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My Command Center Reveal + Creating Rituals and Routines

September is rolling along, fall is in the air and my kids are bringing more and more papers and forms home from school. Add to that my daughter’s surgery after her broken arm and I’ve also got all kinds of medical forms and prescriptions to keep track of. Good thing I have been working hard at getting my command center in order.

At the beginning of the month I shared the state that my command corner was in at the end of the summer (see that post here). Piles of papers were cluttering up my kitchen counter.

BEFORE

My progress

AFTER

Here’s my command center today. I started, of course, by sorting through all the papers and junk lying around, deciding what needed to be kept and what could be put away somewhere else or gotten rid of.

What I removed: I took out the lamp in the corner. I love the idea of having a desk lamp in the kitchen, it makes the the kitchen feel more like a room of your home and not just a functional space. BUT it was crowding the space so I took it out.

What I added: I bought the Ikea SKADIS peg board on the left and moved the black magnet board over to the right. The peg board has been a big help for me to get as much as I can off of the counter.

The red notebook is for meal planning and I love that it has a designated spot of its own. There are two small containers hanging on the board, one is for receipts and train tickets that I will eventually move up to my office for taxes. The other is for loose change which is always lying around this area of the kitchen – it’s always 1 and 2 cent coins so I don’t even want them to make my wallet any heavier.

Even my pen container is on a little shelf now. I sorted through all mess of pens, found that more than half didn’t work and I ended up getting rid of the whole lot. I stocked up on my favorite pens. They are nothing fancy, I just love the way they write and it gives me joy to know there is a container in my kitchen full of my favorite pens anytime I need them.

I also bought a single sturdy folder that lives in my letter holder along with my Ipad when it’s charging. The folder is for all the important school papers that I need to keep. There’s just one folder so I know exactly where to look when I need to find something. Plus there are loads of clips on the peg board and magnet board for party invitations, coupons and papers that are relevant right now.

What I changed: Something that has made a big impact has been moving the letter holder and charging station away from the wall and angling it on the counter. This has been a big deterrent in letting papers pile up on the counter. Now I either clip them up on the wall or put them inside the folder.

BEFORE

Right across from that corner is the kitchen door that also needed some major work. I had a calendar and a mess of papers taped to the door.

NOW

My decluttering expert friend (see her command center below!) put me on to this peel and stick magnet sheet. I reprinted or cut out the relevant parts of the calendars and schedules and clipped them up along with art and postcards in my current favorite colors. It just feels neater and I like to look at it now. It’s not always possible or even sensible to hide real-life organization away. Your home doesn’t have to look Pinterest-worthy as if no one actually lives there. It’s possible to look totally lived-in, put-together and pretty all at the same time.

Inspiration

How is your progress coming along?

I have a few more inspiration images to share with you and a great case study so keep scrolling!

Isn’t this a gorgeous little corner with a standing desk?

Very organized with a file folder and two drawers.

If you have a whole nook to use, this is a fantastic use of space.

Case Study

I’m very excited to share a fabulous command cetner transformation in the home of decluttering expert Joanna Becker-Birck. She got right into the challenge this month and set out to completely overhaul the command center she had in her kitchen.

BEFORE

This memo board and small shelf were doing all the work to keep her family organized. Too many papers, too much clutter and forgotten appointments were her motivation to create a whole new system.

Here is a look at that same wall newly organized! Joanna had the clever idea to frame her kids’ school schedules since that is pertinent information that will stay the same all school year. She got rid of the memo board with all the cluttered papers and now uses one magazine holder on the shelf to keep any papers that need to be dealt with, so she knows right where to look when she needs something. She feels like she has room to breathe now when she comes into her kitchen and sees this organized space.

She hung a meal planner/ shopping list and a birthday calendar up on the wall. Underneath that she has a printout of her and her husband’s shared digital calendar for the week. If you’re better at seeing things on paper than remembering to look on the digital calendar, the app CalPrint is a great help to stay on top of things.

Inside one of the cupboards she hung up a self-adhesive magnet sheet (same as mine above, thanks for the idea Jo!) where she has all kinds of ideas for meals and snacks at the ready. I love that this is so simple to open up and look at, yet out of sight so it doesn’t add visual clutter to the kitchen.

She also cleared out a junk drawer to make space for a tray for each child and their relevant school documents and papers, plus a few small containers for pens, notepads, etc. So beautifully organized!

Routines

Now that I’ve done the work of creating a better space, I need to make sure it stays this way! In order to keep this area of your home in good shape, it is essential to have a system and good routines in place. And it’s important to point out that it doesn’t always happen automatically. We really have to think about how we want our days to go. As the saying goes, control your day or it controls you.

Getting a handle on the small things can improve the overall feeling in your home by leaps and bounds. Habits and routines can play a big role in keeping your home life organized. Think about your morning and evening routines. How can you incorporate the command center area into your routines? Recognize your patterns. What is it that you often overlook or procrastinate on? Make sure you have a system in place to deal with these things.

My new habit for the month is to deal with paperwork as soon as the kids come home from school. I look in their bags and/or ask for papers right away. Then I deal with the papers immediately: sign and put them back in the kids’ bags, pin them up if important, add dates to calendars, file in the folder or throw away. I haven’t always been good at this and that’s how they ended up in piles on the counter in the past.

Rituals

What’s the difference between a ritual and a routine? It’s not in the action, it’s the attitude you have towards it. A ritual is a meaningful practice.

There are many rituals we can use to enhance our days in our home, instead of just going through the motions. Maybe you could combine looking after your command center area with something you enjoy, like taking your first sips of coffee or tea in the morning. Or having a last glance before you shut down the kitchen in the evening, so you aren’t surprised or srambling in the morning.

I am also now trying to incorporate the command center into my evening ritual of tidying up the kitchen. Usually I’m just concentrated on doing the dishes in the evenings, but I’m making an effort to add in a final check of this area to the closing down of the kitchen. I know that when I come downstairs in the morning this area is organized and ready for me to start the day.

Once you have taken the time to create an inspiring command center, take care of it so it continues to serve you well.

Regardless of how much craziness goes on in our daily lives, give yourself routines and rituals to ground you and keep you on track.

Good luck finishing up this challenge! I would love to hear and see what you’ve done! Share your space using the hashtags #yearofdetailsproject so we can all cheer each other on!

See you again in October for the second challenge in A Year of Details. Bedding is up next!

xx

Nciole

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