After you’ve completely decluttered your kitchen or if you’re blessed with ample storage, there are some items that always bewilder the best of us. For me, it’s the cookie sheets and other (mainly) flat, rectangular items that don’t quite stack easier. The best way in my house to store these is to keep them in a filing rack! Now, they are kept upright so I can always grab exactly what I need without having to pull out a entire stack of stuff. And the person putting dishes away always knows exactly where to put the missing item. Since that is usually after the kid’s bedtime, the lack of pans banging against each other is just another win!
Creating a command center can seem particularly daunting if you’re on Pinterest. There are literally thousands of ideas and each one more magically perfect than the one before it. If you have seen any of my Real Life Thursday posts, you know that my house is not a Pinterest perfect home. So obviously, our command center is also anything but.
Our ‘command center’ in our house is basically the little counter space next to the stove when we can toss bags that need to be emptied after work and school before being repacked for tomorrow. I keep a little stacked letter holder for some of those little items that are strictly for short term use. In our junk drawer, we keep phone chargers, along with pen and paper.
It can feel overwhelming if you’re trying to figure out what would work best for your family. Here is my master list of items that you could include in your command center. Think about whether you already have a home for some of these things and if you would like to move them to one central location for everyone:
- Charging station
- Small tray for jewelry and/or keys
- Notepad and pens
On wall (can be clipboards, cork boards, photo frames, dry erase boards):
- Calendar (week or month)
- Key hooks
- Grocery list
- Cleaning checklist
- Artwork/greeting card holder
- To do list
- Per person
- To file
- Bills to pay
- School stuff
- Pending file
- To read
Personally, I don’t have a full-on command center in our house. Keys have their own hooks near the door, jewelry is in our bedroom, calendar and to-do list is electronic, menu is in our pantry, grocery list is near our table, paperwork is typically addressed immediately. But that’s me and my house. What is overwhelming about command centers is also what makes them so fantastic: they are 100% customizable for you and your home. If you find yourself constantly looking for some of the items on this list, it might be time to set up a command center and give these items a home!
Giving your kid some space to play in an small house can be tough. I’ve found that trying to sneak some small places can make it easier to clean up and add some creativity to playing by having less toys available. We used to have a table (fort) in this area, but once our tall toddler started knocking her head when standing up, it was time for a change. I moved the garage sale shelves up from the basement and cleared off a bottom shelf to stash some bigger toys and books.
Now, we have a perfect little play nook without the toys completely overtaking our living room!