I never really put much thought into a command center or even the space where we entered our home. We just came in the foyer and laid our stuff down, took our shoes off and took them and our coats to their respective homes in our rooms (or the coat closet, which is in the laundry room, for me and the Hubs). When we would leave we would have to again round up our shoes and our coats and struggled for space to put them all on. It would never fail, one of the kids would forget their gloves or hat or backpack in their rooms. When you are already running late this is VERY frustrating.
To add to this madness, our alarm system is in our laundry room (garage entrance). We would have to set the alarm and run all the way through the house to make it out before it went off. GENIUS IDEA if you want a workout every time you leave and come in your home!!!
There was no home for any papers or mail. They landed on the kitchen counters and when I got to them they would be sorted. We never had a menu plan and usually ate out because by the time I had to think about what was for dinner I didn't want to make it. We didn't have a family calendar and no one but me ever knew what was going on. We were a mess!
I finally, after five years of coming in and out the front door with children, decided it was not very smart to do it that way. Don't ask what took me so long because I really have no idea! I started looking on Pinterest for ideas to store all of the madness and found a command center! I had never heard of one before that. I don't know how I had missed it. It has saved my life and sanity!
I found a few, but really liked this one:
I looked for the empty space on the wall in my laundry room (garage entrance). I made a list of what I wanted to store and what I wanted in my command center.
~ I no longer wanted the mail on the counters.
~ I needed a place for the bills.
~ I wanted a family calendar so everyone knew what was going on each day.
~ I wanted a place for misc papers and notes to my family. (i.e. a whiteboard)
~ I wanted space for both kids school papers, backpacks, shoes, coats and hats/gloves.
~ I wanted a menu plan.
~ I loved the last name initial on the idea above.
~ and I needed a place for our keys.
I measured the space and drew out my layout on just a plain sheet of paper. I started looking for things at Hobby Lobby, TJ Maxx, Walmart, Target and pretty much everywhere else I went shopping on a regular basis. It didn't take too long for me to gather my supplies. Then I employed the Hubs to help me hang everything and this is what we got!
The M on the wall was from Hobby Lobby. I just painted it black and drilled two tiny pilot holes in the top so that the letter would not crack and nailed it to the wall.
The whiteboard and calendar were found at Target. The whiteboard has a pin board around it so we can pin important notes or display fabulous school art. I have found that using the Vis-a-Vis wet erase pens on the calendar makes it much easier. That way your writing does not wipe off when you are drafting it.
The menu board was a tray that I found at Hobby Lobby and painted with chalk board paint. I also had to attach a hanging bracket to the back of the tray for it to have something to hang from. To write on the menu board I bought a charcoal pencil at Michael's. It allows for smaller print and doesn't smear like regular chalk, but still wipes off with a wet cloth.
The keys hanger came from Hobby Lobby also.
For the kids papers I found some hanging wall files at Walmart. I placed a clear plastic envelope and a clip board in each. The envelope holds their school papers that I want to keep until they can be filed away. The clipboard is there for them to grab to do their homework while we are on the go.
The middle hanging wall file was found at Hobby Lobby. In the top section I now have two colorful folders labeled: Menu Planning and To Do Lists. This is where I put my coupons or grocery lists as well as lists of things we need to get done in the future, but don't need to see all the time. In the top section, I also have an expandable envelope that I found in the One Spot at Target that holds my bills.
The bottom section of the wall file holds the same as the top except the folders are labeled: Schedules/Calendar and Misc Important Info. This is where I put the print out of the school calendar or any papers from school or sports about events until they can make it on the whiteboard calendar. The misc important info holds everything else that doesn't have a home and needs to be kept for a while. This section also has an expandable envelope that holds printable forms to go to school with the kids or little pre-printed lunch box notes. Here is also where we put the daily mail that is opened and filed away EVERYDAY! I didn't allow much space for it to pile up, so it is necessary that I clean it out daily. See how I tricked myself there...?
I lucked out and found one with two hooks at the bottom, so I decided to hang two little buckets from the Target One Spot. One says "dry erase" and the other is just pretty. Guess which one holds the dry erase markers??? The other bucket holds pens and pencils for homework etc.
Then I needed a place for backpacks and coats. I found these perfect little hangers with two hooks at Hobby Lobby and the pretty pink and black recycled bags in the Target One Spot. The bags hold the kids hats and gloves, so we don't have to go searching upstairs in their rooms. One hook holds their backpacks and the other holds coats/jackets. We had to anchor these to the wall to support the weight of the backpacks.
Once everything was hung on the command wall I added the finishing touches. I bought an oval basket with handles at TJ Maxx to hold our shoes. This only holds shoes that are not wet and dirty. Those are taken off in the garage. Once the basket is full, one of the kids carries it upstairs and puts the shoes away. Pretty handy if I might say so!
I also added a small bench/stool from Hobby Lobby that we can sit on to put on our shoes. Both kids fit on it at one time. I also use it as a stool for the laundry section of this room. I truly am vertically challenged.
I hope that you have enjoyed my Command Center Tour. Please feel free to comment or ask any questions you may have. Do you have a space like this in your home?