homemaking, making do, organizing

gray central station // an organizational project

the launching pad area of my home has been a constant struggle for me.
as much thought and time i put into making it functional and easy, it just never works right.
at times, our areas were too cramped, and we just had to live with what we had.
but moving into our new house has provided many areas that can be super functional.
and this is something a girl can get excited about.

the ebbs and flows of life call for different functions for our house to run smoothly and right now the struggles are:
1) piles of school work/mail that come into the house and
2) no set place to communicate items that need to leave the house.
added to the equation is a daily homework assignment for marshall that requires him to mark off calendar days and record the stories we read. for this he needs to have the calendar at his height and access to the colored pencils he needs for the required pattern.
we also have a 2.5 month perpetual calendar that needs to be in plain sight as well as hot items that we need to be reminded of.

hence, the start of a new project. setting up a functional, living and inexpensive command center.

here’s where it will be: the side of the fridge which is located next to the garage door, which we use for the main door in/out of the house. all traffic in and out passes through this area and it has the most real estate.

Untitled once i

first, i determined that i needed:
1) in/out boxes for each person,
2) a new calendar,
3) a small bucket to hold writing supplies,
4) magnetic clips to hold items and
5) clips to hold notes

so i set off to target. i found these plastic pocket folders in the school supply section for $1.20 each. they are perfect because they’re flat and durable. Untitled

i peeled off the velcro from both sides and also cut off the flap as well as the section where the binder holes were. Untitled

i used a thick kind of double sided sticky tape by 3M and layered the folders 3 inches from the top of the one above it. then i used labels i already owned that are 1″x3.75″ (there are 4 labels per sheet) and used word to print our names on each label.

after hanging the file folders and the calendars with awesome command strips, i began to add the fun parts of the FUNctionality. haha, get it? Untitled

aaaaanyhoo…the file folders were up a bit too high to i moved them down to fit the title card i wanted there. i used a project life 4×6 title card and printed the words GRAB + GO on it, using word. cute huh? and free! Untitled

then i placed a few silver binder clips to each person’s file that could hold a little note or reminder for that person.

Untitled Untitled

now it’s getting close….. i added marshall’s calendar, which is now held by a heavy duty magnet clip you see down there. i was using the magnet clips to hold the bucket and the number flashcards, but it was a bit too wobbly. so i used hooks with adhesive instead. Untitled

in the bucket that i found in the dollar spot at target, i have project life 3×4 grid journalling cards because, well, i have a ton. marshall’s colored pencils and a sharpie for notes along with a few extra binder clips. Untitled

the fun part is updating the calendar.
you guys, i really do love updating my calendar.
some things to note:
1) i do not rely only on this calendar method. everything that goes on here, comes from my digital calendars. i subscribe to both of my kids’ school calendars. (if you’re not savvy or your school doesn’t really get down with the online thing, sorry, but it’s the best way for me to keep track of stuff going on a school that i may not know about otherwise.)
and 2) i use a perpetual method that may confuse you off the get go, but i don’t like to waste calendar space so i just start the next month where the previous month ends.
3) i use the command strips so i can remove the calendars from here and put them on the kitchen table to work on them. Untitled

the other thing i’ve started doing recently is using washi tape for each event. i have always used white boards but the pens are never fine enough to write small and if i have to erase something and put it somewhere else, it just gets messy.
washi tape can be written on with sharpie, then moved anywhere you like.
each family member still gets their own color, which helps everyone know their stuff. birthdays get another color and family events or holidays get another.
the dates are all written in white board marker so when it’s time to start fresh, just remove all the tape and use a baby wipe to clean it off and a paper towel to dry.
and presto! a brand new calendar!Untitled

here it is, the main part of gray central station. my hope is that it will be used with ease and that it doesn’t become the forgotten wall of shame. Untitled

anyways, i spent just under $30 on the 2 calendars ($7 each) and the clips and folders and bucket. not bad for a brand new space of organizational bliss.

and now, i need to figure out how to best use my little side kitchen counter to tackle the incoming papers and action items.
i am envisioning some sort of tray situation…not sure. but no doubt that i will be back to tell you all about it.

so now tell me, what areas of your home do you struggle with and what have you done to make it better?

andrea_signature copy

2 thoughts on “gray central station // an organizational project”

  1. OK seriously can you come to my house and do this! It looks amazing and something I so need in this household! I might try and do this inside my pantry doors as it’s where I had been trying to have the notes I needed to see, as I am in there daily, haha! AMAZING inspiration and fabulous idea Andrea!

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