A home command center, if done right, can add a lot of organizational value to your home. We recently moved into a 1980s house that we are slowly but surely turning into our dream home. A very ugly and awkward corner presented the perfect opportunity to add a command center to our home.
In order to free our kitchen countertops of continuous mail, paper and clutter, we finally decided to do our command center home project and it turned out better than I expected! It was literally life changing, I had no idea just how much I needed a spot like this to stay organized.
Every house should have a command center so if you want to know how to DIY a command center in your house or just how to organize one, keep reading. In this post, I will tell you how we DIY’d our command center and everything we keep in it to stay organized.
The Command Center in Our Home
To start, I will tell you how we turned this random corner into a command center. Random corners can be tricky to decorate. By turning one into a command center, you can add both beauty and function to your house.
The awkward corner
Here is the lovely corner in our house that we for the longest time didn’t know what to do with.
After much thought, we decided to try to put together a command center. We measured and found a bathroom vanity that would fit. We went with a bathroom vanity because we were constrained by depth and they come in more sizes than bottom kitchen cabinets. They also have a lot more design options. I didn’t want just a cabinet but also drawers.
Our next step was to find a top cabinet. We went with a kitchen cabinet here. If you go with multiple cabinets, you need to make sure they are the same color. Just because they are both white for example doesn’t mean the whites will be an exact match. One way to do this is to make sure they are both by the same brand.
Our next step was to put them in place. We were originally going to hang the top cabinet at the same height as the top cabinets in our kitchen, but our thermostat was in the way. So, the cabinet is a little higher, however this isn’t in our kitchen, so I was okay with that. I think either works and if you plan on hanging things on the wall like a calendar etc., then having a higher top cabinet is better.
The bottom cabinet surface
Since our bottom cabinet is a bathroom vanity, we needed a top. We bought plywood and stained it. It was easy to stain. We used the Varathane Classic Wood Stain in Special Walnut stain and clear polyurethane.
I applied two coats of the Varathane Wood Stain with a foam brush. I followed the grain and just painted it on. The more coats you do the darker and richer the color. If you get too much on, then use a lint free rag to wipe off excess.
After two coats of the stain, I applied two coats of a protective polyurethane. The polyurethane is a clear coat that will protect the surface from damage such as spills and scratches. It is really easy, just follow directions on the can for drying times. After that, we put the wood counter on top of the bottom cabinet and attached it inside the cabinet with small L brackets.
The Finished Command Center
There you go, a command center in one weekend that is now ready to be filled. As you can see in the final picture, since finishing this project we have painted our oak trim white along with the doors.
How to Organize Your Home Command Center?
The next step to this command center home project was to add everything to it. I have found over time the best way to organize items is to make a list of everything I want to keep there. From there, I pick a spot or drawer for each item.
A tip for deciding what should go into your command center is that it doesn’t have to make sense. Instead of trying to fill it with everything you think should go into a command center, try to think of items that need a home. Each family is different and will use it differently. The goal here is for it to add organization to your home and think of items that continuously clutter counters or that continuously get lost.
Here is a brainstorming list of items that you might want to store in your command center.
Items to Put in a Command Center
- Family Games
- Extra Keys
- Hair Supplies
- Filing Cabinet
- Medicine/First Aid
- Junk Drawer
- Junk Basket
- Paper and post its
- Spot for notes
- Wireless Speaker
- School spot
- Homework spot
What is inside our command center:
Here is what is inside of each drawer and cabinet. I highly recommend you buy baskets that fit inside the drawers and the shelfs you have. This will help you use the space more effectively and keep it more organized.
Paper Drawer: My notebook for lists, my planner, post its, and all scratch paper.
Pen Drawer: In this drawer, we keep pens, pencils, tape, rubber bands, and scissors.
Hair and First Aid: While these are both items that are usually housed upstairs, they always end up on the first floor, so I made a drawer for them. It is also really nice to have a spot to grab a hair tie or a band aid without doing a flight of stairs. It also gives me a place to collect these things and eventually I bring it all upstairs and start the process all over again.
Junk Drawer: Batteries, electronics, and extra keys. This drawer looks different all the time because it is for anything and everything that doesn’t have a home. We have a key ring holder right next to our back door for our everyday keys.
Bottom Cabinet: Family Games and a 12-pocket filling folder. I grabbed a metal shelf rack so I could make better use of this space.
Top Cabinet: On the top shelf, I keep art supplies and school supplies. The middle shelf has all of our puzzles, a basket of cards for birthdays and thank you cards, and extra craft supplies. The bottom shelf has a basket of stationary items I need such as envelopes, stamps and checks. I also have a spot for coupons, gift cards or other important small pieces of paper. I also have a space for random notebooks or other things that need a temporary home like kid valentines, etc. Lastly, I have a small jar for random change I find around our house.
Counter: Basket for mail, wallets, sunglasses and random items, a plant, and our wireless speaker. I also store charging electronics on this counter. All reminders and notes are left on this counter as well.
How to Organize your Home Command Center
Our awkward corner turned command center has added both organization and beauty to our house. Using two cabinets and plywood, we were able to build a space that could house so many items that didn’t have a good home. We use it for everything from a place to keep our family planner and mail to our games and art supplies. The most important part in planning and organizing any command center is designing it to fit your family. Hopefully, this post of how we use our home command center will give you inspiration for your own command center.
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