The proverbial "the kitchen is the heart of the home" is definitely true at our house. It's basically one big open space connected to our family room and dining room, and it's where I spend the majority of my time...along with the rest of my family. Because of this, I like having a space set aside as a mini command center, where I can keep my calendar, papers, files, mail, coupons, and all those other things that come along with the busy-ness of life. It's where kids bring their school papers, my husband drops off receipts, where I open the mail, and make my lists. I do have an office, but it's far from the kitchen, and I like having it at my fingertips.
All the openness is lovely, but with the 11 large windows alone (I'm not complaining about the light...it's wonderful), it provides no wall space at all for me to hang anything. There are a lot of great ideas out there for command centers, and I know how I would love to do it if I could, but none of those options are available to me. Even the side of my fridge won't work! Finding something that will work for your space is the key, and I did! So, if you're in my position, with not a lot of wall space, this might work for you too.
So...I designated a small corner on my kitchen counter, right next to a walled off space where I could hang my calendar. I used a clear file box, hanging folders, file folders, and printed labels to create a space that's perfect for my own mini command center!
YAY!! Organization makes me a HAPPY girl!!!
Here's how I put it together:
-clear file box ($5 at Walmart)
-hanging file folders
-1 x 2.63 inch white labels
-large binder clip and ribbon
1. I wanted a file box where I could keep all of my files, and have it be big enough to keep a binder in it as well. I also didn't want to spend a lot, so I could quite a few criteria I needed to meet. I found the perfect thing...a plain, clear file box for only $5!! It did come with a lid that I wasn't planning to use, but I always save it in case I needed it for later. I love the size--big enough for everything that I need, but not so big it dominates the space.
I was going to cut vinyl for the letters on the side of my file box, but I came across these stickers in my collection, and loved the colors, so I decided to use them instead. I did use a large piece of white vinyl on the inside of the box, so that you couldn't see the files once they were inside. I just cut it to fit, and stuck it in--easy!
2. I then created labels in Microsoft Word for all the different files I need, printed them, and placed them on the tabs of manila folders.
-One for each member of our family
-One for each school my kids go to
-Bills to to be paid
-To be filed
3. I separated them into three categories: Family, School, Office. I organized the manila folders into one of those three categories, and placed them into one of the three hanging files.
4. I used a large binder clip that I tied ribbon onto to clip my weekly list book to the front of the file box. I'm a LIST girl, and I'm love with that book! I love planning by the week, and it's a whole book dedicated to just that. I got it from Paper Coterie last year, and it's one of my favorite possessions! It's easy to clip off when I need it, and just as easy to clip it back on to keep it out of the way.
5. My master calendar is hanging right above the file box, so I can immediately write down dates and other information, and use it as a reference as I'm making plans and lists.
TIP: Open your mail immediately--shred any junk mail with your name on it, throw away trash, cut out coupons, and file everything else. It will greatly reduce clutter, make your kitchen so much cleaner, and greatly cut down on the chance you'll lose anything!
There are so many options for embellishing your box, and making it fancy as you like! You could mod podge paper or fabric onto it, use different text or graphics with vinyl or stickers, or keep it clear and decorate the hanging files and folders instead, and see them through the box.
This really is an easy project that doesn't take long to put together, but will save you SO much time and energy. I made mine for $5 (I had all the other supplies), and so it also doesn't have to be expensive. Organizing doesn't have to take a lot of money, but it's definitely worth the effort.