With both of my kids in school this year, it was time to figure out an organizational system for our paperwork. Not that we aren’t organized normally. However, with two rugrats bringing home enough paper to equal half of a rain forest worth of trees, we needed something that would keep everything in check. Enter the command center!
This post contains affiliate links for convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure.
Over the years, I have seen some pretty amazing command centers.
These spaces are usually centrally located in the home. They contain everything needed to keep the household running smoothly. Stuff like calendars, clocks, chalkboards, bulletin boards, binders, folders, files, menu planners, and the list goes on. I knew that I didn’t have room for all of that business (just a tiny wall in our kitchen). So, I had to figure out how to create a simple and functional command center in a small space.
To cover the basics, I ordered all of our main command center pieces from Ikea. (Ikea didn’t compensate us for any of this; we just really liked the price and how the pieces came together.)
Our calendar is something I whipped up and had printed as an engineering print (18″x24″) at our local print shop. I placed it in a large Ribba frame (19 3/4 x 27 1/2) with the mat. We can write the important stuff on the front of the plexiglass and erase it easily. Hopefully, this will keep us from forgetting dance/soccer practice and anything we need to be available for.
This printable is free of charge and for personal use only. Download this printable from THE GALLERY.
To organize all of our papers and bills, I ordered the Kvissle Wall Magazine Rack. Each of the kids gets one slot for important school papers. The rest are designated for bills and other mail. And the Etc. slot holds blank paper for note taking and a weekly calendar for menu planning.
I placed a striped painted cork board in another smaller Ribba frame for little bits of fun or info.
All of the colored dry erase markers are corralled in a small canning jar, along with a few extra pencils, and placed on the counter for easy access.
Because of this little wall in our kitchen our family organization is not up to par! And I am feeling a lot less anxiety with this system in place.
Do you have a family command center? How do you keep organized during the school year? We would love to hear from you. Let us know in the comments below!
________________________________________________________________You may also like:
Since re-sharing our Boxes into Baskets post, we have had many requests for a tutorial on how to make a custom basket liner. I have put together a step by step guide for you. (Yes there a lot of steps, but don’t be intimidated. It should only take about 30 minutes to make.) Without further ado, here are instructions and tips so you may create your own.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click the link and purchase. Please check out our disclosure policy for more details.
Basket/Container – Anything you would like to line.
Tape Measure– I personally like a fabric one for projects like this.
Fabric– This can really be anything you want to make your liner made out of. I usually use inexpensive muslin to keep the cost down, but today I am using different colors of fabric to make it easier to follow along.
Rotary Cutter – Scissors work too!
Cutting Mat – This is optional. You may not need one if you are using scissors.
Straight Pins– In my opinion, an absolute must.
Sewing machine– Hand stitching is also acceptable, but may take a little longer.
* If you don’t sew and still want to make a custom basket liner, exchange the sewing machine for Thermoweb Heat’n Bond Hem Iron-On Adhesive-3/8″X10 Yards, a clothes iron, and ironing board. (Check the Thermoweb Heat’n Bond packaging to make sure your fabric choice is conducive to working with this product. Cotton is usually a safe bet.)
1. Use your tape measure to grab the height and width of all four sides and the bottom of the box.
2. To me the trickiest part is the math. I first added one inch to all of the original measurements to assume a 1/2″ seam allowance. Then, I added 2″ to the height of the sides, so the finished liner will be able to hang over the top of the box/basket. (FYI: I only added 1″ when I made the white muslin liner. This is so you can see the difference in lengths between the two and choose what works best for you.) * For this project, if you decided not to sew, I suggest using Thermoweb Heat’n Bond Hem Iron-On Adhesive-3/8″X10 Yards. This way you will not have to alter the math equation to fit the width of the adhesive.
3. Use the rotary cutter or scissors to cut the fabric to the final measurements. (My finals are typed in green on the chart.)
For tutorial purposes, these are the fabrics I used for each section. 4. With front sides of fabric facing each other, pin section 1 to section 2 together down left hand edge. Sew along pinned edge assuming 1/2″ seam allowance.
* For the non-sewers out there, every-time you see the word “sew” in this tutorial, place and pin the Thermoweb Heat’n Bond Hem Iron-On Adhesive-3/8″X10 Yards along the edge and press with iron to adhere. Be sure to follow the instructions on the packaging as different brands may vary.
5. Open up your newly sewn piece, lay section 3 face down on section 2, and pin together down right hand edge. Sew along pinned edge again. 6. Repeat step 5, but this time lay section 4 on section 3 and pin together on right side.
7. Fold top edge of fabric strip.
8. Then, fold again to hide rough edge and pin. 9. Sew along edge. 10. Fold fabric strip in half so that the print side of section 1 is on top of the print side of section 4. Pin along edge and sew. 11. At this point, it should look something like this. 12. Now it is time to add the bottom piece. Pin bottom fabric section with front side of fabric facing upward to the sides piece. 13. Finally, sew along all four sides. Make sure the corners are secure so you don’t end up with any holes in your liner. Congratulations! You have now finished making your own custom liner. Yay!
