available. Like we said before this could be in the hallway and involve bespoke joinery; the simplest takes two square feet of wall space. Alternatively, a natural spot for a command centre is adding it to your kitchen ideas.

The elements of a command centre can vary and will be personal to you. We’ve found 10 inspiring examples for you to steal a few ideas from. 

1. Create a wall display

grey home office

(Image credit: Future)

Choosing matching pieces makes a command centre work with your décor. Sue Spencer, a KonMari Consultant (expert in Marie Kondo’s organisation techniques) and owner of A Life More Organised, says ‘This is what I instantly recognise as a command centre – it’s a hub where everything needed for running a family home is kept. A calendar to keep track of who’s where, a blackboard for reminders and shopping lists, and storage for paperwork, invites and RSVPs.’ 

Chrissy Halton, a professional organiser at Organise My House, adds, ‘Having a dry-erase calendar and a blackboard is more environmentally friendly than having to print off sheets each time you make a change.’ 

You can make your own with a photo frame and dry erase pens available on Amazon, or purchase a ready-made version. 

2. Opt for the ‘public vs private’ solution

Command centre with white board with plant pot

(Image credit: Lauren Collander Interiors / Picture Perfect Home)

 This style of command centre gives you the option of having the urgent stuff on show, and a whole lotta junk shoved away in the cabinets underneath. Ideal for a corner of a kitchen or utility, or even a small home office idea where you need to keep up some semblance of tidiness and calm - at least on the outside.

Chrissy Halton comments, ‘It’s perfect for a more minimalist look. You only have to have out the really crucial things and it looks great! What makes all the difference is the storage underneath. This can house all your paperwork, stationery, etc, so it’s out of the way but easily accessible.’ 

3. Create a ‘bespoke’ flatpack basecamp

Blue hallway with white shoe storage

(Image credit: Future PLC / David Brittain)

An awkward corner can be turned from dead space into a functional alcove idea with the right mix of basic units to create a utility-cloakroom catch-all. It is ideal for a small home, and can be adapted as your needs change.

Chrissy notes, ‘Having both open and closed storage (shelving and hooks plus drawers, boxes and baskets) means you can combine display areas with hiding the things you don’t want to be visible (letters and documents, for example). With such a variety of options, you can create something bespoke that totally suits your needs.’ Sue adds, ‘This command centre could look great in a living area.’

4. Streamline with a clipboard/pegboard combo

Command centre with white storage unit

(Image credit: Kaitie Bryant Photography)

When life gets really complicated, communication is key. Clipboard the lists you live by and keep all the information in plain sight so everyone knows where they need to be, when and with what. No excuses! 

Chrissy’s a big fan of the humble clipboard: ‘These are truly my favourite way to store paperwork in my command centre. I use one for a calendar, one for important notes, and have used in the past one for menu planning for the week, and displaying my daughter’s art from school. The beauty of these is that you can hook them up easily and hang them in a row, column or grid.’ 

Sue Spencer adds, ‘I love a peg board for storing frequently used items and making the most of wall space rather than using up space on a worksurface.’

Amazon has some brilliant wooden pegboards which you could paint over for an added decorative flourish.

5. Make a console catch-all

Magnolia wall with cork board and bench

(Image credit: The Decor Formula)

Start with a console and you’ve got the foundation of a serious command centre that offers storage as well as wall space for calendars and memos. 

Wall storage is key with this family command centre idea, and is ideal if you need to keep multiple family members organised. Chrissy points out: ‘The row of baskets is perfect for having one per person in the house, for post or things that need to be picked up (i.e. school letters, forms etc) and taken out the house. They’re open enough to see what’s inside – so things won’t get forgotten easily. The hanging pots are perfect for pens – it’s always handy to have a few in a command centre ready to fill out forms or sign things.’

6. Dial it up with a charging station

Blue wallpaper with command centre and storage unit

(Image credit: The Homes I Have Made)

Hang up your keys, pin up a school letter, check the diary for tomorrow and plug in your phone to charge. That’s the kind of daily coming-home routine that a command centre makes possible. 

Home with Harriet’ blogger and Instagram ‘cleanfluencer’ Harriet Knock says, ‘Adding a charging station for your devices is GENIUS! There is nothing worse than scurrying around the house desperately trying to find a charger in the midst of the chaos, when your technology is about to run out of battery and shut down. It’s so easy to misplace the cables and plugs, so creating a space for this means you’ll always know where they are. It would also be a great place to store power banks and other tech accessories, too.'

There are plenty of clever ways to hide wires if you opt to add in a charging zone. A cable storage box like this bamboo version from Amazon, is ideal for keeping things tidy and aesthetic.

