Home Management COMMAND Central: A Design Challenge

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I have talked before about a Home Management Notebook and other ways to be more efficient in the home. WELL my system or lack of system has gone to the proverbial hell in a handbasket.  Where did that term come from any way??  I digress…

You all know we moved into a new home and in addition to me having no desk yet, (or working printer – AHHHH!!) I realized in my last home that my desk top WAS NOT a good place to organize the family – school papers, important reminders, calendar, etc.  They got swallowed up and were not visible when we need them.  So what I need is COMMAND CENTRAL!!

Here is what I have:

This is what I WANT...

photo credit: PotteryBarn

I mean I REALLY REALLY REALLY WANT this system from Pottery Barn.  I am sooo tempted, except the price tag is HUGE!!!  So this CHEAP gal needs to find a different solution that does not short change what I NEED only to save money.

Here is where I need your help – HELP me scour the internet and stores to find similar, CHEAPER solutions.  Send me pictures and ideas.  I will pull them all together and document my progress in building my families HOME MANAGEMENT COMMAND CENTRAL.  Once we do that, then I can revisit my home management notebook, cleaning schedules and dare I say menu planning (eek!).



  1. Target had many items similar to the various Pottery Barn pieces on clearance in my area. I think you could make a wall VERY close to the one pictured for less than $50.

  2. IKEA!
    The airy white motif will be hard to put together at Ikea, but if you’re open to a more streamlined look, the prices at Ikea are hard to beat. Check out their wall-mounted stuff across different categories: Hallway, Kitchen, and Workspace all had interesting looking things when I looked briefly.
    Good luck! I look forward to seeing a picture of the finished product!

  3. Amy has a good point. You will save a lot of money if you build it yourself. You can can even modify it to make it more in line with what you need. Don’t look at it as a whole but as individual sections. Some cork board, shelving – stuff you can find in the office supply area of Target or Walmart. Scout out each section and get pricing. Take pictures and build it on paper first so you have your shopping list. Then look online for comparative prices and don’t forget to use ebates, or you can wait for the items to go on sale/clearance, or go crazy and buy it when you get your list complete. The important point is to know what you really need and keep the color consistent.

  4. Oh, another idea – after you get your design idea and pieces together use painter’s tape to outline the work area on the wall. Then paint the work area with a paint that matches your pieces. White would of course be the simpliest to match. The goal is to make it look like one complete piece. Good look.

  5. NolaGirl says:

    Visit an architectural salvage yard and buy a cool wooden window. Replace the windowpanes with cork tile, chalkboard , and/or dry erase board. Attach stock chair rail or other architectual moulding to create display ledges

    Both Rust-Oleum & IdeaPaint make Dry-Erase paint kits. Several manufacturers (Rust-Oleum, Sherwin-Williams, Crayola, Benjamin Moore, and Krylon) make chalkboard paint. Kits.www.rustoleum.com/cbgproduct.asp?pid=128, and

    Salvaged windows as picture frames:

    • That is so funny you mention the salvaged windows – I have always wanted to do that for picture frames – BUT I am afraid being that I am SOOOO not crafty! But maybe this project is exactly what I need.!

  6. NolaGirl says:

    P.S.: Dry erase markers work well on regular glass too. You don’t have to buy the dry erase paint. Or, you could paint the wall with either of the above mentioned paints and frame the perimeter with decorative moulding or picture frames from a flee market or antique shop.

  7. Staples has the dry erase boards on deal all the time. I stocked up for my daughters dorm room and dont believe I ever spent more than a buck a piece. Some are blank, some are calendars etc…mult. uses for each one!

  8. I don’t know if that picture of yours is one main unit BUT

    I just saw those pieces separate for sell at Christmas Tree Shop yesterday and they also had more and in my opinion better parts to add; believe me when I tell you they are better in organizing I got OCD and organizing is my thing.

  9. Have you tried Freecycle.org

    I just got two cork boards from there for free of course. They were ugly we just covered them with paper. Or you can use scrap fabric and just wrap it around and staple the back of it. If you run ribbon in a criss cross pattern you can make little pockets.

    I totally second, maybe third IKEA! They are fabulous for teaching you to be organized in small spaces, you just have to think a little outside the box. For example I have a tall kitchen cabinet in my bathroom for a linen closet!

    What I do is look at Pottery Barn for ideas and use Target and Ikea for the less expensive version. Just make remember to map out what you need before you buy. “I need a place for bills, a place for receipts, place for coupons, place for each family member documents and color coordinate it.”

    These cute cups http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30184446 can be hung on a rail or mounted to wall to give you a place for pens, push pins, get the S hooks and hang your keys on the rail too.

    Also on a side note, I don’t know about you guys, but I have kids, teenage daughter in fact. I have white erase board and a chalk board in my kitchen I use for work, I’m sick of seeing all her friends “tag it” No matter what kind of complex system you have if everyone isn’t on board at using it, it will never work.

  10. What about loews home improvement? I have seen things like that there. They have a organization section. We always get an idea magazine from lowes because my husband has a credit card. There is also a store called “The Container Store” http://www.containerstore.com. They are a little more pricey but good unique stuff. The have 2 locations in MA, Natick and Chestnut Hill. Good Luck

  11. Walmart.com has wallies, both dry erase and chalkboards that may help: http://www.walmart.com/search/search-ng.do?search_query=Wallies&ic=48_0&Find=Find&search_constraint=0

  12. How did you do??? I LOVE this so much! I want to see if you managed to do something similar!! <3

    • Lisa – Thanks for reminding me… I will post later this week. Not exactly what I wanted (that one is sooooooooo pretty) but not bad for the money.

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