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Organization Project — My Kitchen Command Station!!

One of my goals for 2011 is to get more organized. 
I decided to start off with my kitchen desk area…

**Kitchen Command Station**
I have a little corner in my kitchen that I originally set up to hold all of the kids’ important school papers, directories, plus paper and pens for taking messages. Unfortunately that area became a dumping ground for all sorts of things — catalogs, papers and odds and ends. And that area became so messy that phone messages would sometimes get lost!
I decided I needed a simpler way of keeping track of papers and messages.

The transformation started off with some vintage bread pans and jello molds I discovered at a thrift store. 
I used the jello molds to hold small items like tiny post-it notes, paper clips and clips.

Then I found a clear file folder holder at Target ($2.99) that could be hung on the wall — freeing up valuable counter space.

I had some Martha Stewart laser-cut paper with a quatrefoil design.
I attached a sheet of it to the inside of the clear file folder rack. I used some 3M Command strips to hang it so I wouldn’t have to put any holes in my wall. I like these strips because when I want to remove them someday, they’re easy to just pull them off and they won’t damage the paint or finish.
Once I cleaned out the drawers, I put an Ikea tray in each drawer to corral the directories and other items that might slide around by themselves. I used a couple of the vintage bread pans to hold extra pens, pencils, scissors and other items that are used in the desk area.
I made a file folder for each person in the family to keep their current papers like permission slips, current homework and things that people need right away. I let everyone pick our a paper that they liked for their file folder. Then I traced the file folder onto the paper and cut it out.
And used spray adhesive to attach the paper to the file folder.
To finish the file folders, I printed out each person’s name using printer labels.
And then I used my Silhouette machine to print out some label frames that I put on top of the labels.
Now I have a place to put everyone’s school papers and other important to-do papers.

 The last thing I did was brought a tray in to hold all of the desk materials.

I’m so happy with my new message station. 
I feel like I can find everything so much easier.

It’s a great way to start off a new year!!
PSWhat do YOU use to keep your papers organized??? If you have blogged about it and can leave a linkto it in your comments, I would love to see it and write a post up with other people’s organizational ideas too!!PS — I am sharing this post with these fun parties — check them out!

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  1. Jen ~ I LOVE your idea! That is so neat/tidy AND handy. You've done a great job with it – and even though nobody would know that the Jello molds were actually old Jello molds, I love the idea of using them for this project. Great idea all around. I have so many of the materials already for this, now, just to clean up and make room .. which actually would SAVE room in the end and look Great! Thank you ~

  2. Ohh.. I'm totally doing this! Thanks for sharing it. Here's what I blogged about. LOVE it! Making one for my recipes now too. http://www.haglerhappenings.com/2010/08/diy-containing-all-those-school-papers/

  3. Hi jen! I've put together a round up of nifty kitchen projects on Craft Gossip today and included your post. :) You can see it here

  4. I too have recently tried to organize my kitchen command centre – with some success.
    I really like how you organized the drawer – I will do that next! Thanks for the motivation!

  5. goodenoughmommy says:

    I have the same file holder from Target and use it for my daughter's folder that travels between school and home each day. I love what you did with it. I wish I had thought of using Command strips (why didn't I? I love them.) When I saw all the folders, I assumed they were the expensive, designer ones. Plus, I love the idea of using bread pans in the drawers.

    I think I may have found my new favorite blog. You're awesome.

  6. AAAHHHH!!! This post is such a blessing to me, as I've been trying to organize my message/random paper/pens/blackberry chargers. Thank you for your brilliant ideas.

  7. Love this and perfect timing! I am updating my kitchen and NEED a space like this! Thanks for the fabulous ideas!!

  8. What an inspiration!! Love it!! I ran out to the store and did a little project clean up of my own!!
    Thanks sor the great idea!!

