When Good Enough is Good Enough for Now {Command Center for Organization}

When Good Enough is Good Enough for Now {Command Center for Organization}


So my life has been kinda busy for the past few years.

Not only did we move to another state to start a creative church from scratch, but this weekend we are launching a concert house. Yawn. Not much goes on around our house.

Yeah. So. What would life be like without a little crazy eyed insanity mixed in? I don’t know. But I’d like to find out someday.

So meanwhile, along with crazy we need a bit of organization. Of course with all we’ve had going on, we haven’t had much time for GETTING organized. Kind of a catch 22. We have been just trying to make it through the day in front of us juggling all the balls and trying not to drop too many.

Because January is the time for turning over a new leaf, I decided I needed an organization intervention. That, and people are starting to look at us funny. Like we really might be disorganized or something. Meh.

One of the things that stops me sometimes from organizing is I have grand ideas of what “organized” should look like. I’ve dreamed about Command Centers forever. I’ve been plotting for quite some time to reorganize and makeover my office, and I’m definitely going to accomplish that in the coming weeks. But I also dream about things like big mud rooms and giant back halls when I have tiny halls and small laundry rooms. Blast.

In my mind, all the ideas I have for organization look perfect, pretty and finished. You know, like Pinterest.

When Good Enough is Good Enough for Now {Command Center for Organization}

Or like The House of Smiths.

Hey! They made that beauty out of those radiator metal cover things so many of you suggested for my mantel!

So, THAT is pretty much why I don’t have my command center yet. I want to make stuff like that.

And I want a door like that too while I’m at it. Pretty as a picture.

I want a before and a perfect AFTER. Now.

But I don’t have the perfect space or enough time right now for what I might deem a Pinterest-worthy command center. There are other beautifying projects waiting in line ahead of this one. My husband is busy and while he helps me when he can, he is not a big fan of staying up past his bedtime doing DIY projects. And so sometimes my crazy schedule and big dreams for things like awesome command centers derail before they even get started. And so we sit stalled, and disorganized, not able to move forward. Yet, I know it is important and its time has come.

So this week I went to Costco for groceries because sometimes my family gets hungry (the nerve!) and on my way to buy spinach, I spotted THIS.


When Good Enough is Good Enough for Now {Command Center for Organization}

Behold.  The start of Command Central at my house.

Was it exactly what I pictured? No.

Is it perfectly functional for what I needed? Yes. And I love the smooth writing surface much better than chalkboard paint.

Could I paint the frame if I wanted to or add additional organizational items to my wall with this? Of course!

Did it come with a giant mudroom? Oh, snap. No.

Was there a better solution? Maybe, but sometimes you just have to START somewhere or you’ll never start anywhere.

Was it the deal of the century? Not really.

But was it a timer saver? YES.

So after wresting with my own mind over the options and what to do right there in the aisle at Costco, I decided DONE was going to be good enough this time. I’m a woman on a mission still trying to solve all my goals from last year like making our home work better for us. And nothing is going to stop me.

So I yanked the box out of the holder it was in and awkwardly balanced it in its box on top of my small cart (this chalkboard is HUGE by the way, four feet across and 3 feet tall), steering past the books and into the backsides of a few unsuspecting shoppers to get to the checkout stand. Oops!

Oh, and I had to leave without the spinach because I was too afraid of dropping the box. Home goals from last year trump eating this year.

When Good Enough is Good Enough for Now {Command Center for Organization}

What I Wore to Costco

{don’t you think that would be an awesome linky party?}

While Pinterest is THE BOMB for dreaming about great ideas, sometimes good enough ideas are found at Costco when we are wearing our classic boring outfit of jeans and Chucks instead of the cute ruffled red coat and polka dot shoes all the cool moms on Instagram are wearing.

Anyhoo…this is my real life. Not too pinterest worthy. I just have to come to terms with the fact that sometimes I have a Costco-inspired life.

In my real life:

I’m OK that my command center is going in the tiny hall by my kitchen for now and not the perfect space.

I don’t have the most awesome stenciled wall ready to hang my command center to make it super cute.

