I really don’t like the term “command center,” but as I have yet to come up with a more apropos name, the NASA-esque reference will have to do.
My kids are 2 and 3 years old. Up until now I have had the luxury of living pretty well by my own schedule, save the obligation or two that managed to sneak past the gates of introversion. Suddenly we have found ourselves caught up in co-op preschool, toddler sports, speech therapy, and other commitments, besides those taken on by my husband and myself. Personally, I would be more than happy to tinker away my days in the garage, building to my heart’s content. But life calls, and a schedule is helping us answer it without too many embarrassing missed appointments. (I’m a tad bit scatter-brained.)
So I looked up command center on Pinterest. And then promptly closed it. Sometimes you just have to trust that you know what is best for you. Side note: I’ll include a Pinterest graphic for you at the bottom so you can do exactly the opposite of what I just wrote.
The first requirement was that this thing didn’t cost much. The second was that it was actually something we would use. The third was that it covered the electrical panel in our hallway. The third requirement may actually have been the first.
How to build a command center…or at least a variation of one
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I went to Michaels and cruised the aisles because, guys, sometimes I create like I cook. Haphazardly.
I was thinking I would build a frame, but then this frame was 60% off. And then I was cut off in line by a darling little elderly woman who didn’t realize that there was a line and couldn’t hear when the clerk tried to tell her. So I waited while she paid, thinking her cash transaction wouldn’t be long. But it turns out she also couldn’t see, so the poor flustered clerk had to help her count it out. Then, of course, she had to check to see that everything was bagged correctly before heading back out to drive her car, which was possibly the scariest thing I could imagine. The clerk felt so bad about the additional time it took and gave me a 20% waiting coupon. Who knew there was such a thing? Needles to say, this oddly named coupon was fine by me, and my frame was now 80% off. And at that price it’s not even worth picking through my scraps because time is money, people. And look how much time you just spent reading all that.
Anyway, I also got these chalkboards, which were attached to this miniature sandwich board thing, so I also scored dry erase boards. I planned to use two white boards, but my son stole one and hid it under my bed and I just found it last night.
Because it needed something I covered the 1/4 cardboard backer that came with the frame in wallpaper. The same stuff that I used for the master bedroom closets because, you know, I had leftover stuff.
I painted a grid on each of the chalkboards and wrote the numbers in with chalk pen so I can reuse them. I like having three calendars so we can look ahead. The boards hang on hooks that are screwed to the backer so I can rotate them.
The keys are attached to a piece that I picked up at Michaels and then dismantled and reattached to my backer. There is also a place for grocery items, to-do around the house items, and love notes. It’s a thing.
No, my rendition of the command center does not feature a mail receptacle. My preference is to immediately shred, address, and/or scan mail as it comes in and get rid of the paper. Having a place for it means it will pile up. I’m weird about that sort of thing.
Oh, I forgot. The paper pads and white board are all attached with magnetic tape, which isn’t the strongest stuff in the world, but works well enough if you use excessive amounts of it.
So here it is. It’s not the fanciest command center out there, but it gets ‘er done, as it were. And we no longer have to see the electrical panel.
Here’s your graphic, as promised!