  9. Awesome! I love all the step by steps you did. It turned out great. Stopping by from itsybitsypaper.blogspot.com

  10. I've tried to get organized. I just can't do it. I think I'm a mix of ADD and OCD. My catalogs are in a basket (OCD) but randomly thrown in and forgotten (ADD). Same with my mail thrown in a basket and gone through when it's spilling out over the floor. I think I just hate mail

  11. Massive amounts of drool happening over here…what an awesome transformation!!!


  12. Love the file holders. I need 3 for my daugeters room to hold goodnight books and other project stuff.

    check out the giveaway I am having on my site. A chance to win a fairy silhoutte tee from Elizabeth Horton.sizes(18M-8y)

  13. How cleaver are you? So cute. I just love what you did.

  14. Looks great! I've been working on organizing around the house, my kitchen catch all space has been improved but still a problem (blogged about). It's not the space that collects the paper though…. there are other places that happens! Stop by domesticdeadline.blogspot.com

  15. AndreaLeigh says:

    so cute Jen! I need to be better about my clutter. I have a bad habit of just dumping mail and it has turned into an awful mess on my kitchen island.

  16. Kara @ Mine for the Making says:

    not only does the organization of your kitchen command station make my heart sing, but the colors and patterns and all of the little details are just lovely. thanks for the inspiration jen!


  17. Wow, looks gorgeous! I love the colors you used with the papers.

    Here is a post that I did about one of my organization ideas. I love the command strips, too. I've used them for a lot of things. Next I'm going to try them in the bathroom to hold a hand towel. Maybe with a clothespin!


  18. I've been thinking of getting some of these clear file holders to store cuttingboards, cooking magazines, recipes, etc. Excellent idea on transforming them! Thanks for sharing.

  19. Amy @ Positively Splendid says:

    I loved this project so much, I linked it as one of my favorite posts of the week. :) Take care, friend!


  20. What a great idea! Since I have four kids of my own, I love that you have found a way to keep their papers organized. I have found several solutions that would be great for 2 or kids, but not four. Thanks for sharing your creativity. I love it!!

  21. Comman station… lol, I lvoe that! My command station is cosntantly getting a makeover.

  22. That is what I need. I have an area just like that and it makes me crazy right now. I've never noticed a cute tray like yours in the stores, I've never really looked for one either. Where did you find it? I like the color of yours so much. I'll be sure to send you before and after shots when I finish! :)



  23. What a stylish command station!!!! Beautiful!

  24. Great ideas!!
    too funny that you are using those Jell-o tins cause i just picked up a set of 4 of those exact tins last weekend at a yard sale!!
    I have some others but they dont' have the Jello impression on the bottom. I actually checked to see the value of the and on ebay or maybe it was etsy you can buy them for like $10!!!! I hope you paid less than that for your set, i know I paid WAY less for my set :-)

  25. love it! here's my attempt at a little organizing: http://vanessadolberry.blogspot.com/2011/01/my-attempt-at-organization.html

  26. Goober Monkey says:

    Uhhh how have I NEVER seen your blog before?!?! I am in SERIOUS SERIOUS love. For real. New follower!!!

  27. It looks great! I love it.

  28. I love what you did! So much better. I need to find me some cool little jello molds. Those are awesome!
    I also like the idea of putting cute scrapbook paper over file folders. Genius!


  29. I has never occured to me to just cut and paste pretty paper to a folder! DUH! :)

    I've been looking and looking for folders that I actually liked.

    I'm currently working on my paper piles. What a mess! It's taken DAYS of sorting, shredding, filing and thinking about the best way to handle it in the future!

  30. That is such an awesome station. I instantly fell in love with the jello molds. I've never seen any like that. I am on the hunt now at my local thrift stores! I also love the bread pans. Since I bake my own, I'd probably end up using them for food rather than storage. :)

  31. I reorganized my "command center" as well. It seems like such a great way to start off the year..organized and everything in its place. I love what you did with the hanging files, so cute and everything handy.


  32. Holly from Leaps of Faith says:

    I absolutely LOVE it! I have slowly been working on my "kitchen command station"…got a PB charging station, some cute file folders (next time I will be making mine..love the idea), and made a magnetic chalkboard…but now its time to put it all together! Looks like I'll be heading to Target :) Thanks for the inspiration!

