Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Command central: A busy mom's best friend

Every happy home needs a Command Central, that highly functional central space where you keep track of mail, field trips, and the family calendar.

Wondering where, what, and how to make it happen in your own home? Read on!


Photo source: Houzz

Where to place Command Central in your home.

  • In the kitchen. Where else? Like it or not, the kitchen is every home's community center. That makes kitchens, or the spaces and rooms nearby, a natural spot for Command Central.

  • Dedicated space (that means not the kitchen counter). Having mail, cell phones, and soccer schedules pile up next to the microwave is not exactly the point. The point is to create an easy, organized system that has a place and purpose all its own.

  • Consider counter height. A taller work area allows for easy access with an option to sit or stand.

  • Make good use of built-ins. Less work and cost to get you started!

  • Maximize walls and sides. Not enough room for a desk or spare counter space? The side of the refrigerator, the end of a cabinet, or a wall with dead space can be transformed with a little attention and the right tools.


Photo source: Infarrantly Creative

Here an oversized piece of magnetic sheet metal is affixed to the cabinet surrounding the fridge. Magnetic organizers are used to hold supplies. (Local tip: Get sheet metal in any size from Ballard Sheet Metal.)


Photo source: Houzz

Here, a custom built-in matches the rest of the kitchen cabinetry. With the door closed it blends right in!

Don't overlook small walls outside of or in between rooms. An added perk to this solution is that there isn't much horizontal surface for piles of stuff to accumulate.

More creative use of a spare wall:


Photo source: One Creative Housewife

  • Get creative with closets. As an added bonus, you can close the door when company comes!

Here, an under-utilized coat closet was transformed into Command Central:


Sara Eizen

Wedgewood client project

Need a more high performance Command Central? Create a mini office space within an unused closet.

What you need to make Command Central really work.

Now that you found the perfect spot, the next step is gathering the right tools to support you.

The Magnetic Magazine Pocket by Seattle-based, mom-owned company Three by Three is hands down one of my favorite organizing products. Available in a variety of cute colors, it's one of the best ways to manage papers and doubles as a memo board, to boot.


Three By Three

The Sort it Out, also by Three by Three, showcases multi-tasking at its finest.


Three By Three

I personally love the modern-industrial look of a pegboard. The Peggy Board at Crate & Barrel (by Three by Three) delivers on form, function, and magnetic personality.


Crate and Barrel

Add a bright pop of color with these wall-mounted sorters from Land of Nod.


Land of Nod

This is just plain cute!


Land of Nod

Although intended for kitchen utensils, this system from Ikea is a fun, effective way to get stuff off of desk surfaces.



Calendars are essential for Command Central. This one lets you color code each family member so you know who needs to be where at a quick glance.


The Organized Parent

We all need to juice up our electronics, but all those cords can be unsightly. I love this great charging station from Ikea.



And this awesome smart phone charger that keeps cords off your desk or counter. Now that's smart!


A Plus R Store

I'm crazy about these handy outlets with built-in USB ports.



Not the DIY type? These easy wall-mount solutions give you Command Central right out of the box.




Pottery Barn

Even if you don't fancy yourself the controlling type, you can still take command of family business at home. Create your own Command Central at home, and then come on back and tell me about it.

Sara Eizen is a Seattle-based interior designer and home organizer with a passion for helping busy families reclaim style and space in their homes on any budget. In a bi-weekly column for Seattle's Child, Sara shares creative, fun, affordable tips and tricks for clearing clutter, sprucing up rooms with minimal effort, creating systems that simplify family life, and much more.

About the Author

Sara Eizen