Now that wasn’t so bad, was it?
Here is how mine turned out using the muslin fabric.
__________________________________________________________You may also like:
Pinterest is a big deal. If you haven’t explored the many different pins and quickly become addicted to looking at pretty pictures and organizing them into neat little boards, then you are definitely missing out. However, when you are a sweet little 9 year old, like my daughter, Pinterest is something for the ol’ folks, because honestly, you are just too innocent to have to experience some of the randomness that pops up on the internet. So, to give our daughter a way to collect and display her own creative and pretty photos, my husband and I created a pin board out of wire mesh (aka hardware cloth, aka square chicken wire.)
After a trip to the local hardware store to gather supplies, we quickly started putting everything together. We bought four 36″ x 2″ x 1/2″ pieces of craft board for the frame and hubby used a hand saw and miter saw box to cut the boards on a 45° angle, so the corners would meet up nicely.
Next, he cut some hardware cloth a little smaller than the outer dimensions of our frame.
Then, it was my turn. Since we couldn’t find any galvanized wire mesh at the store with reasonable dimensions (hello, we didn’t need 50 feet,) we went with the green coated stuff. I placed the cut piece on top of a drop cloth and coated it with a few layers of white spray paint to match the frame, which I also painted white.
Once everything was dry, it was time to piece it all together. We found some corner braces that reminded me of something you might see on campaign furniture, so I opted to put them on the front of the frame and give it that same type of look.
Lastly, using a staple gun, I attached the painted wire mesh to the back of the frame, stretching and pulling it, as best as I could, to get it to lay flat. (It still is a bit bumpy/wavy, but works perfectly for our needs.)
Here it is up on the wall, doing its duty. Not doody. Because that would be gross.
I grabbed a handful of paper clips to attach a few pretties to the board. I’ve seen clothes pins used in a similar manner, but probably any sort of small clips would work.
Buying a regular, old bulletin board would have probably been easier, but isn’t this one so much cooler?
This project is not any sort of revolutionary new item. People have covered boxes with fabric before and the new rage of dipping baskets into paint is all over the web and in stores. But I may be 1/4 genius for combining the two together. Ok, maybe 1/16.
We needed some sort of storage containers for our closet and I wanted them to have that cool dipped basket look. Since spending a ton of money on storage that will ultimately be shoved behind closed doors seemed a bit silly, I obviously chose the DIY route. (Is there any other way?!?) And these puppies needed to fit several criteria:
1. They had to be cheap. Duh.
2. They had to be easy.
3. They had to be neutral.
I wanted the storage to blend in and not scream “Here I am. Look at me!” even though they were going to be locked up in the closet. Yes, for some reason, I still cared what they looked like.
Since I had several diaper boxes in the recycling, they naturally became my storage containers of choice for the fabulous price of FREE. In addition, I gathered some ivory colored burlap (super cheap) and had white paint in the garage, which I would use later.
I started by cutting off the top flaps of my box and duct taping the holes where the handles were, as well as covering the hole in the bottom. This just made wrapping everything with fabric so much easier.
Next, I measured my box, starting on one side and going around the bottom to the other side, to figure out the width of my fabric. I also repeated this for the opposite sides. For a Pampers size 4 diaper box, my fabric measurements were 30″ x 38″ after I added 3 inches to both to allow for overlap on the top of the box.
(You can see here that my box is painted white. This is because the teal color of the box and the word Pampers could be seen through my fabric. If your fabric is darker or thicker you probably won’t have this problem. Or if you don’t care, you probably won’t have this problem either. *wink* )
Next, I placed my fabric on ground and centered my box on top of it. I used scissors to cut squares out of the corners with about an inch of allowance where the corners would meet.
Then, I pulled the two longer sides up and hot glued them to the inside of the box along the edges.
This next part doesn’t have to be perfect by any means. Using scissors, I snipped in on an angle to the corner of the box, doing this for all four corners.
You can see here how wonky my angles are, but it worked out regardless. Each small edge was then folded in and glued to the ends of the box.
After that came more folding and gluing. I creased the edges of the end pieces in and lifted them up to make sure that they were lined up with the corners of the box. They were, so I glued along each folded seam and then pulled the top over and secured it to the inside of the box.
Here is the fabric box all finished.
For the paint dipped effect, I taped all the way around the box, about 1/3 of the way up from the bottom.
Then, I just used a paint brush to apply paint on that lower portion. After letting it dry for about 20 minutes, it was ready to go.
This project probably took about an hour total, but that included initially painting the diaper box, cutting, folding, gluing, painting, drying and taking pictures of the process along the way. Not too bad if you ask me! And as far as cost goes, since I already had the box and paint, I think it ended up being less than $2.
I know that these still look boxy, but I like that the texture and color of the burlap help everything feel a little more like a basket. What do you think?