Create A Family Command Center
I don’t know about you but when my house is messy, full of clutter and junk I just am not happy. In fact, I get anxiety over it. Then nobody in my house is happy.
I have three kids, and they are only preschool age, yet we have papers, beyond papers and more papers. We get a daily note each day with their behaviors, we get a weekly receipt from the preschool tuition, then we get the artwork, construction paper projects, its a lot of PAPER. When we come home at the end of the day, theres 3 lunches boxes and all this paper, shoes, blankets and what not just bulldozing onto my kitchen counters.
This doesn’t even begin to include the mail. We get quite the handful every day form fliers, to bills, to ads, magazines (that I don’t even ask or pay for :/) and catalogs. If it is pottery barn or something similar, I may have a quick look before tossing it. We even have a PO box, for my little online business, and well thats gets paper too. It’s insane the amount of paper coming in my house.
Now you know by now, I am a PAPER planner girl. I like saving trees as much as the next guy, but something about a paper planner is just much more effective for me to get things done. And you can read all about my latest planner here. But, after so long one can only
manage suffocate in paper so long.
So what’s a girl to do…. well I created a Family Command Center!!! Sounds brilliant doesn’t it? I imagined horns tooting and music playing while I typed that. But it is true – a family command center to manage all the incoming daily clutter, not just the mail, but lunch boxes, bags, my purse, and whatever else. The worst part is, that I know it will only get worse as my kids get into grade school with homework, and after school activities and such. There will be even more paper and bags!
We needed a designated space, a place to “process” all that stuff. Somewhere to keep it from over flowing into the kitchen, the floor, the dining table, the everywhere else but where it should be place.
So.. I went to Pinterest. I looked at hundreds of mud rooms to get ideas about bags and shoe storage. I looked at dash walls with calendars, and letter/mail bins and to do lists holders… nothing really seemed to exactly work to fit our family needs. Then I got the idea of combining the two together to create our family command center.
A place to unload bags, and lunch boxes. A place to put backpacks, my purse, my lunch box. A place to but shoes that had sand, a place to sort mail, a place to calendar reminders for the family including doctor and dentist appointments, Blue shirt Tuesday, and Red shirt Fridays for the kids.
With a little planning, and of course with the help of my Mr. Crafty husband we created this family command center. He was a little hesitant at first when I told him how much stuff I wanted to house here on the little 4 foot wide wall, but he humored me and helped with the process, and I think he is pretty happy with the out come as I am.
Heres what we stated with this. This wall as you enter our home off the garage. We had a few hook sconce things there, and some faded looking paint. Ick.
Here is is from a different angle. I decided we need to paint the kitchen because well, I got more home DIY ideas in the works (in my head) and that will be including some gray walls, so at the time, I just decided to go ahead a pick out a color I love. Prefect Greige by Sherwin Williams was the winner. Not too gray, not to beige.
I also decided to just add some molding and headboard to the wall. Just to give it a pop and to kind of give it that mud room feel.
Thanks to Mr. Crafty… he is so handy and can really just whip something up like this. Side story: when we were dating he did some renovations to my condo I owned to save me some dollars, and well at the time I was scared to let him because I didn’t know how it would turn out, and of course it was awesome. He probably thinks I love just for his skills, which is totally not true. I love him for who he is, but handy skills is a bonus. Its like the jelly to a crafty’s girls jam. Or whatever.
After we got this pretty molding all squared away, it was time to paint it white.
Here is the side and front views.
Then we added some calendars to have two months at a glance of all the family things happening. Don’t worry, I still use my paper planner, but this just reinforces the events of the month each day as we leave.
We also added some letters bins. I was strategic about placement of the bins and how many. I wanted a slot for each person in our home because I know that in the future each kid will have permission slips, and forms etc. Plus they will get their own mail one day. Then a slot for my husband and I, and a slot for everything else like coupons, the dog (just kidding) invitations to weddings, birthdays etc. That way if there is ever a sale, side street show, or event we want to attend, as the month comes up on our boards, I can calendar it, and then keep the coupon in that slot.
I also got one bin for keys and dry erase markers and do-dads. We also placed 7 hooks along the bottom. One for each kiddo, me and my husband along with 2 extras for jackets, backpacks for the weekends etc. We keep a backpack with diapers and wipes ready here so we don’t have to load a diaper bag up anymore. Especially for trips to a theme park. I can just grab it load it with snacks and extra clothes and off we go.
Then on the other short wall, we created a space for our kiddos artwork to be on display and enjoy, with some more hooks below because you know, we need a lot of hooks to hand stuff. After about a month or so I take down the old artwork and file it away for safe keeping.
Crafters Tip: I made the Masterpieces sign with some wood, white wash stain and vinyl I cut out on my silhouette. Very quick and easy. I nailed to nails into the corners and wrapped some wire around each nail. Before securing the wire, I loaded up about 6 or 7 clamp paper clips to easy clip the artwork onto.
The beauty of this project is now my kitchen counter tops are clean and clutter free. Everyday, as we walk in we “process” our stuff here. Later after dinner I clean and throw out anything that may need to be or tended to. I also file away all the mail into the bins to avoid any time spent hoarded up on the counters.
So just to give you a quick Before and After…..
Here is the before..
And the after.
Extremely happy with the outcome, and our day to day runs just a little more smoother. Do you have a family command center?
What do you do to control the paper clutter in your home? Leave a comment and share your ideas. Or if you have a question, leave it in the comments!