Back To School Tips From One Organized Mama: The Family Command Center

There is a saying that goes for writers, "write what you know." In this case I'm writing about what I'd like to know and what I've been learning from doing research on this segment called, Calling All Organized Moms! Please Share Your Secrets!  I'm not going to lie to you, I've never been accused of being organized. Sure there have been times in my life and certain instances where I have been organized, even really organized - but as a mom in general there is a lot I still need to learn. However, I'm totally willing to learn. That is the first step!

I've received many emails and messages about the various methods moms' use to organize their household and for my first featured post on Organized Mamas, I'm super proud and excited to share with you one of the most organized mom's I know - our cousin, Jenn who is One Organized Mama! She is the wife of my husband's cousin, James and I've seen her mad organizing skillz first hand, so it was no question that I wanted to ask her to please, please, PLEASE fill us in on her secrets. Luckily for us, she was happy to!

Jenn has some really great tips for getting your house ready for the onslaught of papers, books, toys, shoes, backpacks, lunch boxes, playdates and school activities that come from every day life with kids, but especially when your kids are going back to school.

Meet Jenn -

Clean up after yourself. 
House elves don't work here.

Hi, my name is Jenn and I am a list making, calender keeping, post-it note sticking, red pen checker kinda gal! I am a total nut when it comes to having a calendar and list in every room and I have to make them every week and review them every morning - especially during the school year. With both girls in school, one in girl scouts, cheer and language club, plus playdates, grocery shopping, errands and various appointments, I needed to get it all together.

Home Is Where The Heart Is.

I am a stay-at-home mom to two awesome little girls - very busy little girls! Lillian is six years old and Madelyn is three and a half. My Hubby works in the Country Club/Restaurant Industry and just when I think I understand his schedule, club season changes, weddings are booked, events are planned and it becomes crazy at his place of business - so long story short he typically gets one day off a week. I try not to complain because during the summer he is usually home a lot more and well, he loves what he does and it allows me to stay home and focus on what is important... our girls. 

Jenn has a few signs in her house to remind her and her family about the important things in life. 

Always Remember To:
  • Count Your Blessings
  • Live Simply
  • Dream Big
  • Be Grateful
  • Give Love
  • Give Lots
  • Laugh Lots

How can you get away from all of the daily tasks needed to run a busy family household and still Live Simply? 

Hold tight because Jenn has some great tips for you:

The Family Command Center

I felt so overwhelmed with all of my various lists and calendars in different rooms so I knew I needed to consolidate everything to one location in order to be efficient in my organization. Thanks to Pinterest I got some great ideas on a Family Command Center!

Picture taken by Jenn H. -  Family Command Center - My Tales From The Crib - 2013  

... so this is my FCC which is my new favorite area of our house! Not only is it a monthly and weekly organizer, the girls have their shoes, toys, library and school backpacks all in one place. My Hubby has given me an official title ...other than Mom of course, I am now the "House Manager" (heeheehee!!)

Picture taken by Jenn H. -  Family Command Center - My Tales From The Crib - 2013  

Not only can the Hubby see whats going on at a glance, he can add things to the calendar too like date nights, nights he might be home early and even days he has off. The girls love it too! 

Picture taken by Jenn H. -  Family Command Center - My Tales From The Crib - 2013  

I was so tired of collecting shoes after everyone went to bed I decided to put in a shoe rack and let me tell you I have not seen a missing shoe for the past few months! Even the Hubby and I put our shoes there when we come in from the garage. 

Which saves us time getting out the door in the morning.

Picture taken by Jenn H. -  Family Command Center - My Tales From The Crib - 2013 

My favorite part of the Family Command Center is probably the labeled baskets. One for each girl! After they go to bed I spend barely 10 minutes collecting all of the toys off the floor and I throw everything in their own basket. When they do their chores the next day it is their responsibility to clean out their own basket and put everything back where it belongs. 

Remembering What Is Important

The Family Rules:
  • Keep your promises
  • Share
  • Think of others before yourself
  • Say, "I love you"
  • Listen to your parents
  • Do your best
  • Say, "please" and "thank you"
  • Always tell the truth
  • Laugh at yourself
  • Hug often
  • Use kind words
  • Love each other

Anyone can learn to be more organized and make a Family Command Center that fits your family's needs and personal style. You can see from the picture below that you don't even need that much space to accomplish your own FCC.

Picture taken by Jenn H. -  Family Command Center - My Tales From The Crib - 2013 
Way to make your small spaces count, Jenn!  

Getting Organized Doesn't Have To Go Over The Monthly Budget Either!

Before you hit your favorite department store, look around your house to find things you already own to use in your Family Command Center like bins, hooks, dry erase boards, etc. I used an old shoe rack we already owned and I found cheap frames and scrapbooking paper in the clearance isle. Check your dollar stores, discounted stores and clearance isles for cute items that are very useful and very inexpensive. I bought the Family Rules plaque at Marshall's for only $4.00! The baskets were the most expensive purchase at $6.00 a piece at World Market and I found the little chalkboards for just over $1.00 there too. I hope to replace my dry erase calendar with a trendy chalk board or framed dry erase board someday but for now what I have works great!

Good luck with organizing!!

We appreciate all of your great organizing tips, Jenn! I've started using your tips and tricks in my own house and we've already seen an improvement! Are you an Organized Mom and would like to share your tips?  Click here to see how your ideas can be featured on our blog or if you have a just few tried and true tips that help you get through the day/week we'll take those too!

Can't think of anything specific?  We're looking for organizing tips on:

  • Creating a weekly/monthly menu
  • Tips on cheap, easy, cute and yummy school lunches
  • Homeschooling: Getting/staying on task!
  • Creating a monthly family budget
  • Tricks on tackling laundry/dishes/bills/toys, etc.
  • Tricks on tackling a stubborn area in your house: closets/garage/toy room/family room, etc. 
  • Simple ways to go green and help save the Earth.
  • What do you need tips on??  Please share.

Thanks for sharing!  Was this helpful?  Let us know below!  

Click here to read more Back To School posts! 

This post was shared on the following blogs:

My Random Musings
Domesticated Momster


  1. Great ideas to get organized. I love your command center! It's so function & also looks really great. Back to school adds a lot more work! #AnythingGoes x

    1. Yes, Back To School does add a lot of stress for sure! We need all of the tips we can get! Thank you for commenting Cuddle Fairy!

  2. I love the phrase Count your blessings. It's always a good thing to do. I enjoyed seeing all the photographs of the organisation in the home- ready for back to school etc! it looks really awesome! I need to sort out our Hallway! Visiting from #Anythinggoes

    Angela from

    1. I like that phrase too. It's a good reminder to be happy with what you have. Something I think most of us forget to do. I like seeing photos of organization tips too because it's inspiring to get rid of the mess!! Thanks for commenting, Angela!

  3. What a brilliant idea! I could make a command center and my kids would probably still place their backpacks wherever they came off. I am visiting from #AnythingGoes! Hope you are well!

  4. A family command centre is such a brilliant idea. It looks pretty simple to upkeep too once it's in place!
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes

  5. Back this time around via #momsterslink...thanks for linking up lovely!

  6. We are trying hard to be more organized this school year. My second (and youngest) daughter started school this fall so we made our own type of "command centre" with mini chalkboards with 3 hooks below - we got 2, one for each girl. Backpacks hang on one hook, ballet bags on another, and hats or other hangable items on the third. It's been working alright so far! Thanks for the tips!

  7. Visiting this time around from #momsterslink. Thanks for linking this with me...still think it's such a great idea!


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