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a family command center by @luluthebaker for Style Spotters

Before we moved into the Dream House, one of the things I looked forward to most was having a very organized house. I’m a firm believer in the old adage “A place for everything, and everything in its place.” I think that if you have a designated spot for things to go, life just goes more smoothly, and in our old house, our lack of storage space drove me crazy. I’m also a firm believer in calendars. Being a pen-and-paper list maker, our family calendar is a must. Events and activities literally live and die by the calendar. If lessons or parties or appointments don’t make it on there, there’s a 99% chance that they’re not going to happen. At least without some tears, major confusion, and crazy hustling!

We’ve been wanting to put up a “family command center” ever since we moved in, but because it wasn’t a top priority, it’s taken us a whole year to do. We’ve gotten by with a free calendar and important papers stuck on the front of our washing machine with magnets! We finally ordered all of the pieces last month and installed our family command center over the weekend. And it makes my organization-loving heart happy and fills my nerdy soul with peace. Seriously. We decided on the Build Your Own Daily System from Pottery Barn for 3/4 of the items in our command center. They are beautiful, functional, and well made. We have a different place for boots, jackets, and backpacks, but we needed a place for bills, important papers like school lunch calendars and daily reading log sheets, and somewhere to hang keys. We also needed a magnetic surface for our weekly menu notepad (which, if you don’t have one, you REALLY need to get!), grocery list, etc. We could have gotten a magnetic whiteboard, but I think the magnetic chalkboard looks a million times nicer. I like the contrast of the white frame and the black surface, and since the chalkboard and whiteboard were the same price, it was a no brainer. The last and possibly most important component of our family command center is the blank paper calendar. Again, we could have gotten the dry erase calendar component that matches the rest of our set, but I need to be able to put events and activities on the calendar months in advance. Things like doctor’s appointments for the kids, big vacations, and out-of-town guests get scheduled several months before they happen, and I needed to be able have them on the calendar early. I did a little research and found a blank paper calendar from The Container Store that I really liked and that was roughly the same size as framed chalkboard (I like symmetry as much as I like being organized!). The calendar has a clean, simple design with boxes that are large enough for lots of family activities to be written in. We hung it up with 3M Command Strips, and it looks great. And it has 36 pages–that’s 3 years of calendar pages! I’m giddy just thinking about how far in advance I can put things on that calendar.

Interested in putting a family command center in your house? Here’s some inspiration from around the web:

family command center from Pottery Barn
photo from Pottery Barn

small space family command center from BHG
photo from BHG

family command center from Simple as That
photo from Simple as That

family command center from Sweet Aprils
photo from Sweetaprils

family command center from The Caldwell Project
photo from The Caldwell Project

family command center
photo from Hi Sugarplum!

small space family command center from BHG
photo from BHG

In just a few short weeks the OFFICIAL start to Fall will be here. That means school starting, less vacation, and yeah… less sunshine (at least in Oregon). I don’t know about you, but I needed a small update to my calendar and work area. That’s what inspired my Calendar Work Station.

For this creation I wanted to use ALL materials I already had at my home. Some leftover plywood from building our chicken coop, old jars, rubber bands, and some spray paint that was almost gone; all this went into creating this project. Technically this calendar work station cost me nothing, but if I really calculated the original cost for all the needed items: under $15. This is a very relaxed and easy to recreate DIY. Hopefully very little stress. Here’s how I made it:


Supplies needed:

- 13 inches wide by 30 inches high piece of plywood

- Two small shelf brackets

- Some wood that will have a final measure of 11 inches long by 6 inches wide

- Mini document clips

- Four large rubberbands

- 3  small canning jars with bands and lids

- E6000 adhesive

- Screws

- Contact paper

- Painter’s tape

- Small amounts of primer + paint spray paint

- Free Printouts: Weekday Letters, Monday through Sunday Calendar, Sunday through Saturday calendar, and Notes



- Cut your wood. We had some leftover wood pieces that I started with, but you can always go to Lowes and they’ll cut a couple sizes for you.

- Print out the Weekday Letters printout. Place the letters under the contact paper, then trace with a pen.

- Cut out the letters with a sharp X-acto knife. From here you can decide if you’d like your calendar to start with Sunday or Monday. Just move the S’s around to where you need them. I chose to go with Monday – Sunday, so both S’s were at the end of the letters.

- Peel the paper off the sticky contact paper and apply it to the plywood. Press down the contact paper very well, to hopefully prevent bleeding when painting.

- Tape off the rest of the plywood to prep for the spray paint. I used a paper bag and painters tape to create a couple of lines to spray gold on the board.

- Spray the letters and lines of the board. I chose black for the letters and gold for the lines. Let dry, then peel off tape/contact paper.

- Optional: Spray paint the shelf boards, shelf brackets, and jar bands. Let dry.

- Screw the shelf brackets onto the bottom of the shelf boards.

- Prep the jar lids for hanging under the shelf. Use E6000 to adhere the jar lids to the jar bands. Let dry.

- Evenly arrange the glued jar lids on the bottom of the shelf. Screw them into the shelf.

- Center and screw the prepped shelf onto the bottom section of your plywood board.

- Print out the calendar and notes (trim as needed). On the calendar, number the days of the month you are currently in.

- Space out the the four large rubber bands on the plywood board and place the calendar + notes. Secure with the mini document clips.

- Fill your jars and screw them under the shelf.

- Add some goodies to the shelf.


- Hang, enjoy.

Also, let your little kiddo help you decorate your shelf… and you may have a fun shark added to the work station. Hee.

Happy organized Fall!

- Chelsey, The Paper Mama

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