Today is THE day! I know my excitement could mean many things, and to be honest next week will be another THE day kind of hysteria. Another day, another project. Just call it the home decor hustle. I am revealing my new hallway command center! Eek, I am excited for two reasons. One, it is pretty, awesome and super functional. So sharing it with you all is great because you can make one too! Two, I get to use it. Becoming a Mom to a gaggle of kids has forced my hand into organization, for the sake of my sanity. Having a place for my kids school things has saved us so much time and frustration with the school year here. You can see all about our organization station, here.
It solved the issue of where to put the kids school stuff. However, I was still dealing with Post-it notes everywhere with reminders, doctors appointment times, and I got random chimes from my phone calendar. That was fun when I completely forgot about the Veterinarian appointment until I got the 15 minute friendly reminder. Helpful, NOT! So I needed to up my organizing game. I need a command center. Preferably with cute labels, patterns and fun colors. I mean, what is a command center without those things?
Here is where this little gem in our home is going to be at the end of our hallway. I had some hooks there already and some chalkboard paint up. Pretty, but not extremely functional. It was me in the early stages of home decorating and Mommy of 3 kids trying to be ahead of the chaos. Good plan, not the best executed. I like to make every inch of our home be usable space. Making it work, and function for the 5 people, two dogs, and one hamster residing here. Our home has to pack a big punch regardless of its 2,000 square feet. As you can see the previous design of this space mainly held my kids art work and some random bags. There was a small strip of steel that worked as a magnate strip. I had to think bigger, better, Pinterest-er (not a word, but we will go with it).
The original before picture
Ok, to be clear, this is what the original before looked like. I am going wayyyy back, back in time. This is the same end of the hallway about 5 years ago. Yes it is the same house, yes that is a CD cabinet being used as a picture display. We all had to work to find our home decor style. I had a awkward phase. So this is the true, absolute before picture. To go down that memory lane, you can see where this house started from here
. Moving on….
I want to point out one very important thing here, you do not need a huge space, room or nook for a big family command center like this. Where I placed this is literally dead space in our hallway. A place where normally a picture would be hung and my kids toys would gather around. It is at the end of the hallway by my kids bedroom’s and the laundry room. It gets a lot of traffic, so putting any kind of furniture here is out. I see beautiful ideas all the time online, and I know people can get discouraged. They do not have the space, time or money to create this. I stuck this in my hallway, spent one afternoon creating it, and spent maybe $50. That is with the fancy magnets, baskets and hooks. Without those things I could have executed this command center for around $20. That is it! All you need is a afternoon and a blank wall.
This is the bigger I was dreaming of. The multi-functional, hallway command center. The chalkboard has magnate paint under it. I have a gazillion magnates with each of my kids initial and one that is F for family. I will be sharing the full step by step of how I created this next week. Along with a ton of links to the supplies I used.
The lines, the days of the week and the bubbles are permanent. The dates itself as well as the activities are with washable chalkboard markers. It is bright, cute and functional. This was the more Pinterest-er I was talking about. It is useful and fun to look at. My kids have fun spotting their initial and wondering what is on the schedule for them.
These baskets were not part of this plan when I was dreaming up my new command center. I had purchased these mainly because they were colored so cute and the exact number of children I have. I did not know where I would put them in the house, I just knew I needed them. Badly! I finally put two and two together and saw they were a perfect command center addition. I rigged them up with some rope on the hooks, and my kids extracurricular activity gear goes in here. There is no more searching for one ballet shoe, one to match the 3 un-matched shoes I have in my hand. No untying the karate belt from around a stuffed animal 5 minutes before leaving. The gear gets taken off and goes here, where I either wash it (sometimes) and it is ready for the next week. I am so happy I am irresponsible enough with my money to buy something I did not need. Let this be a lesson to all, when in doubt… buy it! Well if it is $9 and you are fairly certain it will be used.
“1… count with me, ha ha ha” said in your best Count Dracula voice from Sesame street.
