Organization Station: The Makings of Command Center Walls
So it’s been a while since I’ve posted- and you’ll have to excuse me- my day job’s been getting in the way and we’ve had 7 straight weeks of school since our last snow day (I know what my non-teacher friends are saying… Boo Hoo… and you got the whole summer off). Therefore I’ve taken on the attitude that if I put my head down and keep plugging away I’ll eventually make it to spring break. And here we are… 1 more wake up until Spring Break.
Now home organization and command centers have been a hot topic among many of the people I’m currently decorating for that either work at home or have children who come home with thousands of papers.
Take my friend LQ for example- She’s got 4 kids, and each one has loads and loads of papers:
She enlisted me to help her organize all of their “S@#%” (her words, not mine… but if I had kids they’d be mine too).
She told me her exact needs like “I won’t be writing out the week’s menu… I just need a place to organize all the papers they come home with”. And here’s how it turned out:
So this post will focus on the key staples/items needed in command centers, and you can adjust it to your needs. Now if you search pinterest you’ll find a host of good examples of command centers and they all have some items in common:
Source: Right- onecreativehousewife.com ; Left- littleyellowwheelbarrow.com
Sources: Left- alittlecraftinyourday.com; Right- pistoncars.com
The easy formula for an organization station or command center that looks “put together” and organized is:
Calendar + Memoboard + Mail Sorter + File Holders/Baskets + Key Holder + Supply Organizer + something interesting
Calendars: In my example, LQ gets a calendar with all family pictures from her husband and kids each year for Christmas. In most command centers I would recommend a whiteboard calendar or chalkboard calendar that can be changed out each month. It should be large enough that you are able to write in the boxes. Best places for calendars? Homegoods! They always have them for around $14.99- $19.99 and they happen to be in the office aisle… which is my favorite aisle in the store. Hobby Lobby also has a pretty large one that you can get for 50% off if you hit the sales right.
Memo board: Memo boards are key for a fancy way of making it look like all of the invitations, menus, business cards, dentist appointment reminders, and other random crap that sits on your counter is organized. I always get the cheapest and “prettiest” looking memo boards from Homegoods for around $14.99. The one pictured above has a nailhead design and is from there. You can also find them in the Memo/chalkboard section of Hobby Lobby. Make it even fancier with fun-looking push pins- target is great for having these.
Mail Sorter: Don’t have a ton of mail to sort? Go for a smaller mail sorter like the envelope pictured below from Target. (Click for a direct link). Hobby Lobby also has one in galvanized metal for a whopping $11.99 that you can also hit at a 50% sale and get for less than $7.
File Holders/ Baskets: File baskets are easy to find at Hobby Lobby (which is where I got the ones shown above), Ikea, or Home Goods. LQ really needed a way to organize each of her 4 children’s (yes, 4! ) papers. I labeled each one with a tiny chalkboard tag that I purchased from Hobby Lobby as well. In addition the the file baskets and file sorter- Lindsay needed a way of displaying all of her kids’ schedules: sports, lessons, etc. Her entire wall could be covered with schedules alone- so I decided to mount inexpensive clipboards that I also purchased from Hobby Lobby. That way she can put multiple schedules on one clipboard and flip through to look.
Key Holder: Isn’t for everyone- but since most people’s command centers are in an area like a mudroom- a key holder is an important piece for those of you who’s organization station will be near the garage. Hobby Lobby also has some cute key holders. Target has some combination ones as well like the one pictured below (click for direct link to item):
Supply Organizer: This is for anyone who has kids and needs access to pens, pencils, and crayons. I purchased the supply organizer pictured from Ikea, it’s part of the finthrop system. I’ve seen people use it as a way of holding plants or kitchen utensils as well. Target also has a cute mason jar supply holder and it’s currently on sale (click for direct link to item):
Something Interesting: Can be anything to make your wall look a little stylish and has nothing to do with organization. In the case of LQ’s its the “hello” wood word. Make it a word, a clock, cute sign, letter of your last name, deer antlers, or anything you find appealing to the eye.
1) Adjust the command center to meet your needs.
Don’t just buy certain pieces because you saw an inspiration picture and you thought it would look nice. If you’re not going to use it- don’t include it. For example- some people add a “menu of the week” board- but for moms on the go just trying to keep shit ( i mean “it”) all together- a menu of the week might not be realistic. I’m talking to the moms who throw some easy mac in the microwave with a side of some pirate’s booty and call it a night. Don’t worry I’m not judging- we’re just all surviving, and pirate’s booty is so freaking tasty that I’d consider it a meal by itself. Make a list of these items and have it with you while your shopping.
2) Make a sketch of your space
and draw out what items you would like on that space. This will give you an idea of what pieces you’re looking for when you’re out shopping.
3) Measure out the space you have on the wall before buying things.
For example, if you have a wall space of 4 feet by 6 feet high- you want to make sure your command center doesn’t go right up to the ends of the wall. Bring it in about 6 inches on each side, and make sure it doesn’t go all the way to the ceiling. Take along these measurements with you. Bring a tape measure with you to the store and place things out on the floor! I know it sounds crazy but I do this all the time. (You’ll find me at the back of the store in a section I think no one will walk in- with a whole bunch of crap laid out on the floor.) Fill your cart with a lot of different items so that you can change and swap things out on your floor command center.
4) It’s all about the lines!
Just like I said in my wall collage post which you can find here: it’s important to make sure you have items that are matching up line wise in certain areas of your command center.
5) Don’t put items too close together!!!
Nothing is worse than seeing a command center- or wall collage with items budding right up next to each other. Check out what I mean about “All about the lines” by reading my previous post on wall collages here:
6) Make it more “fancy” and appealing to the eye by adding in a decor piece that has nothing to do with the organizational aspect of the command center.
For example- in my command center pictured above it would be the “hello”. Make it a word- a clock, a home accent piece like deer antlers- whatever tickles your fancy!
7) Don’t have the time to figure this all out or pay someone to do it for you?
Check out Pottery Barn’s organization stations- they make it easy to make a command center. All you have to do is stick the items in your cart. They’re currently having a 25% sale (4/11/29) use code: FRIENDS (Click on photo to be brought directly to these items):