7. Invest in dedicated cabinetry

Utility room with light sage shaker units and built in boot room

(Image credit: Martin Moore)

Custom cabinetry works a dream if you want your command centre to sit as part of your utility room ideas, or your hallway ideas

Harriet sees the wisdom in this if you’re a homeowner: ‘Custom carpentry is such a classy and stylish solution. It is designed to last and maximise the space. I love the fact it can be tailored to your exact requirements. Need 10 coat hooks? Not a problem. Need mostly cupboard space? Sorted. It's truly individual.’ 

8. Stack things vertically

kitchen area with white shelve desk and laptop

(Image credit: Future PLC/Simon Whitmore)

You could really go large on this idea and fill a whole wall with pegboards, adding accessories for flexible storage depending on your needs. Chrissy Halton says, ‘You can get baskets, hooks, pots, and so on, so you can create a truly bespoke command centre that can be changed up really easily.’ 

Sue Spencer makes the point, ‘Pegboards are a great way to add personalisation to your command centre. Plus, you can decorate them as well as have the essential “homes” for things.’

9. Make a kitchen ‘drop zone’

Yellow hallway with blue coat rack

(Image credit: Future PLC / Dominic Blackmore)

Kitchen, utility, porch… Wherever you get the most footfall is the ideal spot to facilitate efficient and tidy comings and goings. A place to sit and take off shoes, hooks for the dog’s lead, shelving for all eventualities. 

Chrissy Halton, a professional organiser at Organise My House, loves including open baskets in a drop zone to keep things tidy: ‘ These can hide a multitude of things easily, and are quick to throw things in as you come through the door. I would use them for seasonal items – a winter one for gloves, hats and scarves, and a summer one for sun cream, glasses and hats. I’d add labels, though, so it’s quick to see what’s in each one without having to bring it down from the shelf.’

10. Delegate control with a kids’ action station

Command centre with chalk board with hexagon cork board

(Image credit: Uniquely Taylor Made)

It’s never too early to learn good life-management skills. This command centre helps kids see their schedule, manage homework and pin up artwork. 

Harriet Knock says, ‘As a mother of three (soon to be four) children, two of which are at school, I can't tell you how overwhelming the amount of paperwork can be. There is so much to remember – different dates, activities, clubs, party invites. This is a great solution as you can divide sections up for each child, allowing things to stay organised and more manageable. No more forgetting deadlines or play dates! I would add pegs for hanging their school book bags on.’


What makes a good command centre?

 The first key to making a good command centre is working out the room with the most footfall and organisation discussions. Building it in the perfect spot is pivotal to it becoming embedded in your daily habits.

It should be useable by everyone in the family – the aim is to save you work and help your family to take responsibility. Put calendars and reminders at eyelevel, backpack hooks and shoe storage within reach of the smallest child. Flexibility is key. It has to change as your lives evolve. Built-in storage is a risk in this respect, unless you add a mix of cubes baskets and hooks for adaptability. 

What should be in a family command centre?

 This is entirely personal to your needs but our advice would be to pick ‘n’ mix the following elements:

  • Shoe storage
  • Storage for outdoor accessories
  • Hooks for backpacks
  • Noticeboard or chalkboard
  • Calendar
  • Clipboards
  • Paper and pens
  • Storage for keys
  • Baskets, mini buckets, pockets, holders for small items
  • Shelf
  • Storage for letters, bills, takeaway menus
  • Bench seat
  • Console table or desk
  • Cube storage
  • Clock
  • Chargers
  • Decorative pieces, such as family photos, plants, lamp

How do you build a family command centre?

Choose the best location: a high-traffic, visible place with space for everyone to cluster around it when they all pile into the house (or get ready to go) at the same time. 

Then, take time to decide on its purpose. What do you need it to be? What do you not need it to be? This will depend on other spaces you already have. For example, you might prefer to have lists on the fridge door for meal planning and food shopping. Homework schedules and bills might be better off living in your home office, if you have one. Take an inventory of clutter around the house and items that frequently go missing. Shortlist your storage and display needs accordingly. 

Position furniture (if you have space for it) and the largest wall item first – likely to be a calendar or planner. To keep the layout neat and tidy, contain all the elements within a square or rectangle shape marked out with masking tape. You could draw the layout on paper first, prioritising the essentials before adding ‘nice to haves’ like a clock or display shelf. 

Personalise and decorate it with family photos, mottos and mementoes. You’ll love it all the more if it adds to your décor rather than compromises it. Lastly, train everyone to use it! Reinforce routines so that shoes are put away, bags hung up and phones plugged in to charge as soon as everyone walks in and before they crash in front of the TV.

Let family command centre training commence!

Vanessa Richmond

Vanessa Richmond has been a freelance writer, editor and editorial consultant since 2021. Her career in magazines began in 1998 and, apart from a four-year stint at women’s lifestyle magazine Red, it has been spent working on interiors titles including House Beautiful, Country Homes & Interiors and Style at Home. She first joined the Ideal Home team in 2006 as Chief Sub-editor and subsequently became its Associate Editor, Editor and Editorial Director. Now she writes for and Ideal Home magazine as a freelance journalist.