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A DIY Command Center for Small Spaces

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Have I mentioned that our 1980s colonial doesn’t have a mud room? Or any space, really, to create a drop zone or command center for all the items our family uses every single day?

If you are fortunate enough to live in a home with a mud room, or had enough space to create your own makeshift drop zone, I’m envious. I love our home, but the fact that we have no place except our garage to store any of the items mentioned above drives me absolutely bonkers. It also means that I am always to corral ALL the kid things in our home so that we don’t live in a constant state of clutter.

Spoiler alert: It sucks.

So I decided to create my own command center with the space I do have. I think you’ll agree it’s a pretty decent solution for those of us sans mud room who have verrrrrrry few spaces in our home that have ample square footage to make a great storage spot.

In this case, I decided to use a sliver of our wall — which is about 24 inches wide and serves as a buffer between our kitchen and dining room — to create a command center.

Here’s a quick pseudo “before” photo of the wall space. (And I say it’s a pseudo “before” pic since I technically forgot to take a “before” photo — whoops — and snapped this one after I had already installed the wire file hanger.)

command center before

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My main goal was to have a spot to capture all the paper that enters our home on a daily basis, and the secondary goal was to offer a spot to hang a bag or two. Unfortunately, the space isn’t large enough to store the kids’ backpacks or jackets. However, it WAS a perfect area to hold the daily snack bag (yes, we have a designated “snack bag” that I leave in my car so that the kids have something to eat on the ride home from school) and my daughter’s dance tote.

So here’s what I purchased for our command center:

diy command center supplies

The installation of the wire file holder and wall hook is pretty self-explanatory. But here’s what I did to add a little personality to the bulletin board:

First, I painted the frame. Because friends don’t let friends have boring beige bulletin boards, right?!

I initially chose a more subdued shade of blue for the frame — this paint from Target, to be exact — and then about halfway through my paint job, I decided I needed something more bold. So I selected a pretty cobalt color from DecoArt that I found at Michael’s. (Pro tip: Instead of using painter’s tape to protect the cork portion of the board, you can slide plain ol’ printer paper under the wood frame so that your paint doesn’t bleed onto the cork.Be sure to remove the paper before the paint has dried.)

Once the frame was painted, I used one of the brushes from my craft brush kit to make polka dots on the bulletin board. It worked perfectly!

diy command center polka dot bulletin board

And here’s our finished command center:

command center after

Not bad for $50 and the smallest portion of wall ever, huh? I’m just so happy that my kitchen counter will now have a shot at not being covered in art projects 24/7. #winning

What do you think? Are you lucky enough to have a spacious mud room, or would a small space solution like this work in your home?

P.S. – Did you find this post helpful? I’d LOVE it so much if you’d pin it. Thanks!

This DIY command center is easy and perfect for small spaces


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Liz Persell

Thursday 6th of September 2018

Love this! I use the laundry room next to the garage door as the mud room, but mostly the new peninsula in my kitchen and a table on the way up the stairs. :( Love the hook and the basket for papers... I may have to make a few adds to my small wall. Thanks for the inspiration.


Thursday 6th of September 2018

Thank you, Liz! I love that you have your laundry room on the first floor...I bet there's a lot you can do to sort of make that into a mud room. Wall hooks, an IKEA Kallax or two, things like that. I'm so jealous, as our laundry is in the basement (which is fine) but it means we literally walk from our garage right into our kitchen! So some creative thinking is very necessary when it comes to storage. :)

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