  33. Hey I noticed you tried to blot out the name of your kids school, but you didn't grab the phone number or address. I'm not sure how concerned you are about that but thought I would let you know.

  34. This is a FABULOUS idea!! :-) Thanks for sharing this. I'll definitely be pulling some ideas from this.

  35. I love your command station – especially those folders! It all looks so nice and organized!

    I have a little desktop organizer that I use as my command station: http://smartbottomenterprises.blogspot.com/2010/10/desktop-organizer.html

    and then I organize the kids' schoolwork that they bring home in these: http://smartbottomenterprises.blogspot.com/2010/10/schoolwork-organization-box.html

  36. Lyndee @ A Recovering Craft Hoarder says:

    Those vintage trays are so stinking cool!

  37. I love this! Your message station looks so stylish AND functional. I think I'm going to try your hanging file holder idea in my home for incoming mail. Thanks for such a great idea!

    – Alison

  38. I love your beautiful your new command center! You are inspiring me to make sure that my systems are as beautiful as they are functional…. I need to go back and work some more on that one!
    I have six kids and strive to be as organized as possible. In this blog post I talk about how I manage all of the paperwork that comes from school, and how I keep it all organized in my kitchen "command center":

    Thanks for allowing me to share this! I love reading your blog!

  39. Michelle Whitlow says:

    LOVE that!!! Esp the blue tray :)

  40. I know I have said it before but I'll say it again. I LOVE YOUR BLOG!

  41. I love the feeling after a nice organizing. Everythign is so fresh and clean. I'm in the process of my kitchen-dumping ground overhaul as well! (I'm always in the middle of some project it seems).

  42. this looks great jen!! i love your station :) for organizing papers, i just did the "paper project" over at iHeart Organizing…jen showed everyone how to sort, toss, keep, file, etc…it was a beautiful thing :)

  43. The Smith Family says:

    I am 100% totally inspired, I'm going to try to do this in my kitchen this weekend, I have the perfect random counter to use too! Yay, thanks so much for this wonderful idea! I hope I can make mine as cute as yours



  44. Beautiful! Love the scrapbook paper on the folders idea:)

  45. Sweeter Hours says:

    Inspiring! It always helps when the command center is pretty!

  46. I love love love this! The tray makes total sense. Well done!

  47. jennykate77 says:

    LOVE this, Jen!!! My kitchen counter looks a lot like that. I've been needing to coral the kitchen mess for while, but being in the middle of construction, it just hasn't been feasible. BUT my new kitchen is almost finished and I'm definitely going to use this idea to keep organized!!

    Hope you're having a great week!!

  48. Great stuff, Jen– I love how you've repurposed the jello molds and bread pans! This reminds me that I need to address my own "command" space. :)

  49. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says:

    Organization never looked so good, Jen! : ) I love how everything is color coordinated, too.

  50. I love it. Looks great! Thanks for sharing this inspiration!

    Brad Fallon

  51. Kate @ Chic on a Shoestring Decorating says:

    This looks great! I love all the cute details. I did something similar for my paper clutter and it has helped me tremendously! Please check it out. :) xo


  52. I have a corner in my kitchen I turn into a 'command center'. Nifty ideas! Thanks for sharing!

  53. LOVE IT! I am in love with command anything too- I use them alllllll the time! Looks great!

  54. i like this ALOT – simple, practical and affordable. you have inspired me to organize my kitchen dumping tray, thanks! :) xoxo

  55. oh I am SO making that Jen!
    Thank you so much for this…………….i needed some direction on how to do it!

  56. Laurel @ Ducks in a Row says:

    I especially love that you added that paper to it! This looks amazing – well done.

  57. Krafty Kat says:

    Great job! I love the little jello molds- how appropriate! :) We just have a little phone table with some pens and post-its and then everything else gets piled on my desk. I like this idea and would love to have a place for everyone else's things (besides my desk)!

