Simple DIY Command Center

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by Lora Green, Contributing Writer

Are mornings feeling chaotic since the kids went back to school? The transition from relaxed summers into the schedules and structure of a fall semester can be a tough one. Schedules change, routines change, and even how we use our home changes, all in the matter of a few weeks.

In our home, we've found that having a designated place for backpacks, purses, and coats make mornings much simpler. Are you looking for an easier morning routine? You can streamline the busy out-the-door rush with a simple DIY Command Center that can be finished in an afternoon.

Simple Command Center PIN

Our DIY Command Center is located in the hallway just off the foyer. It's directly across from the coat closet and within reach of the car keys, perfectly situated for busy mornings. Designate some wall space near where you exit your home, whether that is a front door or garage entrance, and let's get organized.

DIY Command Center: Supplies

Large Collage-Style Picture Frame
Paint *optional
Decorative Paper
Family Photos
Dry Erase Markers

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Have you seen these large collage-style picture frames? While they're wonderful for holding family photos, they're also perfect as the starting point for a functional Command Center.

Our frame was on the clearance rack and came in black. It's completely optional, but I wanted to brighten up this special spot for the kids, so I added a few coats of kelly green craft paint. Small spaces, like foyers and mudrooms, are a great spot to inject some personality and color into your home.

Between the kids, my husband, and I, we need plenty of space to hang everyday items. We use metal, double-hooks throughout the home because they are handy and affordable. I stick them inside closets to hang extra items like travel bags, grocery totes, and soft baby carriers. If you've got a beefy frame, attach the hooks directly to it. If not, they could easily be hung below the frame on the wall.

I'm a fan of labels for both the look and function that they offer. When it comes to labeling, sometimes it's best not to get too specific. This leaves you some flexibility for when seasons, schedules and lifestyle changes.

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For example, in the coldest months, this coat rack will be filled to the brim. I don't want my hook to be off limits, simply because my name is listed above it (not that it would, but I would have a feeling of disorganization knowing that my husband's stuff was hanging on the hook labeled “Lora.” Yes, maybe I'm a little crazy). Using numbers instead of specific names gives us flexibility throughout the year–and it keeps me sane.

My son is learning to read, so I thought it would be fun to incorporate the number word instead of just the number. I'm always a proponent of decorating with your family in mind. Isn't that what a home is all about?

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Simple Command Center Organization 11

Speaking of learning, our Command Center is a spot to begin the day teaching. Instead of filling the collage frame with photos, use a mix of photos and paper. Look for decorative paper in a roll at craft stores, which will give a seamless look behind the glass. I chose a map design to coordinate with our Map Wall and emphasize the school theme. We use this space in our home to review a weekly memory verse, discuss the day of the week, and keep up with the weather.

Even if you don't want to teach with your command center, it's an easy spot to leave notes and reminders. Use a dry erase marker to write directly on the glass. It will wipe off easily with a paper towel. Since it's the last spot you'll stop on the way out the door, it's the perfect place to leave a reminder about an after-school activity.

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I find that time spent organizing the home creates a more livable space. If you'd like to see some more family-focused organization ideas, check out how I save my son's artwork and how I keep our family photos organized with iPhoto. Photos and artwork can easily become huge projects if you don't create a solid organizational system to store them as you go.

What organizational systems have you created since entering back into the school-year schedule?

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lora-bw-150x150My name is Lora Green and I blog at Craftivity Designs, where I document how we are creating our home. I believe that a home is about much more than design and decor – it should tell the story of a family. Our home must fit the needs of two small kids, a work-at-home mom, and a youth pastor dad. I want it to be a beautiful space, but it should be functional and meaningful, too. If you are trying to meld function and beauty, join me over at Craftivity Designs to share in this journey of creating a home.

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  1. I love how it’s a fun spin on a traditional command center and could fit into anyone’s home. Love the frame you used, too! Great job Lora!

  2. Lora, this looks amazing! I have a similar windows like piece that the previous owner left and I’ve been trying to figure out how to use it. Thank you for the inspiration!

  3. We have a large magnet board in our laundry room/mudroom, which is also where we enter our home from the garage, that I think would be perfect for a command center. Thanks for the great ideas about how to organize it.

    1. Hi, Juliana! Yes! We load ours up with backpacks, purses, and totes. We have the frame hung on 4 wall anchors, and each hook has two screws into the frame. I actually added the hooks to the frame a few years ago, and just recently painted it green, added the map paper, etc. So, we’ve been using the hooks in the frame for 2+ years without any problems.

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