And I’ve come to accept that I don’t have perfectly taped gridlines for my calendars. I can wait.

I’ve made peace with the face that I don’t have the cutest magnets to clip my papers on. What I have works just fine.

I’m OK with not having perfect light glowing through my windows for this picture taken at 10PM last night.

I’m OK with being content in a stage in between the BEFORE and the AFTER.

The important thing is: I finally have a command center and we can feel a little less crazy now. I’m good with that.

Carry on. Maybe next time I show you this I’ll have stenciled walls. Ha. Doubt it.

So what is holding you back from getting organized?

If you struggle with discontentment with where you are or need a little more courage to stay focused on what really matters, I thought this was such an honest, real post (and the fact that she mentioned me was sweet too!!).


  1. Love your chalkboard! I have a giant (very un-Pinterest-worthy) magnetic whiteboard in my kitchen that it The Best Thing Ever!

    Other areas of my life I’m still struggling to get organized though. My combination office/sewing room still struggles because I’ve always got at least four things in progress, and I’ve yet to find a way to get them sorted out but still readily accessible without making a mess.

    Good for you for embracing where you are en route to where you’d like to be!

  2. Great post! I’m as Pinterest-perfection obsessed as anyone, but I am trying to remind myself that sometimes good enough is just fine. In fact, I call my itty-bitty blog “Good Enough”, in part to remind my self that I can be a good enough blogger too.

    And I think that your Chucks and jeans look great. Better than the snowboots and yoga pants I have sported at Costco on occasion!

  3. Your life sounds like mine, except that my inspiration is usually found at Target or Walmart (no Costco around here), and I’m likely to be wearing jeans and running shoes instead of cute Converse sneakers :)

    My life is also in between the “before” and “after” stage. It’s not so “before” that I can’t handle living in the house, but it’s definitely not “after” yet; I’m at the point where if I do show pictures of my house, people are just going to disappear in droves from my blog, because it’s not at all inspirational.

    You have the ability to keep it read-worthy! (Is that even a word?)

    Have a great weekend!

  4. I’m totally pinning your chucks. :)

  5. Oh Melissa I just love how real you are!! It makes me feel like I just may be ok. I love all the inspiration I get from blog world and pinterest but sometimes it can have a negative effect on me because I think I could never do what they did. I think my little project just wouldn’t be good enough so I stop myself before I even get going. Well, enough of that! I love your command center and I love even more your real-Costco-inspired self! I think I’m feeling a little freedom now! Thanks!

  6. This post is fantastic! AND, it’s the motivation I need to just do something today instead of dream of all my big ideas that I’m unable to accomplish right now. Thanks for sharing your life!

  7. Thank you for that post…I look on pinterest every night and drool at all the beautiful rooms and decorating ideas and then get depressed and overwhelmed bc I would love to achieve the same for my home. But you are so right, Good Enough For Now is a good thing. Our house will always be here…we will get to “perfection” one of these days! And my Costco run usually consists of jeans, Uggs, no makeup and sticky lollipops on my coat from two toddlers in my cart!

  8. Go check out Michael’s $1.00 bins and also Dollar Tree. They have the cutest magnets & clips sometimes. I just browse them occasionally and find some really cute stuff.

  9. Thank you, Melissa. Years ago, Martha Stewart raised the bar to what was an “acceptable” homemaking life. Now the blogworld has done the same with Photoshop and prop staging. Those of us who are just trying to make a go of it feel overwhelmed sometimes with the bar set so high. I love how “real” you are in your posts. Yes, you do some extraordinary things. But then you give us a sneak peek into what is “real” – what is “after” the house tour pictures and what you do to cover up paint spills. That, I think, is why you have so many followers and why you are always the first blog I read in the morning.

    • Well you are sweet, thanks!

    • Totally agree! I laughed until I cried during an epi of Martha last week when she doled out this lovely little tidbit after making potato gnocchi from scratch “now none of you have any excuses why you cant make homemade gnocchi tonight for dinner!!” Umm…yeah I do. its called three small children, a husband, a dog, a cat and NO staff! :) anywho, I too Love how real you are…and by the way, I snuck off to Target just this week wearing my NINE YEAR OLDs Chuck Taylors. NO lie!!!

