DIY: A Free Standing Cabinet Command Center

DIY: A Free Standing Cabinet Command Center

You might remember seeing this cabinet in our home over the years. We’ve even repurposed it a couple of times to suit our needs in two different homes! Today I’ll share how we set this cabinet up as our home command center.

Life around my house gets a little hectic sometimes. Simplifying, editing and staying organized has to be a daily task. I’m not obsessive about detailed organization, but I definitely feel more at peace when I have a few simple systems I can rely on.

I’m a big fan of creating “destinations” or designated “stations” for organization! Coffee stations, gift wrap stations, mail stations, family command centers, I enjoy them all.

Since the task of decluttering or organization itself isn’t a big passion of mine, I guess thinking in terms of a creating a specific “destination” for things I like to do in my home is more inspiring to me. It’s how my mind works.

You may remember seeing this cabinet in my books (Simple Organizing), or in our last house, too, when it had an entirely different purpose.

DIY: A Free Standing Cabinet Command Center

In our old house, this cabinet was in our dining room. We used it as a hospitality cabinet! It’s where we kept things like our cloth napkins and napkin rings, dinner candles, serving utensils and special glasses. So handy and fun to have a spot for table setting.

When we moved to this house, the cabinet ended up in our little entry. Early on I realized we didn’t have a good “spot” for “those things” that you need to keep track of in a busy household. So I decided to reinvent this cabinet and give it a new purpose as our command central. (This cabinet is out of stock, but this one is similar and I’ll link to others at the end of the post!).

We don’t have a lot of room and our budget for completing this project was probably less than $30, so we had to get creative and use what we already had. I’ll put a source list at the bottom of this post with what we used and similar sources!

DIY: A Free Standing Cabinet Command Center

The glassware and entertaining items were relocated to a different cabinet to make room for the new command center. Once we emptied the cabinet, it was easy to reimagine it for a new purpose.

We still use this organizational system today, so this isn’t one of those projects bloggers might show that never really get used. A couple of years later I can say this continues to be a useful and (fairly) organized destination in our home that we still use every day!

It actually didn’t take much to make this cabinet useful for our needs. A few peel and stick cork boards on the inside of the door became a spot to stick things like emergency numbers, addresses, contractor business cards, lists, school forms or invitations.

DIY: A Free Standing Cabinet Command Center

My cork came in the shapes of triangles, but you could (of course!) use any shape or size to suit your needs.

DIY: A Free Standing Cabinet Command Center
DIY: A Free Standing Cabinet Command Center

Paper trays keep our most important, currently relevant and more time sensitive papers sorted so I rarely have to panic wondering where I put something. The answer is usually “in the cabinet.”

DIY: A Free Standing Cabinet Command Center

Wire bins can hold anything. Eye glasses, receipts…we’ve used them in different ways in different seasons, depending on our needs. The key with baskets is to give them a designated purpose and stick with it. If they become a catch all it’s time to pare down to a more defined purpose.

DIY: A Free Standing Cabinet Command Center

Press and stick hooks on the other door hold an extra set of keys and an emergency flashlight. This is a handy location for these items in case the power goes out, or if a guest is staying in our home and might need to easily access them. We also have a magnetic clip (stuck onto the door with a command strip) to clip notes.

DIY: A Free Standing Cabinet Command Center

Keeping certain items handy in this cabinet means we also feel prepared with some essentials in the event of emergency. If we need to flee in the middle of the night with keys and a flashlight, we’ll be all set. Safety first, you know?

DIY: A Free Standing Cabinet Command Center

One drawer holds stamps and envelopes and the other is for phone chargers.

Do you have a cabinet in your home that you’ve set up as an organized destination?

DIY: A Free Standing Cabinet Command Center

Similar Cabinets:

DIY: A Free Standing Cabinet Command Center

Similar Organizers:

DIY: A Free Standing Cabinet Command Center

Similar Small Lamps:

DIY: A Free Standing Cabinet Command Center

My Decorating, Organizing, & Homemaking Books:

DIY: A Free Standing Cabinet Command Center

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

Who loves organizing? Or maybe a better question, who loves an organized space?

I‘ve promised y’all for awhile that I would open up more of our cabinets and drawers to show you inside. So today I’ll be sharing Before & Afters of four areas in my kitchen that weren’t working for us along with the solutions we came up to make them work better, featuring some items we got from the Bed Bath & Beyond .ORG line.

In a small (ish) kitchen (especially if you don’t have a walk in pantry or freestanding island for additional storage!) every square inch of drawer and cabinet space counts. Organization not only increases the functional space, but I think it enhances the enjoyment of daily tasks, too.

Y’all know I love my coffee stations. My mug tree on the counter holds all of our coffee cups so that system was working well for saving space in drawers. But my other coffee supplies were not well-organized at all. Somehow I ended up with baking and coffee supplies in one drawer, with a bunch of other random stuff thrown in. Gah.

