Organize: Reclaiming the Command Center

About a year ago, I set out to organize this area of my kitchen and claim it as our “Command Center”.  Fantastic ideas were being shared all over the internet and on my favorite blogs.

A few things I did:

I created (my version) of a family binder, utilizing one of my very favorite organizing tools: clear plastic sleeves.  The binder still works wonderfully.  I regularly go through the binder and cull items that are no longer pertinent.

I glued a piece of sheet metal to the door to act as a magnetic bulletin board.  A great spot to post something that I want to keep my eye on; like school conference dates.  That is still working great.

But this cupboard quickly returned to a place to dump.  And I am just as guilty as the rest of the family.  I don’t like things on the counter.  “I’ll just stash it in here and deal with it later.” 

And here we are.

It is now “later” and I am more than ready to FINISH this project.  I wanted to make it functional and pretty.  And I did not want to spend a dime.  Not a cent.  You see that jar there with the change?  Yeah, that is where I want all of my extra dimes to go right now.  Because that little vacation is worth just as much to me as a well-organized home.  More, actually.

The first thing I did was get rid of things that did not belong in here.

I bet you didn’t know that E.T. and Joseph were good buds?  Yeah, they were hanging out in my kitchen cupboard together.  Bye, guys!

I also recycled many papers and extra calendars, put parts in their rightful place,  and donated many miss-matched magnets.

Then I set about creating storage to really keep us organized.  I found everything I needed from around the house.

A place for everything, and everything in its place!

I actually added a few things that I have wanted to do for a really long time, like the celebration calendar.   More on that later.

Here is the breakdown for you:

Here’s the low down:

1. Spare keys.  You know, garage keys, etc.

2. School lunch menu/ calendar.  I have a more comprehensive calendar of events in the family binder.

3.  My car and house keys.

4. Dry erase “Let’s Celebrate” Calendar.

I created this calendar in word, very simply.  I glued it to some pretty card-stock and ran it through my laminating machine.

At the beginning of each month, I will simply fill in the birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions of our loved ones for that month.

Last summer, my grandmother helped me create an awesome master list of birthdays and anniversaries for our entire family, including addresses!  This has helped me keep track of special dates and get cards in the mail in a timely manner.  The master list is in our family binder.

I really want to remember to “Send Love”. 


5.  Speaking of sending love, I organized a media box to house greeting cards.  I used card-stock and colorful sharpies to label each category.  Quick, easy and ORGANIZED.  Love it!

I put the stamps in the front.  I also stock up on cards when they go on sale.

6.  Cords.  OK, usually we just tossed cords onto the top shelf and hoped for the best.  I don’t know how many times we have all gone searching for a charger for our phones or iPods.  Now they MUST go in this basket.  Everyone has been told.  No excuses.

7.  Mr. Gibbs’ Treasures.  This basket?  I really love it.  It addresses so many issues and I hope it solves a few of them!  My dear sweet hubby (affectionately referred to as Mr. Gibbs) likes to a.) leave a trail of belongings on the counters, and b.) collect little scraps of paper.  What happens if I see a piece of stray paper on the counter?  Yeah, into the recycling  it goes.  Sorry, not my fault, it is the way I was raised.   Just like if you want to keep a coffee cup, you should hold onto it.  Because if you set it down on the counter, it is going to be put in the dishwasher.  That is where dirty dishes go. 

But I digress, this basket is for my dear sweet hubby to put ALL OF HIS TREASURES.  And I will not say a peep about the thousand scraps of paper in it.

To create the labels for the baskets, I typed up some simple labels in Word, glued them to some pretty paper and ran them through my laminating machine.  I punched a few holes in the label, drilled a few holes in the baskets, and tied them on.  Simple!

8. I also left a jar with glue and scissors for box tops.  I have been a lot better about saving box tops since we have a place to put them.

9.  Disney Fund Jar.  Pretty much the day after we returned from our first Disneyland vacation two years ago, I began saving for our next trip.  I decided I could go without a lot of things in order to save for bi-yearly trips to Disneyland.  We had so much fun.  And having a jar dedicated to all spare change and the occasional dollar bill makes saving easy.  I created the label in Word, glued it on some Mickey ears,  and taped it to the jar.

10.  Family Binders and Phone Books.  I won’t go into detail about our family binder.  There are SO MANY wonderful posts on the internet, and I used ideas from many of them.  Mine is simple and utilizes clear plastic sleeves to help me stay organized.

So there you have it!  Our freshly organized family “Command Center”.  I wanted to share in hopes that  you found a little something to inspire, as I am always inspired by other folks’ great ideas.

Now I can open this cupboard door and not feel overwhelmed by the clutter and chaos!

Happy Organizing everyone,

xo Jay

Sharing this idea (and many more) with these fine  folks.

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  1. Love, Love, Love it. What a great transformation. I really like the card file. I have mine all in a basket and they are wild in there. Thanks for sharing such great tips. Rhonda @ The Messy Roost

    • Jay says:

      Thanks Rhonda! Thank you for checking out the blog and taking time to comment. The card file was super cheap and quick. That media box was from Micheal’s on sale for around $3.00. Do it, girl!

  2. Oh. My. Word. I don’t even know where to begin. I love you ideas!! I’m stopping by from A Bowl Full of Lemons.

    My hubby and yours must be twins. I am promptly going to be making him his very own “Mr.” basket. Ha! I love it. I also love how you keep your greeting cards and your special days calendar at your command center. That is one of my terrible weaknesses – I am SO bad at sending snail mail, even though I know it means so much to people. Thanks for the inspiration!

    I’m hosting a brand new linky party on my blog, Organizing Homelife, and I would love for you to link up this post!
    Ginny @ Organizing Homelife recently posted..Simply Sensational Tuesday Linky Party #1My Profile

    • Jay says:

      Thanks for your sweet comments, Ginny. I am trying to get better at remembering other people’s special days. I will certainly head over to your link party. Thank you for the invite.

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