  10. Love your honesty! God will bless you for taking some of the pressure off the Pinterest obsessed…including me.


  11. So, I’m thinking you should paint your lines on the chalkboard instead of using tape. When you erase the chalk, I’m thinking it will eventually start peeling up the tape and you’ll always have a residue. I don’t know this for sure, but that’s just what I’m thinking. LOVE that you just went for it and started somewhere. I often get paralized by my pursuit for perfection. I also need to buy a pair of chucks. :)

    • Oh yeah true on the tape … Hmmm. Maybe I’ll just use a ruler to draw better lines and redo the chalk when it wears off…I’m scared to paint! :-)

  12. I just went to Costco.com to find that board and they don’t have it listed at all! Is it a new product, soon to arrive at a Costco near me, or is it something that’s old and being discontinued and I’ll have to resign myself to continuing to be unorganized and overwhelmed???
    Trust me when I say I’ll be checking my 3 local Costcos for this item, until I find it!!!

    • Just got it this week!

    • We have an unfinished wood store near us here in CT and I bought three of the wood black-framed cork boards for $5 each (one for each kiddo) Think I might go back and see if they have chalk boards as well…but just wanted to offer that suggestion in case anyone has a similar store near them (its called The Mill STore).

  13. Great post! I really like that you added a picture of your jeans and chucks! Have a great day!

  14. I so hear you – I honestly might be copying that chalkboard of yours. I don’t have the space, time, or budget for a pinterest-worthy home but I think I can make the house the best and the most functional it can be, anyway, ya know?

  15. love this post! love grey chucks!

  16. love this post! Love YOU!!! In this Pinterest world, it is so important to be authentic and transparent. Good enough WORKS!

  17. Yay! I really do think real life is much more interesting that Pinterest. I love that you share your real self and that you allow less than perfect to be alright. Gosh, if we all had to be perfect at everything, life would be awfully stressful and leave no time for actual living.

    I wish you could see my little ‘command central’ which is a corner in my bedroom, with my childhood desk and a sad little bulletin board. Sigh – it works (mostly).

  18. Thank you Melissa for reminding me about contentment this morning!

  19. Oh wonderful post! I love it. You are fantastic.

    I too am pinterest obsessed and often find myself not liking what I have because it isn’t “good enough” for my blog (I don’t really care any more as you can tell if you look at my recent home goals post)- as in, I’m not going to gain a bunch of followers who are inspired by my home making or crafting skills. I’m loving that this post helps the perfectionists in us to embrace the human that we are and just do what is best for us/our family- regardless of whether it works or inspires others. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  20. Love your big chalkboard! Where did you get the Oregon subway are sign?

  21. Love the board and really, it’s the command center, not art hanging above the mantle. I think its more than good enough. I’m working on weeding out and organizing every drawer and closet in our house…this is proving to go slower than I hoped but it sure feels good to get something done once a week.

  22. I honestly never get on Pinterest. It’s too much pressure honestly. I have six kids, a house I love and my own style. So I’m already busy, and if I got on Pinterest I would just decide that everything I own and love and do is not good enough. And I don’t have the time or inclination to not feel good enough. So I love Costco style. I have Monday through Saturday to wear whatever, and then I have Sunday to dress it up a bit for church. This is one of the reasons that you are one of the few blogs I read. You are REAL! But talented and creative at the same time. You inspire me rather than make me feel like I should be spending every extra moment redoing my house! ha ha.

    My friend and I had a basement boutique where we showcased and sold things we have made, furniture we have redone. A girl that came through asked me if we got a lot of our ideas from Pinterest. And I could truthfully say no. I love finding inspiration in a myriad of places, but it just solidified that I definitely need to stay away!! I want to be me!

    • Amy, thank you so much for your comment!! That is why I blog with my real life mix … I never want people to feel less than for not decorating all the time! Thank you do much for your comment, that encourages me greatly to know my blog is helpful!

