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Back in Command

This week I am revisiting my “command center“.  The “command center” is the latest word for that place in our homes from which we keep track of and manage what is important – schedules, homework, budgets, bills, etc.  This is what I came up originally:

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After living with mine for well over a year, I have a few issues I need to deal with. First, in our move from one house to another, the spaces just didn’t transfer well. What was in reach and functioning well in our previous house is not compatible with our go-to space in this house.  Second, there are some things I simply don’t like about the way I set up my home-management system. For example, I don’t like having everything in a home-management binder, especially bills. It may sound terribly lazy, but when I get a bill in the mail I want someplace to just quickly toss it until bill-paying day rather then getting out my binder, finding the right tab for bills, then filing it. Some aspects I will keep, but this week I will be fine-tuning and changing things up a bit.

A Confession and a Random Act of Organization

I’ll start with the confession. I’m not going to meet my deadline this week with my “Command Center” wall. My intent is to complete on project each week, and well, it’s Tuesday. Also, I haven’t been using my To-Do List. Hmmmm . . . I wonder if there is a correlation there? So, I’m placing my little day-planner back in its place of honor on my night-stand tonight and writing out that list for tomorrow.  As for my wall, I’ve made some progress, but have had some set-backs. I had a bubbling paper incident with one of my magnet-boards. Then there is this:

I found these cork-board squares in a four-pack at Target, used my Mom’s Cricket to cut out the kid’s names, and planned to mount them to this piece of panelling I picked up at ReStore for $1. (If you have never been to ReStore, you need to.  They sell used or surplus building supplies cheap, and proceeds benefit Habitat for Humanity). This is where I ran into my snafu. I cut it to the wrong size. It will be a few days before I can get back to my dad’s workshop to make the correction. My wall is still under construction.

On the bright side, I did some spontaneous organization today. Truthfully, it was my husband that spear-headed this one. We have a little freezer in our garage where we store mostly meat. In order to feed our large-ish family, we purchase part of a beef from a local farmer and other types of meat in bulk when the price it right. As we were rifling through it today, my husband said, “Why don’t we organize this so we can find the meat we want?”

‘Nough-said. I pulled out some boxes I had been saving for just such an occasion, we sorted the types of meat, labelled the boxes and placed them back in the freezer.

It’s a little difficult to get a good picture inside a freezer, but that’s one of the boxes. . . my “roast” box.  There you have it.

Although I haven’t finished the week 8 project, I am going to add another one for this week. My goal this week is to fill those cork-boards for each of my children. I’m going to be working on chore schedules for my children. Oh, they are going to be so happy. Wahahahaha (that’s my evil mom laugh). 🙂 Of course, I also hope to finish that wall!

My Crafty Magnet Board

I’ve been a little slow on my “command center” wall this week. Today, however, I finally got my act together and started putting things together. One of the things I want on this wall is a magnet board so I can keep my refrigerator from becoming so cluttered with spelling lists, grocery lists, pictures and other things. Unfortunately, I had already spent most of my allotted budget for this project. As I tried to figure out how I could get my hands on a piece of cheap metal-something that would look decent enough to hang on a wall, I had a flash of brilliance . . . cookie sheets!

I had two unused cookie sheets at the bottom of my drawer collecting rust.

Not too pretty. I didn’t want this on my wall. So, step 1, I sanded it down.

Better, but still not what I want. Step 2, I used the rest of red paint from my questionable hutch makeover.

Getting closer, but still not quite what I had in mind. Step 3, I went “shopping” in my mom’s extensive scrapbook paper closet. I found some I liked, trimmed it down and used Mod Podge to secure it to the board.

I learned the hard way that one of these tools is very necessary when using Mod Podge.

My first attempt resulted in a bubbled-up mess . . . probably should have done my research first. 🙂 Along with the “pretty paper”, my mom gave me a sheet of matching scrap-booking stickers.

You know that free magnets you get from doctor’s offices, phone books, pizza places . . . ?

I used the scrap-booking stickers and the above magnets to create some new, custom-made ones. With Mod Podge and my craft knife, this is what happened.

            

And here is the final result . . . two new magnet boards for my command center wall, along with custom-made magnets.

My next step is to actually get them hung on the walls. Here’s hoping for tomorrow!

I shared this post at Thrifty Decor Chick‘s spay paint link party. Check it out!

It’s So . . . Ummmm. . . RED!

 Oh my goodness! Have I blinded you? This is the result of my “brilliant” idea to paint the back panelling on my hutch BRIGHT red this afternoon. I’ve been using red as an accent color in my kitchen, but this is too much! I did manage to clean the upper two shelves, which I’m pleased with, but the color is a flop! So, while I figure out what to do about painting it back, I’ll tell you about my next project.

This week, I’m beginning part 2 of my “command center”.  I will be working on a large blank area on my kitchen wall where I will be installing some essentials to keep us organized — some cork boards, a calendar and some other surprises (I’m going to be surprised along with you – ha, ha).

By the way, notice the top left corner of my hutch. I used that cookie jar to hold a fake plant. It stays. 🙂 Thanks for the input.

Command Center – Part 1

Here is what I’ve been working on this week:

    

A binder. . . woot-woot!   Inspired by an idea I saw on the iheartorganizing blog, I am setting up part of my family command center in this binder — a home-management binder.  Using binder dividers I created 10 sections. Section 1 is schedules with my overview of the day, week, and month. Section 2 is school information where I keep the kids’ reports, co-op schedules and similarly related items. Section 3 is for church information — volunteer schedules, kid’s programs, etc. Information related to the kid’s sports and extra-curricular activities are in section 4. Section 5 is contact information to keep important numbers and addresses, along with emergency-contact information. I included plastic baseball card holders to add any business cards I might want to keep as reference here. Section 6 is home-maintenance and improvement projects. This is where I will keep record of what and when we have had maintenance and improvements completed, as well as a list of projects we have planned. I placed baseball card holders here also for any related business cards we might collect. Section 7 is Meal Planning (I’m not sure I’ll keep this in my binder long-term — I have plans for a meal-planning calendar later). Section 8 is Finance for budget-planning sheets and also bills. I used a plastic sheet protector in this section to place bills that need to be paid, along with the check-book.  Section 9 is my personal section for things I need to refer to — my training schedules for running, book-club information, a list of blog ideas, etc.  The final section is for my husband to do the same; it is yet to be determined if he will use it. 🙂

This binder has cleaned up my refrigerator, which was previously littered with schedules and flyers; and it seems to be taking care of part of our paper-piling problems. The rest of our paper and book-piling issues I addressed by spending some much-needed time cleaning up my hutch. I added three baskets purchased at Target this week.

Using free printables from Better Homes and Gardens, I labeled the baskets.  The first is “To Do” for things I need to take care of immediately — letters to mail, items to return, magazines to read and file.  The rule for this basket is that it cannot get full; if it gets above the rim it needs my immediate attention. The second I labeled “In Use” for things I regularly use but want to keep with-in easy grasp — our family Bible study materials, the kid’s church club booklets, the magazine I am currently working my way through, and our management binder.  The final basket is labeled “To File”, which is self-explanatory.  I would like to get some matching vertical files to use in this basket so the papers don’t look so unsightly. Again, the rule is that this basket cannot get too full.  I actually need to do some filing!

Today’s project is the top two shelves of the hutch (there’s a reason I didn’t show a full picture). 🙂 I’ll keep you all posted!