Every year back to school finds me buried under a mound of paper. Normally, I pile it up on the counter in the kitchen until it starts to drive me insane. Then I go through it and realize I’ve missed 75% of the deadlines and end up trashing almost everything, or putting it back in another pile to repeat the cycle. This year I decided to beat that problem by creating a back to school command center.
I’ve seen a lot of these on Pinterest, and I’ve known for awhile that I wanted to create one for myself. I’ve also been trying to make my laundry room into a more functional space for awhile. After moving stuff around and cleaning stuff out, I found the perfect spot to create my command center next to the back door, achieving two goals with one project (or several little projects strung together).
This is the last thing I see every morning before I leave the house, which makes it a great spot to remind me of things that need to be done. It also gives the kids one central place to drop everything when they come home in the afternoons.
After making my decision, the first thing I did was paint the entire room, which may seem extreme, but it was needed. Hopefully, you won’t need a complete fresh start to create a command center in your home.
Several years ago I purchased a coat rack to hang in this room. I moved it lower so that it would be easier for the kids to reach, and it made the perfect spot for their backpacks, lunch kits, and jackets. I may get a little bench to place next to this area so they will have a spot to put on their shoes in the mornings.
Next, I added organizers I purchased at the office supply store. They were fairly inexpensive and make the perfect spot for all of those papers that are brought home on the daily. I used scrapbook stickers I already had to put the kids’ names on the front. The kids like that they each have a “side”.
I’m notorious for forgetting what is happening on each day of the week. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten to pack dance clothes for Cady. So above the organizers I added a chalkboard to keep our weekly schedule. I purchased this at Hobby Lobby, but it would be easy to make one yourself out of a piece of sheet metal (watch the sharp edges) or an old piece of wood or picture frame and chalkboard paint. I keep the chalk in one of the organizers. This is a good reminder for both me and the kids about what will be happening each day.
I like that it is metal because I can add magnets to it to hold papers. I made some clips out of clothes pins, Mod Podge, magnets, and scrapbook paper to hold all of the kids “special” papers they bring home. Good test scores, awesome artwork, etc.? Pin it to your organizer so that we can all enjoy it. When the next cool thing comes home, the current one can be filed in the organizer until I get a chance to move it to their “keepsake” box.
Above the chalkboard I added a cork board to keep track of other miscellaneous papers like cafeteria menus, t-shirt order forms, field trips and other events. I made this from an old picture frame. To make this I:
- Removed the portraits and glass.
- Painted the frame white.
- Used the photo backing as a template to cut a piece of cork to fit into the frame. (I purchased a roll of cork at Hobby Lobby.)
- Glued the cork to the original photo backing (cardboard).
- Used wood glue to glue the cork and photo backing into the frame.
- Added picture hangers to the back of the frame (I have no idea why they weren’t already on there).
Here’s a helpful tip I learned from David. If you ever need to nail very tiny nails, use a set of needle noses pliers to hold the tiny nail in place while you hammer. This will keep you from smashing your fingers. Guess when he told me this helpful tip?
And that is our back to school command center. So far I’m loving it. Cady digs it too. James doesn’t care one way or another. David is all, “command huh?” Boys.
Have you created a command center in your home to help with organization? Can you think of anything I’ve missed that might come in handy?