It seems amazing that I have yet another very important function in our laundry/mudroom to share! I guess I never realized how long this series would be, but I hope you are finding a little inspiration!
The last area in the mudroom that I’m going to share with you is our command center wall.
This is where we stash most of the stuff that is constantly coming in and out of the house with us, landing on the kitchen counter and causing constant clutter! This wall is right inside the door into the house from the garage – the door we almost always use as a family.
Some of you may remember seeing photos of this wall inthis post about how we control all the papers our kids bring home from school, church… I won’t go through that system again in detail, but here are the basics…
We have two sets of these wall files – the Brocade Wall File from The Container Store. The lowest set (where Addi & Carter can reach them) are for their school papers. They place their homework in their folders and papers we want to save are put behind the folders in the wall file bin. They are easy to access as soon as they get home from school, and they are very visible every morning when they leave – to make sure they don’t leave their homework at home!
The second set of wall files is for incoming mail that we haven’t gone through yet and papers for Jase. Jase doesn’t need to be able to reach his file yet, but I imagine I will move things around when Carter gets taller and Jase enters grade school. The mail file is for the items we haven’t opened yet. Sometimes we will throw mail in the file because we don’t have time to look through it, and sometimes Jason or I will take out what we need and then leave items for the other one. I love that boundary – surprise right?!?!? This means that we have to deal with our mail fairly often, but not every day. Until we sort everything it doesn’t pile up on our counter – which can be disastrous as you all know!
When the mail comes in the door, we do usually throw the obvious trash away immediately and we stash new catalogs and magazines in this basket in the bathroom – for you know, a little light reading. 🙂
We also hang our keys on this wall. I found these adorable bird hooks at The Container Store. I originally thought they were too expensive, but then realized they are a pack of three – not bad and I Love Them!
The bottom side of the bird’s neck has a strong magnet that holds keys. Jason and I both put our keys here when we walk in the door, and there is a set of extra van keys. It is so nice to know where your keys are, and where your spouse’s are. If we trade cars on say Girl’s Night Out and he is asleep when I get home, I just put his keys on a bird hook and he knows right where to find them in the morning for work – although he might leave before I get up and we might not even see each other. This is good for our marriage! 😉
I also love the bird beaks! The beak has a little slit in it for holding envelopes. When a bill or letter needs to be taken to the mailbox you can just slip it in the birds mouth, and it is super visible when you head out the door. Grab & Go – Love It!!
Next is our family calendar. Our “master calendar” is my planner that I carry with me everywhere. Yes, I use an old school paper & pen planner. My brother gave me a very nice leather one for my high school graduation and I have used it ever since. Not that I graduated that long ago or anything, but I’ve used it for a few years now. 😉 However, I am the only one that has access to my planner, so it is helpful to have the family calendar on the wall too.
When I originally hung this calendar it was because my husband never has any idea what our family schedule is, and I thought it would be helpful for him to have access to it on a regular basis. He has a work calendar at work, but doesn’t keep anything for the rest of his life. We kinda have this, he calls me and I tell him where to be kind of relationship. It works fine most of the time, but not always.
So, I added this handy little calendar right by the door where he enters and exits every day. I only include information that is relevant to the family as a whole; evening and weekend events, things during the day for the kids’ schools that Jason plans to attend, or my appointments that he needs to be home to watch the kids for. Super handy right?! Um, no! He still has to ask me for our family schedule – yep, not effective in its original intent. However, I find it really helpful to have a quick spot to glance at what our family life looks like. I actually love it, but not for the reasons I thought I would – which I’m totally ok with.
The board itself is a super cheap, framed, dry erase calendar that I believe I got at Target. I couldn’t find one with a white frame – which I find very odd! So, I simply spray painted the frame white to tie in with our brocade wall files.
Below the calendar is a magnetic strip, also from The Container Store. This strip is handy for postcards and invitations of upcoming events. Sometimes I need to save more details than the time and date information on the calendar above. I also have a little magnetic pen holder from the same brocade line as our wall files. It sticks right to the magnetic strip, and holds a small pad of sticky notes, two dry erase pens and an ink pen. I can quickly add to our calendar, or leave a quick note on the wall – something I need to take with me the next day, an errand I need to run, a phone number or address I need for the following day…
You will commonly hear professional organizers warn against allowing paper piles to accumulate on horizontal surfaces, because the piles just spread wider and taller until they are completely overwhelming and unmanageable. This wall has been awesome in cutting back on our paper clutter that could otherwise accumulate on our kitchen island just beyond the mudroom walls. We do have another paper sorting and filing system in our office that I will cover in a post someday, but this command center wall is the first line of defense in controlling our paper clutter!