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THE WORD ON THE STREET is organization.  If you had a chance to read about my goals for 2014, you saw the purpose of a few of my projects, along with adding some serious style to my home, is to create organization up in here.  I know becoming more organized is likely on many of your to-do-in-2014 lists alongside eating better, exercising more and saving money.

I caught the organization bug a little bit early this year as result of being driven to the brink of insanity by the mail pile on our kitchen counter.  While we’ve always had an issue with mail, I credit my postpartum hormone-induced urge to purge and organize for finally causing me to do something about it. The mail issue, coupled with Matt’s complete inability to return the car keys to the same spot each time (“Check upstairs in the laundry basket, maybe they are in the pocket of the jeans I wore three days ago”), gave me the idea of creating a home command center in our kitchen.

I started with Etsy to see what was out there and found this combination mail organizer, corkboard and key holder.

Mail Organizer - Mail Holder - Letter Holder - Mail Sorter - Cork Board - Key Hooks - Coat Hooks - Key Hooks

Photo via

This is perfect.  A spot for lists/reminders, pockets for bills and hooks to hang keys.  But at almost $100 for this looker and anything similar, the price was not so perfect.  I knew I could do better so I set out to create my own. Because I don’t have a saw or any woodworking skills, I needed to use a little creativity to come up with a simple way to recreate this look.  The other challenge was that I already have a piece of art in the kitchen and the home command center needed to mimic that art in size and color.

I came up with the brilliant, no saw required, idea of layering a small shelf over a pre-framed corkboard.  Not only would the shelf give me a place to install key hooks, but it would also give me some surface area to corral pens, sunglasses, stamps, push pins and other things that we like to have handy.

I bought this large corkboard from Target to use as the base of my project.  The black frame looks similar to the frame on my artwork that I have in the kitchen and the size was pretty close.  The shelf, pictured on the right (it’s upside down), is from HomeGoods.  It has a whitewashed finish that works with my design aesthetic and interesting carved corbels attached to the bottom.  The price tag claimed that this shelf is from Thailand.  I’m not so sure, but it’s really cool nonetheless.  I attached four simple hooks to the bottom of the shelf for our keys.  The cost for these two items was about $40.

Embrace My Space: DIY Home Command Center

I picked up a few other items to keep us organized, including a white glass cup for pens, a small calendar and a mail organizer with dry erase labels all for about $15.

Embrace My Space: DIY Home Command Center

Using flat push pins, I attached the calendar, mail organizer and a note pad to the corkboard.  I also drilled two holes through the corkboard so the shelf could be hung over top with extra long nails.

Embrace My Space: DIY Home Command Center

It was that easy.  Now we have a home for our mail, keys and the other things that we have a tendency to misplace or accumulate all over the house.

Embrace My Space: DIY Home Command Center

The shelf is perfect not only for organizing my stuff, but I also can use the ledge for decorative items.  All told I spent about $55 on this project, about half of what I would have spent if I purchased a new one from Etsy.  Not bad!

Embrace My Space: DIY Home Command CenterHere’s to a year full or organization!  I started small, but that’s the very best place to start.  Now if only I could get Matt to hang his keys on the hooks.  You can lead a horse to water…

What are your organizational goals for 2014? Will you tame your mail pile or tackle something bigger like a garage or basement?  Up next for me is the laundry room.  I can’t wait to get started!!