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5 Tips to Create an Organized Command Center

Our kitchen is a space that I have barely shown to y’all because ever since we moved in, it’s been a space that I’ve cringed at the sight of every time I walk into the room.

It’s a great kitchen, don’t get me wrong. I’m very thankful that it’s less of a fixer upper spot than other rooms in the house.

But there was this one “drop center” shelf on the wall that was nothing but a clutter catcher. It was a deceiving little thing, looking all innocent and making promises to us like, “I’ll keep all of your mail sorted and take care of your keys so you know exactly where to find them and we’ll be best friends forever and ever and live happily ever after.”

A junk-filled kitchen wall gets a drastic makeover with a simple command center using smart ways to keep mail, schedules, keys, and documents organized.  #commandcenter #organization #mailorganizing

Oh, but that shelf lied. Lied! Shelves like that are my nemesis because they hardly ever deliver real organization.

Last weekend, Robert and I finally ripped it down and bid farewell to those super snazzy shamrock cut-outs, and we discovered a quirky surprise behind it. Well, hello there fruity wallpaper. (Truth be told, I love finding stuff like this. It makes me wonder so much about this house and the families who lived here before us. If only wallpaper could talk.)

A junk-filled kitchen wall gets a drastic makeover with a simple command center using smart ways to keep mail, schedules, keys, and documents organized.  #commandcenter #organization #mailorganizing

So I ripped and patched and painted my heart out (asked the wallpaper if it had any great stories to tell from years past, but no luck), and we hung up its replacements that I’m confident will be less of a clutter catcher.

A junk-filled kitchen wall gets a drastic makeover with a simple command center using smart ways to keep mail, schedules, keys, and documents organized.  #commandcenter #organization #mailorganizing

No shelf = no place to stash random junk

I found this gold framed dry erase board last month in HomeGoods, and it was really what spurred on this whole kitchen command center idea.

A junk-filled kitchen wall gets a drastic makeover with a simple command center using smart ways to keep mail, schedules, keys, and documents organized.  #commandcenter #organization #mailorganizing

This mail sorter was perched right beside it on the same shelf, and I decided it was fate. A little polished, a little rough wood, and a whole lot of organize-y happiness.

A junk-filled kitchen wall gets a drastic makeover with a simple command center using smart ways to keep mail, schedules, keys, and documents organized.  #commandcenter #organization #mailorganizing

And then this clock was just begging me to take it home in the check-out line. (Side note: I totally believe it’s a conspiracy that HomeGoods always has a line at the register because they know you’ll find at least one thing you can’t live without that they so conveniently display while you’re standing there waiting. Sneaky sneaky.)

All we needed after that was a memo board that I picked up at Target and a key rack that I made using some Hobby Lobby supplies, and we were in business.

A junk-filled kitchen wall gets a drastic makeover with a simple command center using smart ways to keep mail, schedules, keys, and documents organized.  #commandcenter #organization #mailorganizing

Here are 5 tips to create a super organized command center, if you need some ideas:

  • Opt for a dry-erase calendar-  They’re so much more flexible to use than a paper calendar (if you’re like me and have to scratch out and rewrite reminders/events all the time). They are much less messy and easier on dust allergies than chalkboards too.
  • Use a memo board for important papers-  Keep push pins handy for any important documents, lists, bills, or whatever that need to remain front and center.
  • Have a space for messages-  Our board came with a “notes” section, which I love. It’s great for highlighting important reminders to family.
  • Use hooks for keys- This one’s probably like, “duh”. But hooks, especially ones with labels so you have “a parking spot”, help so much when you’re in a rush to get out of the door.
  • Incorporate a labeled mail sorter- Have a slot for “in” mail and a slot for “file”. If you’re a budget shopping lover, having a slot for “coupons” helps too.

Robert and I immediately breathed a sigh of relief in unison when this was all finished. Adulting just got WAY easier. Well, okay a little easier. Adulting is just hard, ya know?

A junk-filled kitchen wall gets a drastic makeover with a simple command center using smart ways to keep mail, schedules, keys, and documents organized.  #commandcenter #organization #mailorganizing

Now that the linen closet is organized, the pantry cabinet is orderly, the playroom has a sorting system, and this wall is improved, I am one happyyyyyy mama!

If you are in desperate need of a command center too, you can find some similar sources to the ones we used here: (Some affiliate links are provided.)

Do you have any organization tricks you use to make adulting easier? Or ways to keep the mail manageable? One of these days, maybe we can even get our acts together enough to go paperless. If you have any tips for that, I’m ALL ears.

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A junk-filled kitchen wall gets a drastic makeover with a simple command center using smart ways to keep mail, schedules, keys, and documents organized.  #commandcenter #organization #mailorganizing

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23 Comments

  1. Hi, Lauren! The wall paint color in this blog post looks different than the Kitchen room tour/sources (Swiss Coffee). If this was an earlier paint color, do you mind sharing the name of it? I’ve tried to find it myself on the blog but am coming up empty-handed. Thank you so much. Love your home and style!

    1. Hi, Catherine. This post was created before we had a kitchen makeover. This was the original paint color when we moved into the house. I do not know the color. So sorry.

  2. Love all of this!!! I have to sort mail ASAP and take all junk mail to our recycling blue bin right then. Immediately after that bills are filed in our home office. What I’d use these bins for is to put mail to go to mail drop. It’s handy to have a set place so it is always checked as you head out the door. I like the cork board for an important receipt. (We returned something and have the drop off receipt and still don’t have our refund weeks later. I have a slot but a board like this would remind me daily to call on this as I’d see it on the board! Yes!! Keys by the door. We have been told by police to keep garage door openers inside the house so the catch all would be handy for that too. It looks great. You get so many projects done every day!!! Congratulations on that plus new baby.

  3. When I first saw the shelf on the wall, I was wondering why remove it, what could be better there? Why would I ask such silly question, because this is your site I am visiting. Everything you design/create, always more team fabulous. This project is nothing less. I love, love, love what you created here. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Love this! I can definitely use some organization like this! Thank you!
    I ditto the request for dog bowl info…LOVE those!!

  5. Lauren–

    Just have to tell you that we must be kindred spirits–that fruited wall paper was also in my farmhouse kitchen! It was placed there by my much loved mother in law and seeing it on your wall brought back fun memories!

    Thanks for sharing this fun project!

  6. Nice idea getting rid of the shelf hanging dillio. It did look so out of place and dated. Personally, what looks distracting is the air vent. Huge! I would have put some sort of slim width open shelving there to hide the thing with baskets so that it still received airflow. Perhaps my idea will help you complete it and compliment it. My eye immediately went to the vent and the dog dishes. Dog dishes need to go to some corner out of the way or at least the shelving would hide them somewhat if you put them to the left of my idea. I hope you finish it off!! Good luck!

  7. Great command center!! You thought of EVERYTHING!!

    So…how about those dog bowls? They’re AWESOME!! Any info/link for those?

    Thanks!

  8. We don’t have a shelf, but there is a section of our kitchen counter that just attracts…everything. Mostly things that don’t have real homes in the house and I don’t want to get rid of them, so they sit in kitchen purgatory.

    Somewhat unrelated – I LOVE your dog bowls!! Do you have a link to them?

  9. Lol, “the shelf lied”, I can totally commiserate with the command center thing. I’ve actually been afraid to even put one up because I know how counterproductive they can be sometimes. Good tips for getting one started!

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