Thursday, March 13, 2014

Creating a Kitchen Command Center

I'm always looking for new ways to get my home in order.  And having too much clutter has always bothered me.  So every time I walked into my kitchen and saw paperwork piled underneath tons of magnets on my fridge, a little part of me would die a little!  Okay, a slight overreaction.  But it did bother me.  I needed to come up with a way to organize these papers and incorporate an organized way to keep track of daily and monthly tasks. My kids homework schedules, permission slips, and teacher notes were starting to take over my kitchen.  I knew it was time for something new.  So I created my kitchen command center. 

Here's what I started with.  I know, beautiful isn't it? I always hated this stupid kitchen sign but it was all I could fit on this extremely narrow but tall wall.  So it was time to get to work.

First things first.  I removed the wall hangy thing-a-ma-jig. Not quite sure what you'd call it.  Wiped down the wall with a damp paper towel (just because I always like to start with a nice clean workspace) and gathered all my materials needed.  I placed everything on the floor and arranged it the way I wanted it to be hung on the wall. After I finally made all the decisions, hubby got his hammer and got to work. 

This is what I came up with:

I was so happy with the way it turned out.  Now I have a place for everything.  All my kids schoolwork stays in one place.  Nothing ever gets forgotten and this is the first place I walk to in the morning to check what is going on for that day.  

This little gem I actually purchased at the Goodwill for $3.  It had paint and marker all over it but after a good cleaning, it was perfect for what I wanted it for.  I get a menu dry erase board and two little compartments for my kids school stuff, which I labeled for each child.  (Eventually I'll have to tweak this system a little bit when my littlest one goes to school.) Every Sunday night I get out my dry erase marker and write down our weekly dinner menu.  This helps me not only meal plan and budget more, but it also helps me remember what I need to pull out from the freezer and defrost the night before.  And the cute little days of the week magnets I had purchased at Wal-Mart about 3 years ago.

For my calendar, I had found a grey chevron printable calendar online and slipped it into a document frame from the dollar store.  I used this instead of a regular frame because it doesn't have a border and wouldn't cut down on the writing space.  I just write the month on top and fill in the days for the month and I have a dry erase calendar that perfectly fits into my command center.  This is so great to look at everyday and remember what is due for my kids at school, doctor appointments, conferences, and I even write down things I don't want to forget.  As you can see on Friday, I didn't want to forget that I had to make potato salad.  It sounds odd, but sometimes these things slip my mind.  Must be my old age! So, this is a great place to write down a few reminders to myself.  

This little bill organizer I purchased from Wal-Mart for around $2.50.  I thought it would be perfect to hold any checks my husband receives in the mail from his business, my own personal checks for when I send out bills, and a little sticky notepad for when I need to jot something down.  And of course, my label maker strikes again!

And what is a command center without a supply of pens and dry erase markers?  All easily accessible.  I just picked up a pencil holder and drilled a screw through one of the openings in the back and viola!

 At the very top, I have a sign with my family name that I had made a few months back and a fabric covered cork board to hold all of our important papers.  Right now I have my son's homework schedule for school and my daughter's book-it certificate for Pizza hut. (She made me put that there so I was sure NOT to forget it!)  Perfect for little things that we don't want getting lost in the shuffle or being stuffed behind other paper work.

Above my calendar I also have a bill payment tracker that I created on Excel. I placed in the same type of document frame I put my calendar in.  It basically just has every monthly bill listed on the left side, followed by the amount, and then the due date of each bill.  I have a column for every month of the year and I simply just put an 'X' in the box when the bill is paid.  This way I never forget to pay a bill on time.  And I can't forget the little silver and black wall decal flowers.  So cute, aren't' they?  I just placed them there because that awkward space between the light switch and calendar was getting on my nerves.  I purchased them at Kohl's.  

A nice way to keep your daily life organized, simple, and easy to manage.  And now I have my refrigerator door back and free of clutter and papers!  That's just a terrific plus for me.  

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