Command Center Ideas

A post from the past


Today’s question comes from Melissa of Seven Matters. Melissa’s question is such a common one that I knew I had to try and answer it.

I have a question about mail and other papers that come into my house. I have tried for so long to find a system that my husband can get on board with, but he still comes home and puts his papers and keys and briefcase etc. on my kitchen counter! I only have a small amount of counter space and what I do have is a catch-all for junk, and important papers alike. It drives me crazy! As you can see in my pictures, there is some wall space to the left of the counter. Can you recommend a wall hanging organizer that might help de-clutter my counters, but is budget friendly?





As with many families, the kitchen seems to be the hot spot for accumulated paper such as incoming mail, school papers, receipts, newspapers, etc. Finding a system that works for the whole family is a must in order to relieve some of moms frustration and free up valuable counter space.

What we need to establish here is a Command Center and Melissa has a great space in the corner that is ideal for this purpose. It’s ideal because it is centrally located in a room that is frequented by all and can be utilized by all. I think Melissa’s suggestion of a wall hanging organizer is a terrific suggestion and I was able to find a few that might work for her.

A Command Center is a beautiful thing. It’s somewhere to capture the bits and pieces of life that are happening right now and can’t be filed away just yet. It is not a solution to the permanent filing. No, no, no. Instead it is a revolving display of miscellaneous documentation, a communication center for the goings on of life. Perfect for things like important telephone numbers, birthday party invitations, receipts for items needing to be returned, school papers with specific information on an upcoming event, bills to be paid, and so on.

In Melissa’s case I think she has room to incorporate either a bulletin or magnetic board as well as a wall organizer. I personally like the idea of giving each member of the family their own space (or at least a section for mom/dad/kids) so some of my selections below will allow for that if she so wishes.

First let me show you a picture of one of my favorite Command Centers from Organize Magazine. Isn’t this something! The links to the products they used can be found here. The green bins are my absolute favorite and were purchased from Staples. Unfortunately I can’t find them online but further on you’ll see I found a pretty good replacement.



I have so many ideas and in my research discovered all sorts of wonderful products out there, it really was hard to narrow it down. Keeping in mind Melissa’s desire for it to be budget friendly, this is what I came up with. Clicking on the pictures will take you to where I found them online.

1. I LOVE this one from Amazon for $34.95:


2. NiftyTin HoldIt Organizer Bin for $8.99 each:


3. Fabric Organizer from the Container Store for $14.99 each:


4. The Fridge File for $10.76.  I love this product.  Also available in white.


5. Wall mounted mail basket for $31.46:

mail organizer

6. Charging Station Memo Board for $19.95.  Also be sure to check out Etsy for cute memo boards.

7. Desktop Sorter for $19.99 ~ even with a wall organizer something like this might still be nice for the counter:

desktop sorter

8. Magnetic Magazine Pockets from Organize-It for $19.99 each:


9. Bulletin & Magnetic Strips from the Container Store for $14.99 each.  I’ve also seen these at the dollar store.


10. Make your own wall organizer with Momready, this is fantastic!! Instructions here.


The thing to remember is that no matter which organizer you select it will take some discipline and consistency to establish the new routine of putting the papers where they belong and not on the counter. It CAN be done though and you CAN succeed!

Happy Organizing!

Related posts:

Organizing your entryway

Awhile ago I posted about using an inexpensive plate holder to organize papers

Creating a Mail Center with Declutter It!


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41 Responses to Command Center Ideas

  1. 1
    Eva Wallace says

    Thanks for the Stacks and Stacks feature, Laura! I love the picture with the green bins! So cute!

  2. 2
    Crista says

    Great post, and perfect timing! I was just this morning pondering where to put my command post, and I love the wall idea!
    I would like to take a closer look at #4, but the link takes me to their homepage and I wasn’t able to locate that particular item. Help? I did have fun looking around, tho :)

  3. 3
    Christine says

    Oh, thanks for the links. I have been looking for a wall organizer just as these!

    Now, I just have to remember to keep it organized. lol.

  4. 4
    mub says

    I’ve been eyeing that first one at IKEA for quite some time now… I keep talking myself out of it because I don’t know where I would put it!

  5. 5
    Laura says

    Christa, it seems that one is no longer available so I’ve update this post to include one of my very favorite organizing tools..the Fridge File!

  6. 6
    Crista says

    oh, I like that, too! Thanks!

  7. 7
    brandi says

    I need to jump on board with this we have the same problem. I even bought the first one you show from Amazon from Ikea. But the pockets are deeper than I origionally thought so everything gets lost down inside it. Also if it’s bumped the basket hangers slip out of their slots and it falls alot. Other than that it’s very pretty.

