{mini kitchen command center}

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!

kitchen organization

YAY!! Organization makes me a HAPPY girl!!!

Here's how I put it together:

{supplies}

 -clear file box ($5 at Walmart)

-vinyl/stickers/other embellishments

-hanging file folders

-manila folders

-1 x 2.63 inch white labels

-large binder clip and ribbon

{directions}

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

-School papers

-One for each school my kids go to

-Receipts

-Coupons

-Bills to to be paid

-To be filed

-Flex spending

-Schedules

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!

file organization

file and clutter organization

 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.

{kierste}

Simply Kierste
Kierste is a blogger who shares her love of all things DIY. She is the mother of six, and most of her posts revolve around making her home a beautiful, organized, and fun place to be. When she's not chasing around two sets of twins, a teenager, and a baby, she's working on a project, training for her next race, reading one of her favorite books, or baking something with chocolate in it.
Simply Kierste

@simplykierste

Blogger at Simply {Kierste}: Where you can find simple ideas and tutorials for DIY projects, holiday crafts, home & family, organization, recipes, and more!
Simply Kierste
Simply Kierste

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comments

  1. I love those file boxes. I have one for each of my children for their school work and report cards.

  2. Natosha Zachary says:

    I love this idea! It is easy, inexpensive and just perfect. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Such a great idea! What kinds of things do you keep in your ledger notebook?

    • simply {kierste} says:

      Instead of a small checkbook register, I keep track of it in the ledger. It’s also a place for our budget, receipts, etc. I do all the finances at our house, but it makes it accessible for both of us!

  4. What are the dimensions of that clear box you got at WM? It looks perfect! I want to go looking for it… any help would be great on where to find it!

    • simply {kierste} says:

      Sure, Claudia! I got it at Walmart, but not in the office supply section. It was with the other rubbermaid and storage containers. It’s 12 inches on the front and back, 11 inches tall, and 7.5 inches on the sides. Remember, it comes with the lid, so look for that too. Good luck!!!

  5. Would love to know where you get your font from. SO cute!!

  6. And would you mind sharing where you got your table runner? Precious!

  7. I would like yo know more about your list book…i always make a list however I am always losing them.

    • simply {kierste} says:

      Holly,

      I have one of the weekly planners from Paper Coterie. You can find it here: http://www.papercoterie.com/product/planners/. You can preview it there, to see if you would like it. I love it–plenty of space for lists, and there are enough pages in there for at least a year. It fits in my purse, or can stay on my kitchen counter or next to my bed. I like being able to refer to past lists the month or even two before–notes that I’ve jotted down, etc. Check it out!!!

  8. Karie Gallegos says:

    Thank you for sharing – great idea! I love your table by the way and did you make the burlap table runner?
    Enjoy your day!

    • simply {kierste} says:

      Thank you, Karie! My table is one of my favorite things. :) I didn’t make the table runner–I got it on etsy, from a shop called The Shabby Creek Shop. She’s awesome!!!!

  9. You are amazing. Thank you for sharing your command center. I have the same issue.
    Would you please do a post on your ledger book. How you file, what folders/pockets you have found best for receipts? I would just love to flip the pages :o)

    • simply {kierste} says:

      Angela–

      I plan to do a post on the ledger–not sure when–hopefully before I have the baby, but it could be after. :) I can tell you what I have in there though! I don’t like using a small checkbook register, so I keep mine in a notebook that’s punched with holes and fits in the binder. I also have sections for tax receipts, regular receipts that I need to save, a spreadsheet of our budget, flex spending receipts that I need to keep for the year, and a section for bills (when they’re due, etc.). I do all the finances, but it makes so that it’s also easily accessible to my husband as well. Hope this helps for now!!! :)

      • Yay, I am excited you are planning a post. Would you mind telling me what your folders are like that hold your receipts?
        Congratulations. on your new bundle. I hope all goes well for your delivery and you make a quick recovery.

  10. I love this! Your folders are much closer to mine and it’s great to see a system in action that’s actually pretty close to what I’d use… I’ll definitely be keeping this in mind when I continue my ridiculous organizing spree I’m on, haha! : )

    Thanks for sharing!

    -Mel the Crafty Scientist

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