Family The Center Of Everything

Every stage of a family’s lifecycle brings with it special scheduling challenges. Keeping up with the busy lives of all family members can be a bit overwhelming if you don’t have the right tools in place.

As your children grow, they start school, develop new interests, and become involved in extracurricular activities. All of these things are fun but can take some adjustment. You may need to start coordinating carpool schedules, preparing school lunches, and keeping track of homework. How do you keep it all straight without losing your mind?

As your children enter high school and college years, they are almost fully grown. On top of that, they have developed agendas of their own — agendas independent of your agendas. This can be freeing for both of you, but you still need to be in the loop about the big events. How do you effectively keep track of your grown children’s schedules without being invasive?

Maybe you and/or your spouse have a heavy workload, so you don’t get to see each other as often as you would like. How do you coordinate your schedules so you can meet in the middle more often?

You can use one of my favorite organizing tools to stay on top of it all: A Family Command Center. This is simply an area, in your home, designated to hold everyone’s schedules, important dates, and frequently used household information.

Here is how I suggest creating a simple Family Command Center to calm the chaos.

First, select a centralized location where everyone will know to look for important information, such as the kitchen or den. Once you’ve chosen the location, stick to that spot. Moving stuff around all the time and not being consistent with where you keep things confuses and frustrates everyone.

Next, a Family Command Center should be fairly simple, visually speaking. If you have too many notes, agendas, calendars, and to-do listed posted all over the place, you may create information overload and add to the chaos.

Finally, tailor your command center to fit the current needs of your family. Remember to update the information as it changes. Here are a few ideas for what you could add to your command center:

  • A family calendar with everyone’s schedules
  • Baskets for each family member’s current projects/school papers/misc.
  • Shopping lists
  • School lunch calendars or school lunch ideas
  • A dry erase board for special reminders
  • Household binder with important information such as contact numbers, school information, pet/house sitter info, etc.
  • An extra set of keys
  • A secret stash of emergency cash
  • Adding a family motto to your command center is another fun idea. Print up your favorite inspirational quote or create your own family motto as a reminder of why you want to keep up with each other.

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