How to Create a Kitchen Command Center Part 2 ~ Organize Your Kitchen Frugally Day 20

Welcome to Day 20 of my month long series “How to Organize Your Kitchen Frugally in 31 Days”.  Every day during the month of October I will be sharing an organized space in my kitchen with you.  My goal is to inspire you and give you ideas on how you can organize your kitchen.

If you missed it, you may want to read why I’m embracing my outdated kitchen.  It might give you a little perspective on why the pictures of my kitchen organization won’t be “magazine worthy”, but helpful for real life organization.

How to Organize Your Kitchen Frugally

Yesterday I showed you Part 1 of How to Create a Kitchen Command Center.  I told you what I got rid of and what I moved to make space for a command center inside of my kitchen cupboard.  We also looked at how I quickly organize incoming mail to keep it from piling up.

Today, I’m going to show you what I keep in the rest of my command center.

How to Create a Kitchen Command Center

I absolutely love having a central space to keep my schedules, bills, pending paperwork, receipts, etc. so I can access them at a moment’s notice.  But I especially love that it’s hidden away inside a cupboard so my kitchen doesn’t look like an office moved in and took over.

When guests unexpectedly drop by, I don’t have to worry about piles of bills or other papers I need to file, stacks of mail, or other miscellaneous junk cluttering up my counters.  Is my counter always cleared off and perfect? No!  But it takes seconds to put it away with this set up.

So what do I keep in my command center?  Let’s start at the top and work our way down.

How to Organize a Kitchen Command Center

We have a steady stream of “temporary paperwork” coming and going: papers like birthday or wedding invitations, auto recall notices, field trip or youth group permission slips, etc.  I needed a place to keep important pending papers that was easily accessible.  So I made a “Pending Now” bin using a letter tray I picked up at Target.  There is high turnover in that space, but it’s a great place to keep everything that will be happening soon.  When I need it, I know just where to look.

Pending Now Tray for Pending Paperwork in Command Center

My hubby also seems to have a lot of pending paperwork that I can’t give to him when he’s at work.  He also tends to jot notes and to do lists that he likes to keep for when he has time.  I got another letter tray and labeled it “Hubby’s Stuff”.  Whenever I have something I need to give him, or a place to put his notes that he doesn’t want to lose, I put them in his bin.

Letter Tray for Hubby's Stuff

I bought a single, stackable letter tray and turned it upside down to hold our two bins.  It works fabulously!

Maximizing a Letter Tray

Next to the letter trays I keep a small bin that I also found at Target.  I LOVE these plastic basket weave bins!  They come in such pretty colors, too!

Parts Bin

I labeled this bin “Parts”.  This is the place I keep miscellaneous parts to things that otherwise wouldn’t have a place to belong.  For instance, we have a toy organizing unit in our basement that has the ability to stack one on top of another.  Occasionally, I change the set up of the units and need the few extra pieces that we use if we want to separate them.  Instead of losing the parts in our garage, I keep a zip top baggie labeled with a permanent marker in the parts bin.  It’s out of the way, but still accessible if we need those tiny parts.

I also keep our GPS and charger in a zippered case in the top of this bin.  It’s out of the way but easy for my hubby or I to grab if we are going on a trip.  I don’t keep it in the car because of the extreme temperatures we have here.

Organizing Charging Cords with Repurposed Playdoh Containers

The bin on the left side of the middle shelf is where we keep our charging cords.  I repurposed Playdoh containers to store each cord individually.  I also keep extra earbuds and additional cell phone screen protectors in this bin.

In the middle of this shelf I have two small stackable bins that I found a while ago in the dollar section at Target.  I keep miscellaneous things that need fixing in the “Repairs” bin: things like the watch and the calculator that are waiting for me to buy new batteries and the Polly Pocket that needs her arm glued back on.  Instead of piling these types of things on the counters when I’m too busy to attend to them, I put them in their place.  When I get a minute, I can easily fix them and return them to where they really belong.

Kitchen Cupboard Command Center

The top stackable bin is truly for junk.  Yep.  You read that right.  You know all that little stuff that appears and you have no idea what it is or where it belongs but know as soon as you throw it away you’ll figure it out?  This is where I keep that stuff.  After a while I purge anything that we discovered wasn’t really a necessary part to anything.

Next to these bins I have a little cardboard box where I keep mini hand sanitizers.  I covered the front with a little bit of duct tape to make it look pretty when the cupboard is open.  I know it’s a a strange place to keep these, but it’s easy to toss one in my purse when I run out.  My kiddos love giving these to me for presents. :)

Organizing Hand Sanitizers

On the right side of the middle shelf I keep a bin of supplies that I use at my command center and in or near my kitchen.  Since I’m regularly labeling things, I keep my label maker (here is a newer, similar version), refills, and washi tape here.  I also have a space for chalk markers, a glue stick, some velcro fasteners, and some bin labels (since there is always a bin that needs a label ;) ).

Office Supply Bin for Command Center

On the bottom shelf I have a letter organizer so I can easily keep paycheck stubs, expense reimbursement stubs, and bank receipts organized.  At tax time, I just grab the stack and file them away with our taxes.

I also have a little box where I keep some spare change and gift cards.  If we’re going out to eat or going to a specific store, I can easily grab the gift card when we’re running out the door.

And last, but certainly not least, I keep my Duo binders in my command center.  These are by far my favorite organizational binders.  They are a combination of a three ring binder on one side and a 7 pocket accordion file on the other side.  The elastic straps keep them neatly contained and allow you to open whichever side you want.

I use Duo’s for lots of things, but in my command center I have one for my Recipe Binder, my Home Management Binder, and my Blog Planner.  This time of year I put my Vacation Planner in my desk, but during the summer, you would find it here in the command center.