  8. 8
    Valencia says

    You are AWESOME!!! Just what I needed to start the school year off right.

  9. 9
    Ally0005 says

    Oh my goodness this is a great post. I think we all have to deal with this in some way. I love this idea and plan on putting it on my to do list.


  10. 10
    Laura says

    Brandi that is so good to know. Thanks for providing your feedback, I really appreciate it!

  11. 11
    JessieGInAZ says

    I am so giddy over that fridge file–I have added it to my “wish list” and now can’t wait to see if I get it for Christmas–I also really love that homemade one and am thinking of all sorts of uses for that one!!

  12. 12
    Lisa says

    Nice! I’m still in mourning over our “new” [we’ve lived there a year] house not having wall space anywhere appropriate for the full Potty Barn Command Center! Or for their cubbies! I’d eat Ramen for a year to have them [or a nice knock-off]!

  13. 13
    Rona says

    I just need an assistant to do the sorting and I’ll be all set.

  14. 15
    Kayren says

    I was getting ready to mention that the first one was available from Ikea, but I see someone else already did…but…they also have it available in individual ones where it could be hung side-by-side. I only know this because I live at Ikea. It’s a sickness. But she’s right, they are pretty deep, because I think they had them displayed in the store with a towel rolled up in it.

  15. 16
    Krista says

    I noticed that several people already commented that #1 is also available from Ikea. What nobody mentioned, though, is that it is only $19.99 at Ikea!!! It’s called the Allamala wall basket. We bought one, too. Hope this helps!!

  16. 17
    Marguerite Wright - momsherbs says

    Love, love, love your blog. You just don’t know how bad I need your advice. It very helpful! Mail is a crazy issue at my house too.

  17. 18
    Jena OrganizingMommy says

    Some posts are worth repeating–this is ONE of them. When I ever incorporate this great idea into my life, I will let you know!! Until then, keep reminding us.

  18. 19
    Kellie says

    I just found your website last week and I’m in LOVE! I’ve used some receipes…for the first time my middle son actually ate spinach and loved it b/c it was in the Mexican Ravoli ….and this idea is just FABULOUS!!!

  19. 20
    amy says

    suuuuurrreee….tell everyone you LOVe the one from amazon..and it isn’t available LOL. it is purty.

    i need to get a command center on speed… for homeschooling. ever done a round up for that? guess I should go look. seriously- if you have ever done ‘homeschool organizing posts’ can you post that here? not there i couldn’t google the subject…but i seem to actually implement more of your ideas than most.

  20. 21
    Sarah says

    Great post! Thanks for the ideas!

  21. 22
    Laura says

    Thanks so much girls for letting me know that first one is available through Ikea. I updated the link.

    Amy I’ve never done a homeschool organization post but I’ll definitely put it on the list of future topics.

  22. 23
    Angela says

    I love your blog!!! I was just out blog walking, and I stumbled upon it! I’m a total organizer freak myself so I couldn’t be happier that I found it! I can’t wait to read more! Awesome job!

    Angela from Angela’s Soliloquy

    PS-Stop by my blog to enter to win a $25.00 Visa Gift Card!

  23. 24
    Denise says

    Based on your post of this info a while back, I bought some four inexpensive metal, rectangular planters from Michael’s. (similar to the ones in the first picture, but the boxes are a little shorter so my little ones can see into theirs.) We hung them by our main entry door. Everyone’s mail, cell phone, and school papers go in his/her box when they come in.

    I put the kids school papers in my husband’s box each day so that he can look at them before they can move onto recycling. I don’t have a web site so I didn’t post a picture, but it’s working out great.

    My kitchen counter is so much cleaner now!

  24. 25
    Michelle@Alittletipsy says

    Great ideas, although I am SUPER CHEAP! They have those fabric hanging organizers in the Target dollar section right now and IKEA has similar magnetic strips for like $2. Just thought I would share the Uber cheap versions. :)

  25. 26
    Laura says

    Denise I LOVE hearing success stories, that’s what it’s all about!! So happy about that :)

    Michelle I love cheap so thanks for sharing. I find so many inexpensive storage solutions at the dollar store. LOVE the dollar store!

  26. 27
    Elizabeth says

    Oh my gosh, I love the picture of that command center by the front door! We have so much stuff by our door and the tiny little cubby my husband built just can’t handle it all! This gives me some great inspiration. Thank you sooo much! I’m going to have him build a little bench for the boys to sit and put their shoes on. I already love baskets, so getting some of those shouldn’t be a problem. Wow. Ok, I need to start making plans!

  27. 28
    Fran Wender says

    Love that blackboard/organizer!

  28. 29
    Kathy Wolf says

    I really could use a “command center”. My home is chaos! Thanks for the tips!


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