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

In my book, Simple Organizing, I suggest a kitchen be organized into zones for efficiency. While there are times particularly in a small kitchen where you might have to mix zones, there was really no reason for me to have baking and coffee supplies combined in one drawer. :) Yet, true confessions…I did.

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

Ackkkk! This drawer was overflowing. It was so stuffed that some of the coffee supplies that should have been in the drawer had to stay on the counter and yet, some random baking supplies stayed.

Why, though?

So a couple of days ago I finally took everything out, including the bags of our Christmas cookie cutters that took up one large corner of the drawer. :) Those can definitely be stored somewhere else besides the drawer I open on a daily basis!

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

Once we took everything out, we only put back in the coffee and tea supplies. The .ORG organizers from Bed Bath & Beyond were so helpful in making better use of several drawers and cabinets. By grouping items together in the new bins, now we clearly know where to look and can see what is in the drawer the minute we open it. No more digging around or wondering where things are!

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

You guys, now opening my organized coffee drawer feels like the heavens open up and angels start singing. It literally took just minutes to reorganize the drawer, but now it makes me happy every single time I open it. It’s the little things.

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

We put our loose leaf tea tins together in an .ORG basket. The .ORG baskets are so perfect for organizing all the things. Our tea bags and little accessories are organized in a cool wood box with a lid (see the lid opening in the photo, above?!). The box is so attractive it can bet set up on the counter if we want to use it to serve teas, too.

Now that our supplies are better organized I’m not going to be embarrassed when I’m offering guests a hot drink! Plus it’s like a treat to myself to make a cup of tea or my morning coffee.

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

The drawer above it was also unruly. I love using it for little espresso cups, small bowls and measuring cups because it’s shallow. But because the space inside wasn’t clearly defined, it ended up with random stuff in it, too (including more cookie cutters, and I don’t bake sugar cookies except sometimes at Christmas, ha!).

How to Organize a Small Kitchen
The thing I am always looking for in this drawer are the small espresso cups and shot glasses (the girls and I use them to drink our favorite health beverage every afternoon). Because the cups are small they were always hiding among the other objects. It was kind of like looking for E.T. in the closet of stuffed animals! But no more, now we’ve got a better system.

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

An .ORG basket and a couple of wood dividers brought order to the entire drawer! Our little cups have a home and there’s a space for everything we need.

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

And we have a designated spot for things we just like to see because they make us smile, such as our knit fox scrubbies. :)

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

I also got the canisters (similar)┬áthat are on the counter above the drawers. Aren’t they adorable?! I love them. I’m thinking I’ll use one for ground coffee, one for biscotti to go with my coffee :), or maybe dog treats for the pups?

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

This wall cabinet was a bit annoying to everyone, especially on grocery shopping day.┬áThere was no real system. It didn’t really look that bad, it just wasn’t tidy or efficient. We thought about how to use the space better, and all we really needed was to group things together in easy-to-grab baskets and add a shelf riser. Easy peasy!

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

Grouping items together is SO SIMPLE but it really makes such a difference. It not only looks less chaotic, but being better organized just makes you feel more aware of what’s already in the cabinet.

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

Plus it’s easy to take a basket off the top shelf to see what the options are when you’re trying to decide what’s for dinner.

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

The .ORG riser doubled the space we have for shorter items like boxes of beans. Now after we grocery shop to restock, we don’t have to pile boxes up and then watch them all topple over and out of the cabinet when the one we want is at the bottom. :) Fun pre-dinner activity, yes, but who’s got time for that?

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

I love the two roll out pantry drawer cabinets we were able to literally squeeze into the kitchen when we remodeled. We have one on either side of the fridge. It’s so handy to be able to pull the drawer out, you can use the entire surface and see all the way to the back so nothing gets lost.

TIP: If you are remodeling a small kitchen, you will want to measure very carefully to make sure you are not only maximizing each available square inch, but that you will also be open cabinets and drawers. Ha! The person who first measured for our roll out pantry cabinets measured incorrectly. Fortunately we double checked before the order was placed! Crisis averted and these drawers open with ease.

The contents of our pull out drawers didn’t look horribly disorganized, but I was excited to streamline everything and be more intentional with our storage here.

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

I don’t like to keep food in bags, so we added more jars! We used these vintage style jars and this set of square ones.

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

We also moved our mixer to the bottom pull out. It was often on the kitchen counter but we don’t use it regularly enough to justify the counter space, so I kept it downstairs sometimes. But I didn’t like lugging it up from the basement when I needed it!

Since we had the room for it in this cabinet, keeping it here is still convenient but frees up the counter when we don’t need it. We do the same with our toaster!

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

My next step will be to label the jars to make it easier for all chefs in the kitchen to identify the contents.

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

We tucked another .ORG bin behind the glass jars to corral little items and things that aren’t in jars. It’s easy to see what’s in the bin when you roll the drawer out!

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

I’m feeling great about how functional this cabinet is now!

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

What’s the most disorganized drawer or cabinet in your kitchen?

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

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