Kitchen Command Center

I have always struggled with homework and school papers cluttering up my kitchen. The kids come home from school and unload their backpacks on the counter (sometimes in the office). Important papers and assignments were getting lost. The problem was, there really wasn’t a good place to put it. I tried a basket once. I tried a drawer. But if it was out of sight, it was out of mind.

I have hesitated to create a command center in my kitchen because I love the way it looked without one! My kitchen is tiny and I really don’t like a lot of things on my counter.  I have big windows and not a lot of wall space for one either.

I decided to add a wall.

It has always bothered me that you could see the back of our fridge and the chimney that juts out from the wall.  So I fixed both my problems with one project :)

(I couldn’t find a more recent picture of the side/back of my fridge. I forgot to take a before picture before I dove into the project!)

We had a picture ( I will get to that later), the chore charts, and the homework folder rack.

The homework folder rack is from IKEA. I have been looking for an off white metal one for so long. I was happy to find this one for such a great price. I added the numbers. They are vinyl that I cut out using my Silhouette. But you could also use an X-acto knife (razor blade knife).

If you don’t live near an IKEA, you can buy some of their stuff on Amazon:

(affiliate link)

If your kids are like mine, anytime I ask them to do something or tell them about something the first thing out of their mouth is “why”. And it is a valid question. I think we are more likely to do something if we know the meaning or reason behind it. So before I hung everything on the wall we had a special family meeting. I told them I had come up with a good plan to help keep their papers organized and how to remind them about doing their chores.

We talked about why it is important to be organized and why they needed to do their chores. Then I showed them a picture I made. I took a photo of our house and typed a scripture over it. I told them it would serve as a reminder of this special meeting we had.

The “wall” is just a piece of half inch plywood. I nailed it into the side of the cabinet that is above the fridge and then caulked along where the board met the (green) existing wall.

I added one inch trim to the edge of the plywood so the “wall” would seem thicker and so it would have a nice rounded,  smooth edge.

Then I added baseboard to the bottom and molding that matched what I had added to the cabinet on the top. Now it looks like it has always been there :)

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  1. Kendra says

    Love this! We just moved into a new home and have a perfect little spot for something like this; can I ask what you have in the frames for their chores for each of your kids? LOVE THE HOUSE/QUOTE FRAME!!!!

    Thanks for always taking the time to post wonderful ideas! I don’t comment as often as I should, so I apologize for that. But, know that you are always inspiring others with your posts and we appreciate you (and many other bloggers) for taking the time away from your family to share these things with us.


    • Stacy says

      Thanks!!! I typed up their jobs and printed them on cream card stock and framed them in $2 Walmart frames that I painted and sanded to distress. The kids have morning jobs, afternoon jobs and evening jobs. We change their jobs every three months or so.

  2. Heart and Haven says

    That simple wall was a brilliant idea. Such an easy and inexpensive update to give the fridge a very upscale “built-in” look. And to provide a small for more organization/decor…bonus!

  3. says

    Great job, it does look like the wall has always been there. I absolutely love the picture of the house and the quote…I have to steal that. I’m been trying to put together a picture wall and this would make a nice addition. I was just cleaning up the kitchen counter and need to come up with a better system too for all their papers from school!

  4. April Nielsen says

    What an amazing idea!! I just printed my calendar organizer chart/menu plan chart today. I am going to start my command center too. I may steal an idea from yours, Thanks!!

  5. Eden Claire says

    Wowzers! So impressed… You are truly innovative. Feel a little jealous and more inspired to learn to use hand tools and caulk! :)

  6. says

    It looks perfect! I have the same problem as you do — when the kids come home, they dump all the papers, etc., out of their backpacks, and I have to figure out where to put everything! I created binders with folders for each kid and stored the binders in an upstairs bookshelf — they help me put their papers in each folder by subject (math, science, spelling etc.). But while our system is working, your system is much more beautiful! Congrats! P.S. I love your blog design — the yellow design on top is beautiful! (I am a new blogger, so I always notice other bloggers’ designs.)

  7. says

    That “wall” makes SUCH a difference in the space! I love your command centre – very discreet {and cute!} organization! Hopefully it gets well used! :)

  8. says

    Really an awesome way to add space and make your ref. look great! Love love love the organizing station. I haven’t seen those mail boxes at Ikea.. but I’m going to look now. Thanks!

  9. says

    I already have a wall next to the fridge like this, this is a great idea to use that space. I might use it for a message board, menu and grocery list. Great idea.

  10. says

    OMG, I have exactly the same problem! Wow, I had to look twice to make sure it was the same space. It looks fantastic! Wow again! My youngest starts school next year and I’m dreading being organised, but this is fantastic. I might have to give it a try too. Thanks for the inspiration. x Jullie

  11. says

    Love the new look of your kitchen…especially the wall cabinet at the top of your fridge. I also have a folder rack but not from the IKEA Company…it was a gift from my grandmother now I know what to do with my folder rack…Thanks for the fabulous ideas.

  12. says

    What a great idea! I love everything about the command center. I love the wall – it really looks like it’s been there all along. I love the picture and the meaning of it to. Precious!

  13. says

    Hi Stacy! I love how you built around your fridge, but your command center caught my eye even more. I, too, have a never ending pile on the kitchen counter and you’re right, out of sight out of mind! I’m totally going to try your system. Wish we had an Ikea closer than 3 hours away, I’ll be hunting for that filing rack elsewhere.

  14. Jonelle Ramsey says

    I am soooo impressed with your ingenius idea. I’ve looked at the side of our refrigerator from the kitchen table for 29 years. I’ve tried to “hide” it with a table (not enough to cover the fridge wall), with a lamp (again, not good idea).
    Now I see your talented idea, and although I’m an old bag, I have a project for hubby and me…we’re going to have a wall!!!
    YOU are one smart cookie…Thank you so much.

  15. says

    I luv this whole look & am making it my next project, along with the “House of prayer” saying! Thanks for sharing, and God bless you and your family!

  16. Michelle says

    What did you use to attach the frames and file rack to the wall? We have something very similar to the side of our fridge and I think that’s a great way to use space, but I don’t think we could nail into it. Would command hooks be a good option?
    It’s beautiful, thanks for sharing!
    – Michelle

  17. Scott Freeman says

    I won’t argue the aesthetic of your fridge command center… But, that is a really “bad idea” that will more than half the life of your fridge! that is a heat sink on the back of that fridge that you just boxed in… these fridges need air circulation! to bleed off the heat from the compressor, Your fridge will half to work three times as hard to keep things cool. Don’t believe me, Google it.

    • Stacy says

      I didn’t. The board is attached at the top and all along the side so I didn’t find it necessary to attach it on the floor. If I had, I guess I would have caulked it so it was semi permanent.

  18. Danielle says

    Did you use some type of shield given that your stove is so close to your fridge? I’m currently remodeling and have the same setup.


  19. Erika says

    Hi, really like the simple concept and was wondering how it was still working for you? Do you have enough room in the bottom folders? Thanks!

  20. Robert says

    I know this post has been up forever already, but did you ever notice that you blurred out the names on the top, but not inside the jobs list.

  21. Jenn says

    Looks so awesome! I am just about to paint my cabinets white and love how yours turned out. What type of paint did you use and what color? I am worried about having brush marks and the paint chipping so I want to make sure I do it right so that it looks professional.