    • Love your post Amy…you dont happen to have your little basement boutique in a home near Connecticut do you??? :) I do go on pinterest (mostly for idea sharing for work-Im in speech pathology and there are some creative therapists out there) but I feel the same way…too much pressure, too little time.

  23. Melissa I always love your honesty and to be honest it is most of our own realities, so you are not alone in this quandry. I wrote two post on what holds me up when it comes to getting organized:


    I am still purging away in my walk-in closet and I agree, sometimes Good is good enough. In fact most of the time it is. I feel as long as we are going forward in our lives, that is a good thing, It is when we digress that things seem to go awry around here! Great post as always!! Keep telling it like it is!!! We all need to stay in touch with reality.
    Happy Friday,

  24. I’m actually redoing our kitchen chalkboard to be a magnetic chalkboard. Somhow those magnets are going to keep me organized! Or at least hold my grocery list which is always all over the countertop.

    Yes, the Pinterest phenomenon is interesting, but I’m getting tired of seeing all of the same projects. One of my goals this year is to find inspiration on my own. Sounds like you did just that!

  25. Great post, Melissa. For me it’s just so many “Step A must be done before I can do Step B.” kind of things. Can’t get the hanging lamps hung until I get the swag hooks, can’t get the shoes off the floor until I move the shelf, yadda, yadda, yadda! It just feels overwhelming, but I want so much to get organized! I’ll try to see if there is some “imperfect” way for me to get started- thanks for the eye opener!

  26. I grew up with a dad who was a perfectionist (and didn’t start let alone finish many projects) and a mom who would slap stuff together and say it was good enough. Thanks to the Nester….it doesn’t have to be perfect…I’ve come to the conclusion that if it was the best that I could do given all my resources (and yes that mean my energy level too) then it’s good. There is no perfection in this life. And it’s good to remember that when God looked at all he had done he said it was good. Not perfect…and he’s perfection. So…my friend. Your organization project is GOOD!!!! Thanks for keepin’ it real. (And really how do you keep all those plates a spinning?)

  27. I’m looking forward to my first Costco visit when Hubby goes to his theology college residential in April. The boys and I going with him this time as it’s during school holidays, and I’ll have to find something to do while he is otherwise occupied – not that there isn’t alot to do in my nation’s capital, but this is high on my priority list. I’m even starting a little Costco spending money stash. I think we’ll need to take the trailer for our bikes anyway! ;-)
    I’ll be the one in jeans and boots though.

  28. This is such an important point to remember! I have a problem with perfectionism too and sometimes have to step back and appreciate the progress made! (and I love your chalkboard!)

  29. Life is LIFE and can not always be pinterest perfect. Areas in our home change and evolve. Over time. Often with money thrown at them ;) I felt the same when organizing all my home decor. I just had to clean, organize and purge without spending money or making it all look pretty. I just needed the function. Now.

    Gives us something to look forward to. If everything was done. We wouldn’t know what to do!?!

  30. Oh, I love this post! Such a great reminder. I tend to struggle with the in-between-and-unfinished phases of projects and as a result fail to appreciate the real life moments that happen in the in between.

    I’ve been in the middle of re-doing my office for a few months now (just a little at a time as resources allow), and even though it’s not where I want it to be style-wise, it IS functional and I get A LOT of use out of the space as is. Thanks for the reminder that sometimes, that really is good enough (at least for now…)! :)

  31. I can’t remember where I saw these phrases, but they are on my “guideline” list for the year – “My life is now” and “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”

    You may want to check out office supply stores since they are all having sales right now. If you get a larger calendar pad, you can put use magnet strips to attach to the board, but then you’ll be able to take down the calendar to work on posting things for the month. And the future months can be stashed in your office area for posting things in the future.

    Also, consider hot gluing cute buttons over those magnets.

  32. My hubby grabbed a HUGE oil painting with an amazing vintage frame off the side of the road…about a year ago.

    He liked it and thought we might put it up – till see saw the wear on the painting. I immediately thought that I would paint over it with chalkboard paint. Oh, wait. I would need to clean it first to get good adherence. So, I searched, and read about cleaning painting.