Next to my Duo’s I keep a coupon binder that I got at Target a few years ago.  Honestly, I don’t have a lot of time to coupon, but when I do, this is where I keep them.

Organized Duo Binders

In Part 1 of How to Create a Kitchen Command Center, I showed you the pockets I made with scrapbook paper and stuck to the inside of the cupboard door.  See how to make the door pockets here.

I use these pockets to organize bills to be paid, papers/bills to file, and receipts.

Since my husband and I both have jobs that generate lots of tax receipts, I have a pocket where we can easily keep them separated from our other receipts.  In the middle, I made a pocket for return receipts.  I hate returns, but when you have a large family, they are inevitable (unless you like shopping with your entire family).  This is an easy spot for me to put receipts so they don’t get lost in bags until I can make the return.

The top pocket stores the receipts we need to keep for important or expensive purchases.  I usually get rid of all unimportant receipts as soon as I get home from the store.

How to Organize Bills & Receipts in a Kitchen Cupboard

Well, I hope you enjoyed checking out my command center and are inspired to create an organized space of your own.  If you cannot come up with a spare cabinet in your kitchen, see if you can implement any of these ideas on a nearby shelf or bookcase.

Tomorrow I’m going to show you my meal planning schedule. Pssst…there’s a printable!

How to Organize Your Kitchen Frugally in 31 Days


25 Responses to “How to Create a Kitchen Command Center Part 2 ~ Organize Your Kitchen Frugally Day 20”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. Adele says:

    Thank you so much for the motivation. I currently use a Thirty-One hang it up organizer
    for the majority of my Command Center. But other things fall through the cracks, and oh paper has always been a monster for me. The instructions for the door pockets are not in either post, if you could share that would be awesome.

    • Ginny says:

      I love those Thirty One organizers! I know exactly what you are talking about and have considered getting one myself. :) As far as the door pockets, I’ll be sharing that in a post right after the 31 day series is over.

  2. Carisa says:

    Genius! Now if I could just figure out a usable cabinet… (:
    Love the Washi Tape colors. Can you share where you got them?

  3. Kristina says:

    I’m a soon to be newlywed and last year my fiance and i moved in together in our first apartment together. It’s been difficult for me adjusting to the responsibilities of running a household but reading your blog every day always inspires me and helps me be the loving and happy lady of the house that i want to be. Thank you for your great ideas.

  4. Jaya says:

    Just awesome and inspiring ideas!!! Brilliant , totally get charged after watching and reading your blog. So coollllll..Thumps up. Yay!!!!

  5. Pat says:

    What great ideas! Genius turning the letter tray upside down to accommodate both trays!

  6. Robin says:

    The only thing you’re missing, for the non-homeschooling moms, is a section (probably on the door) for box tops and Campbell’s labels. If you want to start a collection and mail them to me I would gladly hand them in at our school. ;)

  7. Adele says:

    Is there a way to post pictures of our completed projects?

  8. Kristi says:

    Wow! I just found your blog via Facebook and my kitchen organization is under way! You truly have a gift and I’m so glad you are sharing your wonderful ideas. In your command center, are your pockets attached with Velcro squares? I couldn’t tell from the picture, but it looks like they stand out a bit from the door. Thank you again for the inspiration!
    Sincerely,
    Kristi

  9. Alexa says:

    Dying for the upcoming post on the scrapbook paper pockets! Have you posted it yet? Thanks….btw I love everything you do!

  10. kym snider says:

    Thank you so much! You inspired me to make my kitchen command center today. I had a similar area that was located next to our back door (the door we most often use) and it works out perfectly! I love how you show us that organization doesn’t have to cost a fortune…or even a dime for that matter! I was able to make it with everything that I had around the house (which came from the dollar tree, by the way ;) ). Thanks again, and please keep the great ideas coming!

  11. Dana says:

    This is really great. I’m just catching up on your kitchen organizing series. I had never thought to do this in a cupboard. I always see peoples kitchens that have a desk/workspace area to the side of their actual kitchen workspace and am so jealous. This helps me look at my space differently and hopefully I’ll work to organize what I have much more efficiently.
    Thanks!

  12. Mary says:

    Maybe I missed it but where are those bins from?

  13. Livesey girl says:

    Oh my goodness. This 2 part post has made me giddy with excitement! I can’t wait to set this up in our new kitchen (we recently moved). Thank you so much for sharing x

  14. Chachagirl1973 says:

    Hi! Have you shown how to make the pockets inside the cabinet yet?? I am desperate to make some! Thanks!!

  15. Rebecca F. says:

    How did you make your door pocket organizers?

  16. Linda B says:

    I love this post, and the one before it, and will refer back to them often! I’ll be setting up a new kitchen soon, and today the lightbulb went on with the idea that I can put a command center INSIDE a cupboard. That was my hesitation with putting it in the kitchen, even though it makes the most sense the way the house flows. I look forward to putting together my own command center, borrowing your ideas and tricks!

    The one other thing that would be really cool is if there were links in the blog post to purchase said bins, binders, etc…?

  17. Melanie says:

    Hi – I just wanted to let you know this is the best post about a kitchen command center that I’ve found (and I have read a TON of them). Very pretty and functional, not too big, and containable. Love it :)
    I’ll echo the questions above about whether you’ve showed how to make the cabinet door pockets yet? I tried searching, but couldn’t find anything. And I agree with Linda – links for where to buy items like some of your items which didn’t mention the store in the description would be fabulous. Happy New Year!

  18. Sabrina says:

    I love your website and this idea for a command center. I pinned it back in March and “studied” it until I figured out where mine would go. It took me a few months but I finally finished it. I pinned it and credited your awesome website.

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