A command center looks different for everyone. Before you can really plan your own command center you have to think of your needs. I did a lot of research because some ideas that kept popping up weren’t pertinent to me. Here is a list of common command center parts:
- white board/chalkboard
- mail holder/organizer
- key ring
- memo board to show off invitations, thank yous, photos, etc
- homework pockets/bins
- to do/to buy list
- weekly menu
- decor (photos, prints, etc, to offset the organizational items)
- chore chart
- place for pens/pencils
I’m sure there are plenty more but those seem to be the main components. Part of the deciding process is also dependent on the size and location of your space. For example, I need a mail organization system but we’re using a smaller wall that opens up into the kitchen and so I didn’t want my potentially messy mail to be hanging so openly. So we’re saving our mail organization for our desk area in a different room. But once you decide what you need then you can start collecting. For my command center I needed a calendar, notepad for grocery list, key ring, fun decor and a memo board to display all the invitations, baby annoucements and thank you cards we get in the mail. Below I go into more detail about each item we chose.
1. Calendar: Every year I make a new photo calendar on Shutterfly. So far I’ve never had to pay anything more than shipping either thanks to their free calendar promo they typically do in November. Eric’s extended family on his dad’s side is huge. Eric is one of 27 cousins and over half are married with kids so the number of birthdays and anniversaries I need written on my calendar is a little insane. I love Shutterfly because I can have all those special dates typed out by them that way it doesn’t take up much room on the calendar and Shutterfly stores them so I don’t have to re-type them out each year (only add new additions). I also like the feature of adding a photo to dates and so for our immediate family I always add a picture on our birthday and one on our anniversary. Also I’m not a planner person, I’m a calendar person. Everything goes on the calendar and it’s color coded by family member. Even though I have a deep love for sharpies I would get really aggravated anytime plans would change and I would have to scribble it out. We mentioned these on our Valentine gift guide for her but in case you missed it, I use these amazing erasable gel pens. They seriously work and are so cute! My only complaint (which is true of many pens) is that sometimes they don’t want to work if I’m writing in the upright position with the calendar on the wall. But that’s not a deal breaker for me. Right now Shutterfly is offering 40% off everything (& 50% off hard cover photo books) with code SAVEBIG.
2. Calendar Holder: Since I always order the same size calendar I wanted to add a holder to add dimension to our command center. We simply cut a piece of wood an inch or two bigger than the calendar, sanded it (especially the edges so it wasn’t too sharp looking), stained it, added an old nail to hang calendar on and then a wire hanger on the back to attach it to our wall.
3. Shutter Memo Board: There are many types of memo boards. Magnetic, push pin, upholstered ribbon and ones that use clips/clothespins. I wanted the latter. Magnets aren’t always strong enough, push pins put a hole in what you’re hanging (and if it’s our own invitations then I like to save them for the kids memory file) and sometimes the ribbon ones don’t stay in place that well and I don’t like how the ribbon cuts over the top of what you’re hanging. So in a word I’m picky. I know. So I narrowed it down to clothespins. For the board itself I was leaning towards making a frame with chicken wire when on a garage sale site this lady was selling old wooden shutters for cheap and realized that would be perfect for my space. I needed something long and narrow. As you can see in the before the shutter was a darker wood. I bought chalk paint from my favorite local store, B. Erin Designs. First I removed the hinges and knob and then I used several coats of the chalk paint to get it covered. Not going to lie, painting a shutter is not very fun with all the slats. After it was dry I used sandpaper to distress the edges. Eric added a wire hanger on back.
4. Mason Jar Holders: In order to make the command center efficient I wanted my pens and clothespins to be stored right there. I always have mason jars on hand for entertaining so I grabbed 3 of the pint sized ones. To attach them you need pipe clamps. They are in the plumbing section of any home improvement store and are super cheap. I don’t have photos of the process (made this pre-blogging) but you simply drill the the center of a clamps to the board (I would drill all clamps before adding mason jars). Then you slip in the mason jars and tighten the clamp as necessary. I really only needed two but added a third to make it look even and use the center one as a decorative jar for flowers (not real because those don’t last in this house).
5. Notepad holder: There is not much to this one as the holder was something I found in the clearance section of Kohl’s and the notepad was from the dollar spot at Target. The white hook was also something we already had on hand and I have no idea where it came from (#lifeofahoarder)
6. 2+3 Decor: I saw a sign similar on Pinterest and thought it was so cute and wanted to recreate it myself. When we moved into this house one room was covered in wood paneling – but like legit wood paneling, not the fake looking stuff. We saved some of it because I liked how thin it was and could be re-used for sign making. So that’s what I used here. I painted white over the top and then distressed it. I then made stencils for the “2+3” and “family.” It was such an easy, quick project! To make stencils this is my not-very-technical-I’m-sure-there’s-a-better-way-approach. I go into word or some other editing software on my computer and type what I’m needing in the font I like and size I need. I then take regular computer paper and place it on top of my computer screen and trace (it needs to be thin paper so you can see through to trace). I then cut those letters out and then retrace them on a thicker cardstock. I then cut out the cardstock and use that as my “official” stencil. So it takes a few steps but my projects always turn out way better than trying to freehand it.
If you need any further details about this project that I missed please comment below! Happy organizing and Happy President’s Day!