    A year later, it’s still stuck in a closet.

    But, I have a plan. I’m going to get a piece of fiberboard cut the size of the painting and paint that with chalkboard paint. And, the frame (that my hubby hates? It’s currently vintage dirt gold. I’ll probably spray it brown with sienna creases. And, the whole thing will go above our living room couch.

    It’s in our 2012 home Goals :)

  33. Melissa – You’ve been part of my Google-Reader for a while now – one of the original blogs in my list. Somehow, you often pinpoint issues that seem tailor made for me, address them with clarity – and give permission to be human in a blog/pin world filled with super human presentations. You post about decorating out of fear has a special place in my favorites list and now this one will be added to it. Words of wisdom for sure.

  34. Hey! I just found your blog from the Blog Love on Love of Family & Home. I love your site (and now I’ll follow along in my reader!).

    I am thinking exactly the same way about my comm center (a work in progress)… I just posted about that today as well: http://blog.customexcelspreadsheets.com/2012/01/family-communication-center-getting.html

  35. I once again LOVE, LOVE, LOVE how you are so real on your blog! It is a breath of fresh air b/c indeed, sometimes all the cute projects out there get to be a bit overwhelming and unattainable especially when your full time job is not crafting. Thanks for the humor and reality!

  36. Courtney M says

    Are you kidding – jeans & Chucks are fancy. You should see what I run errands in! Thanks for putting this very relatable post out into the blogosphere :)

  37. hey wait…back up there, what is a concert house…please bog about that or link me up to the place where your hubby is blogging about it. Thanks!

  38. I’ve been in the mood this month and have started organizing all my closets- using just what I have and a little time….in my dream world all my closets would have color coordinating storage etc…..but if I wait for that….nothing would get done….so it is what it is….make do with what I have…..and just get started….it’s amazing what can happen once I just start.
    This post is right on for my life right now….
    I so need to go to costo….would love a big black board like that!
    Happy Weekend- I’ve been in Or this week and enjoying the sun =)They say snow for Sunday-

  39. I love Pinterest. Who wouldn’t? But it’s definitely one more layer of want-want-want that we have to shove through. Thanks for making all of us boring, normals feel just a tiny bit cooler. :)

  40. I love your command centre. And the lesson that good enough is good enough for now. I’ve been so busy with preschool and daily family stuff that our organization has suffered greatly. I’m actually expecting baby in a few weeks, so I’ve been nesting and organizing, but not in a frenzied way. Just in a “good enough” way.

    Also, love the “what I wore to Costco” pic! ;)

  41. I loved this post! So often we don’t end up doing anything because we want it to be perfect and instead we just need to do it and stop worrying about perfection!

  42. I have the same problem about getting organized- i have a million wonderful ideas, but neither the time or money to do them. I never seem to find just the right piece to do it, or completely forget when I pass it because my mind is doing something else. It’s so difficult! About every month or so I manage to find one day to completely dig in and organize my heart out… and it lasts just almost until I decide to re-organize everything all over again.

  43. Melissa,

    First off, I’m a big fan. Really and truly.

    And now I’m going to engage in some shameless self-promotion. So sorry (and if you moderate you can always delete me … but please don’t) …

    I’ve joined up with a few fellow amazing, creative blog ladies to launch an “Imagine the Impossibilities” January challenge and link party that culminates on the 31st. The idea is to take on that project that challenges you most … the one you almost think is impossible and make it a possibility!

    Here’s the link …


    Hope you can join us!



  44. I’m sure you meant “fact” though you said “face” (I’ve made peace with the face that I don’t have the cutest magnets to clip my papers on. What I have works just fine.) and I was thinking, “Oh no, now she’s going to start in on her beautiful face.” You can be so hard on yourself that I must cheer that you chose such a perfectly sensible, workable, perfect for now and as long as needed command center for your home. Thank you for being transparent. There are bigger fish to fry than stenciling the walls. Oh, what was the question?

