How to Make a Simple & Effective Kitchen Command Center

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One of the guides within Simplified Organization is to create a “command center.”

It’s easy to go browsing Pinterest for inspiration on putting a command center together (in fact, I have a Simplified Command Center board where you can do that easily) and feel like it will take a lot of time, creativity, and money to make yours as put together as those created for the photo op.

Follow Mystie Winckler’s board Simplified Command Centers on Pinterest.

So I thought I’d show you pictures of mine. I don’t have a great camera. I don’t have a natural space in my home layout for a command center (no kitchen desk, no mudroom, no fridge side). I don’t have cute office products or matchy chalkboard labels.

But I still have a very useable and low maintenance (making it matchy & cutesy would certainly increase the maintenance!) unconventional spot I use as a sanity-saving command central: the lower shelf of the kitchen cupboard right by the kitchen bar counter.

A command center doesn't have to be cute or color-coordinated to be effective and organized.

The kitchen bar is where stuff accumulates. It’s where mail is brought in and prepared to be sent out. It is where my laptop generally lives. I am almost always close by.

So here’s a picture of my command center:

My simple and effective kitchen command center - It doesn't have to be pretty to be organized

I love it because it keeps necessary stuff conveniently located, yet it also keeps it hidden and out of the way. It is not at all visually cluttering the house, because it lives behind cupboard doors. If you can’t make a command center cute and out in the open, think about unconventional places and ways you can hide it away and make it blend in. I don’t need a testimony to my organization demanding attention by being eye-catching and visible. I just want to have a pen when I need one and know where that RSVP card is when it’s time to send it.

Here’s the low-down on what’s in my command center:

  • A small mail sorter that holds checks to be cashed, mailing supplies, the checkbook, and the church directory.
  • A 3-ring binder that holds our kids’ payment & savings moneys.
  • Two cardboard IKEA magazine holders; one is for “temporary holding” and one is for “scan then shred” ( I file most things digitally ).
  • 2 jars: one penny jar and one old marshmallow cream jar for pens and pencils.
  • A container to hold paperclips, white out, a small stapler, and that sort of thing. If it doesn’t fit in this home, it can go live at my office desk – I try to keep this one pared down and decluttered. It’s behind the pen jar.
  • A repurposed gift container to hold random things that are handy – packing tape, the camera & its charger,
  • A little container for a hairbrush, nail clippers, scissors, and a ruler. This container has high sides so these items can take up more vertical space than horizontal.

That’s it.

A command center doesn’t have to be fancy or cute or impressive. It has to get the job done and be useful and make the stuff you need more accessible and convenient.
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