  58. (un)Deniably Domestic says:

    Awesome! I have a CBCC (creative baking command center) and the girls just roll their eyes at me every time I call it that. Will blog it soon. It is great to organize something. ~Kelly

    unDeniably Domestic

  59. Amy @ Positively Splendid says:

    This is seriously FAB, Jen!!

  60. I continue to be amazed by you! This is absolutely adorable and so functional at the same time!

  61. Wow! Brilliant! I have the perfect spot to put this in my kitchen… might just have to steal, er, borrow, this idea.

  62. Jennifer @ Studio JRU says:

    That is fantastic! I am working on a 'command center' in our kitchen too! Goal for this year. :)

  63. Maybe I missed it… but where did you get that amazing turquoise tray?!?!?!?

  64. Kimm at Reinvented says:

    Love it, especially the colors!!! I'm looking at my horribly messy "command center" counter right now and it needs your kind of help Jen!!

  65. Decorchick! says:

    So SO awesome Jen!! I totally need to get on the ball and get more organized. It's crazy! Our command station is the office desk right now. :)

  66. Christin@Pregnant with power tools says:

    Oh my goodness – I love yours!
    I may need something more like that when the kids are older.

    For now – here's mine!

  67. Courtney @ Scraps and Scribbles says:

    So pretty and functional. I'm still in the process of getting things organized after our move to the new house and this has gotten me all inspired. Love what you did with the wall file-so creative!

  68. HOLY COW I love it!!! I am inspired. Think I will try something this weekend.

  69. I bought an old dresser and spruced it up and we use that to hold all our stuff in our back entry. It works so well! Here, check it out:


    I love to organize and it was a fun project. Yours looks like so much fun too!

    Becky B.
    Organizing Made Fun

  70. Now that's what I call organized! Nice job! I love the file folders. My problem is that they'd become so full of papers that I wouldn't know what to do with them either ;)Alyssa of Boston Bee

  71. Wow, that looks great and functional! I love the idea of decorating the clear plastic with the laser cut paper. And those jello tins are awesome! Where did you fine them?
    Scissors & Spatula

  72. Mom to Many says:

    Very cute! Love the strap pan, but I love bread pans. :o)



  73. What a great organizing project. It turned out so beautiful. and the little elephant tray is adorable.


  74. Number 6 and no more counting! says:

    I love you command centre! You have given me inspiration!


  75. Hi Jen! You have so many great organizing ideas here. I'd love for you to link to We're Organized Wednesday if you get a chance. It will be open until Saturday. Clipboards have worked great to keep my kids school work organized. Here's a link to the post: http://organizeyourstuffnow.com/wordpress/?p=3968

  76. Beth@The Stories of A to Z says:

    Adorable Jen! It looks fantastic! And how perfect that you're using jello molds :).

  77. I'm hoping to have a station in my new house, I move this weekend so all those little details aren't worked out yet. But in my current house I have two bins in a drawer and each day hubby brings in mail I throw junk in the trash and put all the bills and notices in bin A. Then when we get paid he pulls out bin A and all the paid bills and notices that need to be filed go into bin B. On the first of each month I file all of bin B into the file box =) I'll blog about it if I use the same system in the new house.

  78. One of my goals this year is to get more organized and I absolutely love this idea it looks great!

  79. I just redid my command central. It doesn't look as great as yours, but it is certainly an improvement. I should blog it, but I didn't take a before picture. I suppose the after still looks nice…

  80. I am so jealous of your organization; And those old jello molds are so cute!
    I was just looking around my kitchen today wondering how people keep things organized, thank's for letting us have a peak at what you're doing. :)

  81. I love your new organized command central. I'm a bit of an organizational junkie so I was immediately drawn to this post and I especially love how you made your own color coordinated folders in your beautiful acrylic (but oh so doesn't look acrylic) file holder. Cute, cute, cute! Great job!

  82. ⊰OCDesign⊱ says:

    Love it! Command centers are so fun and make you feel so much better! I think I'm going to steal your idea for the vintage bread pans in the drawers! Much better than the tacky black plastic baskets I have now! Love it all, thanks for sharing!

