We’ve struggled for a while with finding a good place for a family command center in the house. We have no desk nook in the kitchen, no large empty wall, no large laundry room/mud room off the garage. And, during back to school season I find myself really wanting to get organized before the school starts. Last year, we can up with a school paper solution by making a pantry door command center. It was great and we still use it! But, we didn’t have a good solution for where to keep larger items–like all the materials for doing homework (crayons, markers, pencils, glue), backpacks, calendars, etc. We’ve had a spot in our kitchen that’s been our dumping ground and looks awful! Thankfully, as a Lowe’s Creative Ideas blogger, the challenge theme for this month was “back to school” and it prompted us to do some revamping in a small space behind our couch off the kitchen. You can see there that we had a small nook behind our couch (in our open family room right off the kitchen). We had a small table therethat for the last few years has been a downstairs baby station of sorts (the monitor, bibs, diapers, blankets, etc). But, with Baby Brother now two, we don’t really need all that baby stuff out anymore (sniff sniff). That space is only about 24″ wide, so it’s definitely small. But, we headed off to Lowe’s to see what we could make work before school starts! I’m SO pleased with the end result! Talk about a more functional space! We’ve got bins, hooks, calendars, white boards, a magnetic board – all kinds of things to stay organized! And, almost everything you see there we picked up at Lowe’s. Here’s the breakdown: A. Happiness wall canvas – (from Lowe’s in the home decor area). It was the exact width we needed for the space and I love it!
B. Floating wall shelf– (from Lowe’s in the organization section). Also, the exact width we needed.
C. Magnetic board– (24″ x 24″ pre-cut sheet metal from Lowe’s). We did a similar concept for the DIY magnetic board in the garage and loved it. So, I knew it would work well here.
D. Magnetic clips – (also from Lowe’s – they have all kinds of different magnets)
E. Closet Maid 6 cube shelf unit – (from Lowe’s in the organization section). We cut this down to be the same height as the back of the couch. So, we ended up with 4 cubes and a slot for mail.
F. Allen & Roth Small Storage Bin – (from the organization section in Lowe’s). The depth fits perfectly on top of the shelves. It’s now housing important mail! The bins are sold right next to the shelving units and fit perfectly.
G. Large clothes hook – (found in the hardware section at Lowe’s). This is perfect for holding my purse or tote bag.
H. Small robe hooks – (again, hardware section) – These are working great for items like keys and sunglasses!
I. White boards – I actually had these from my teaching days. But, if you don’t have any, you can have white shower board cut at Lowe’s to fit your space exactly. I’m terrible about “losing” things like my keys and sunglasses. So, having set hooks for them in a prominent location is so helpful! And, I’m absolutely LOVING the white boards. Having a bold, visual reminder about important appointments and “to-dos” is really working well. We hung our family calendar that I make every year next to the whiteboards. And, I really do LOVE the simplicity and functionality of the simple magnetic board! The magnetic clips are REALLY strong on the sheet metal. So, I love that it can hold important papers (like site word practice words) and magnetic notepads, but it’s strong enough to even hold little pails for pens! I think I’m going to add two more – 1 for gift cards and 1 for coupons! Up high and out of reach then on the floating shelf, we put the mug of pens, scissors, etc and some small wooden blocks (that we’ve had for years) to stay organized. The “happiness” canvas art helps add a little fun and is a good reminder! For the longest time, I didn’t think we had any good place in the house to set up a station like this. But, I’m so glad we got creative and made the best use of this small corner space. It’s so nice to be organized like this before the school year starts. The big boys have their cubbies for backpacks & homework necessities and we’ve got a whole area to stay organized as a family!
What back-to-school organizational project do YOU want to tackle?
For even more ideas, visit Lowes Creative Ideas and follow along with Lowe’s on Pinterest or on Instagram! You can sign up to receive their free Creative Ideas Magazine, which is full of all kinds of ideas & inspiration! There’s also a magazine app so you can have inspiration on the go! And, this spring you can get weekly projects, tips & special values with the new “Improve with Lowe’s” app. Disclosure: I am a member of the Lowe’s Creative Ideas Creators & Influencers Network and receive a Lowe’s gift card to complete my projects. However, all ideas, opinions, & experiences are entirely my own.