5 Steps to an easy DIY Family Command Center

I don't know about you, but trying to keep things organized at home is an ongoing struggle.  I'm not talking about linen closets, or toy areas, or art supplies.  I'm talking about.......PAPERS.  Yes papers and the stream of them into the house.  We've been using our kitchen counter tops for these papers for far too long.  And that didn't work, because something was always misplaced, or forgotten (out of sight, out of mind!)


I browsed ideas of family "command centers" and saw so many it made my head spin!  I decided to try a very simple version, that I knew I could keep up with.  Now, if you're a file folder person, this strategy may not be your cup of tea.  But for me, someone who MUST see something continually to remember it, it has been a life saver.  

Here's what I used: 

1.  Two large bulletin (cork) boards measuring 2x3 feet.  They were not identical, as you can see, but that's OK because I covered them!


I wanted to utilize a narrow wall/corner in our kitchen for the command center. It's a wall I walk past everyday, and we can all see it easily.   My thought process was, if I could somehow attach these two boards, I could create one long, narrow board that would fit perfectly on that narrow wall.  

The boards, when placed vertically next to eachother, would fit JUST RIGHT onto that wall. 


2.  Fabric:  Next I needed to find some fabric large enough to wrap around both of these boards. I found a tablecloth with a neutral color and pattern.  While I don't love it, I already had it on hand, and it works great for now; big enough to cover both boards nicely.  

3. Staple gun:  I used a staple gun to attach the edges of the fabric around the backside of the boards, all around the back edges.  Worked great.   If you don't have a staple gun you can use a glue gun, or a strong adhesive glue.  (sorry I totally forgot to take pictures of this step) 

"Wrapping" the boards was pretty easy ( and I didn't even attach the boards first!)  I placed my fabric face down on the  floor (sorry no picture!), and then put the boards face down, onto the fabric.  Then I pulled the fabric tight around the edges and stapled away.   

4.  Upholstery pins:  To give the board a more "finished" look, I used upholstery pins along the boarder.  I liked the result:

pins 2.jpg

5. Labels:  I made labels using typing paper, black paper, and the computer.  Why labels?  This is where the organization comes in....and my sanity...... 

I made labels for each child, and things like school, and events.  For now, I'm starting simple. I may add a category at some point, but so far this works.   Now, instead of piling up papers on our kitchen table and counters, I can stick them under the category they belong to.  They are easy to find, and I don't get confused with what papers belong to what kid! It's a win-win!  


Command Center: Effective, CHEAP! 

The boards were $1.99 a piece (Goodwill, of course!), and the fabric was $3.99 (also Goodwill).  For a giant command center that fits my wall perfectly, I'll pay $7.97 any day!  The upholstery pins came in a box of 30 and I bought them so long ago I do not remember what I paid! (Hobby Lobby).  

Feel the love

Here is what I love about this system:

1. . It was cheap to make

2. It was easy to make

3. It is easy to see and use

4. I can change it if I get sick of the fabric! I also have the flexibility to re-position the boards the horizontal way, creating a fatter, wider command center.   Nothing is permanent, in DIY world!!!

Do I run out of room on this board? 

Nope. And here's why:   The other papers that do not absolutely have to be seen at all times go in labeled file folders.  I place these folders in a dresser drawer near by.  That way, the board doesn't accumulate papers, which then cover everything you need to see, and cause you to forget things (which I did with that terrible, non-functional system!)   

paper side view.jpg

And that's it!  So easy, and so time-saving!  Our kitchen table and counter tops stay clear (most of the time) and I we can see what we need to at all times!!!

Do you have a family command center that works great for you??  If not, give this one a try!  

Have a fabulous weekend!!!

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