  83. So functional and STYLISH!!! I need a setup like that…thanks for sharing!

  84. Love the transformation! I need to up my game in the kitchen-desk-organization thing. The cute cherry box from Robert's Crafts isn't cutting it any more. And those Command strips? LOVE them! I bought a towel hook that looks just like brushed nickel but uses the Command strip idea. It's strong and easy to hang!

  85. This looks amazing, Jen!
    So tell me, how many times have you re-done this station? Is it the same one in your kitchen?

  86. Amanda @ Serenity Now says:

    Applause!!! I so wish I had your gift of mixing and matching patterns and colors. Your command station is beautiful! Love that pretty quatrefoil laser paper. Neat way to dress things up. :)

  87. GREAT idea to cover the ugly manilla folders with scrapbook paper. we have the same situation in our kitchen. A conrer where there's folders for everything, pens..whatever. And it has become a dumping ground for everything husband related. this is my weekend project!

  88. Consider this idea officially stolen.

  89. Jessica @ My World - Made By Hand says:

    Super cute…thanks for sharing.


  90. I SOOOO needed this post today! I have been looking for the perfect file folder holder for my office – which doesn't exist apparently -but look at you – you made one! Which is why I love you & your blog. Can't wait to copy you. AGAIN.

  91. Ashly@Moon Walk says:

    Looks way better. It needed a makeover and the turn out was great.

  92. 2littlehooligans says:

    first of all, i want those jello molds!! looks great, isn't it a great feeling?! here is my comand center all organized:

  93. Jen-CraftOManiac says:


  94. AWESOME! I love it! I love what you did to the file holder. Super cute! Great job!

  95. Karen At Home says:

    That is awesome!!! Great job!

  96. That is very very cool! I love it!

  97. Prudently Painted Vintage says:

    Great way to make me feel really unorganized! Ha!

    Or I should say thank you for motivating me! I really need some organization in my kitchen drawers!

    Looks awesome!

  98. Kelli @ RTSM says:

    Such a smart idea to just cover plain folders with pretty paper! And I love the colors and those jello molds:) I have a similar system for keeping up with my boys papers from school.

  99. looks much better…i have some clear folder holders on the wall…never thought of prettying them up like that…thanks!


    stuff and nonsense

  100. Midwestern Sewing Girl says:

    Love love love!!! Thanks so much for the inspiration!!!! Love your idea! I, too, have that little IKEA elephant tray…isn't it adorable???

  101. This is GREAT!! Thanks for the Fun Ideas I could use some help in this area of my house too!! Looks so neat and tidy!!

  102. Infarrantly Creative says:

    Oh shes a beauty Jen. It is hard to find the right system for an area like that. I hope you have found yours. I am sure I will need that soon enough when my kiddos are in school. Is it weird that I miss you?

  103. I so need to do something with my little spot in the kitchen. At the moment i keep everything in an old bread basket. Including pens, crayons, magazines, papers, etc. Not exactly the most organized.

  104. mysomedaylist says:

    i saw those hanging file folders at target yesterday but couldn't get myself to buy them because they were so plain. i couldn't think of how to fancy them up. your's are perfect! where would one find those cute martha stewart items?

  105. this blessed nest says:

    stop it right now ms. sassy pants!

    this is fabulous. looks at all your fun office supplies.

    it always makes me more creative when i work around fun designs. at least that's what i think!

    beautiful & most of all fun command center.



  106. this is awesome, I really need to get my butt in gear and get this organized!

  107. Michelle @ Loving Every Second says:

    Love this! I SO need a kitchen command station. I love the feeling of being all organized. It makes me happy :)

  108. Kristi@living-blessed-life says:

    Today is my first time to visit your blog, because I read Tam's of Sew Dang Cute's interview and she mentioned you.

    This is EXACTLY what I have been looking for in trying to get myself organized. I wanted it visually appealing but felt so overwhelmed I didn't know where to start. Thanks for the inspiration, so glad I found you!!!