    • Face, fact, whatever. You know I write so much that sometimes my words get mixed up and I link to the wrong things. So grateful you girls are always so patient with me :-) xo

  45. I really needed to read this. Thanks.
    Working more on living fully right here where we are.
    Taking it all open-handedly and learning to be content, that things don’t always have to be perfect but functional and when it turns out perfect? double the blessing. :-)
    (Taking a sabbatical of sorts from full-time ministry. Getting adjusted to just being present and welcomed and not in charge and judged.)

  46. I really like the board. I have a white board that is also a calendar. I have had it for years and it stays on my frig. Not the most attractive but it works. I have lots of ideas to make my home work better for my family but, for now, it’s okay. It has to be, otherwise I just make myself miserable thinking of all I don’t have. That’s not the way I want to live. Thanks for the great post on “good enough”. Also, I love the costo attire. I can’t imagine grocery shopping any other way.

  47. Summer Wilda says

    love that ‘being real’ is ‘good enough’!!!

  48. thank you. there’s always that perfect vision of how I want things to look. thanks for the reminder that there is a good enough stage. yay.

  49. Command centers make me happy.


  50. Oh,for Pete’s sake, finally the voice of reason. Thank goodness (and have fun with your chalkboard).

  51. Another great post Melissa, thank you. I’ve been learning about taking baby steps towards making my home a beautiful place to live in for my family and I, rather that waiting for the “picture perfect” home to fall out of the sky. It is easy to become incapacitated when the goal seems unreachable. Thank you for being such an inspiration and great teacher! Blessings, Shirley

  52. I used to be a stencil-girl. But then after a short time it looked distracting and busy and very 90’s. Took a good deal of paint and time that didn’t really belong to me to get rid of it. But now I am at peace with a clean wall done in a single lovely color. Just sayin’. And in case you don’t know, you’re house is really gorgeous right now as is!

  53. Amen!! I have come to terms with the same thing! Thanks for sharing and thanks for sharing that not everyone looks Pinterest worthy while going to Costco (or Walmart in my case)! :)

  54. Gabrielle Martin says

    I am a new subscriber to your blog and I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate your articles! This one had all of the encouragement that I am looking for after I spend three hours on pinterest and think, hey! Where’s my matching living room and stylish closet? Thank you for cyyour funny and encouraging words that brighten my day and let me know that out’s ok to live in the real world!

  55. So true, so true! I love Pinterest and reading DIY blogs but sometimes I just gotta wonder what it really looks like the next day after the photo (maybe I should blog about that in my own little world, lol) and how big their “budget” was.

    Since, ya know, my own budget is approximately zilch. ;)

    Oh, and I’d totally participate in a linky party for what I wore to Costco. Love it! When’s the date? And is Target an acceptable substitute? I don’t have a Costco nearby.

  56. You want to know what my “Command Center” looks like? A handful of Post-It notes stuck on my kitchen window. Hahaha I kid you not…I don’t have time to keep up a complex set of calendars, charts, clipboards or lists. My system isn’t fancy but it is inexpensive, flexible, efficient and best of all, it works for me and my family. That’s good enough for me. :)

  57. Love the chalkboards! I need to get to Costco……

  58. Oh my word.. I LOVE this!!!! I was just grumbling that I need to hang the wall organizers in the tiny hallway off the kitchen because I have no where else for them. And they have been sitting on my kitchen table for days, because it’s not “ideal” or what I had envisioned. I’m gonna hang those up and and be happy about it. :)

  59. Thanks so much for sharing this. I actually had a post in the works on this very same idea but you summed it up perfectly. I think there are so many of us out there who feel the same way. We all deserve to give ourselves a little grace, including you since I think your command center looks great! My whole blog is focused on functionality and not perfection and I still have to remind myself constantly of this fact, especially while browsing Pinterest!

  60. It is so nice to read about someone REAL. If you read too many blogs, or spend too much time on Pinterest, you start to feel like a shmuck, asking yourself, “Why don’t I ever accomplish anything?” “Why isn’t my house beautiful and organized?” “Why don’t I ever look cute?”

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