I am calling this little portion of our home command central. It is where the organization station and the new command center reside. It is also where we enter inside from our garage. You exit and enter here, none of this “stuff” makes it into the rest of the house. This is me doing a happy dance with the clutter not being in the kitchen. “Can I get a amen!!?” This is the part of the hallway where a closet has become my kids art supply area. I explained my need for order. You can find my helpful tips here
. I will now call this “kid zone” I mean, really. My kids get an entire area devoted to them and their gear. Walls have been moved, things have been painted. Just for them. While I had a hard time finding a spot to set my computer. Obviously my kids are tiny dictators that demand space for stuff.
With our kids being little, I can get away with bright and cheery decor. They love all of the fun colors, patterns and cute initialed items. I am sure as they get older I will point this out and they will roll their eyes and humor me by looking my way. Heck, they do that now. Although I can usually count on at least one child to get the decorating hoopla that is patterned name magnets.
The barn door that you see we made, which you can find here
. It was another need for this location. To use the washer and dryer you had to close the door. But to get into a nook of the laundry room where everything was kept you had to open the door. Confusing you yet? It was a logistics nightmare. So this barn door was a life saver, also barn doors are where it is at!
I took this picture to show you a different view. That is Nora in her room, reading. That is Teddy in the bottom of the picture. Fun fact, any picture I ever share on this blog almost always has to have Teddy cut out of it. I have to crop every picture because he is my shadow. He apparently thinks that when the camera comes out it is time for his close up. He is such a Diva. I am really happy the sun was shining so much and over-brightened Nora’s room. Her room, my dear friends was not picture ready. I am pretty sure she was reading in her doorway because that was the only free space for her to sit. Keeping it real.
I think this picture helps show how much of this command center really is just thrown into the hallway. This is not a low traffic area, this is smack dab in the middle of kid fights, toy airplane take-offs, and mad dash for the bus in the morning. These baskets do not get in the way, have not been hit once. This is proof of my earlier statement that you do not need a large home or space to make something like this happen for you and your family. A wall where everyone and their Mother walks by will do.
My models were ready to come in and show us the function of this. Nora and Caleb were eager to help. This is a picture, which is good because you cannot hear the hysterical tantrum that was happening with Gavin in the living room. He wanted the blue basket, but he is child #3 which is a gray basket. It got rough, Dale was a trooper and stepped in so I could finish taking pictures. I was on blogging duty, and he was on 4 year old tantrum duty. Guys, I had to, it is my job. Notice Caleb’s little smirk? In the life of a brother, he won this battle for the basket. He is child #2 and gets blue.
As you can see, this command center has been broken in quite nicely. It more or less still looks like this. We have had this up for one week. Gavin has gotten over the heartache of using the gray basket. He has his stuffed with soccer gear, his skateboarding helmet, and elbow/knee pads.
I like that each child can be responsible for their own things. I make sure to remind them of where they all go. My hope is that as time goes on they will become a little more self sufficient and do this on their own. I also hope to win the lottery and see pigs fly. A girl can dream. The jumbo calendar has come in handy on a few occasions. Dale and I can both alter or change it when needed. I was sick with a really brutal head cold on Wednesday of last week. I pretty much slept the day away. Dale was able to see what was on the agenda and keep things moving. Like the Dad pro that he is.
Whew, did I give you enough pictures? Did I share every tiny little detail of this? Probably not. I will be compiling a full tutorial for this. Sharing the process, as well as a full list of supplies used. With links, in case you want to duplicate something similar in your home. Look for that post next week. I will update this post with a link to the supplies and tutorial one when it goes live.
As for the rest of the week, hold onto your decorating hats… I have another project to share with you! The organization saga continues! I know, I feel like this is the home decor version of The Never Ending Story. Except there is no weird story lines and sad moments involving quicksand and horses. Remember that movie? I will be sharing the how’s and why’s of our built in bench that is in the organization station. Lot’s of detailed jargon and pictures of the process. I will leave you with this dreamy picture of a command center, in perfect lighting. Ahh, this is how homes should always be. Light shining in, cute colors, and perfect angles. Ignore the screaming child in the living room and the messy room just inches away from this shot. Keeping it real.
How do you keep your family organized? What is a way you use dead space like this? Lastly, any tips on how to have my kids never throw a tantrum again? Anyone…?
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