With almost two kids, five cats, a dog, and a husband, I often forget things, like what day it is, or my name. (It’s Tabatha.) So when we were working on trying to organize our lives before our first little one came into the world, one of the simplest and smartest things I could think of was to create what I call an Information Station in our kitchen.
Why in the kitchen, you might ask? Well, it’s because the kitchen is where we spend the most time, other than perhaps the living room, and for us, it just made more sense than creating a potential chaotic focal point in what should be a relaxing space.
And now that the space that we had planned on becoming an office is the nursery for our second child, we don’t really have an ideal space to keep our personal artifacts behind closed doors. We figured why not keep it out in the open, but keep it fun and simple at the same time? That way we’d actually use it, and being out in the open would probably actually help us more than keeping it somewhere we barely spend time.
So how do you create an information station, and what all do you include in it?
Well, first I dug around our house to find things we already had to make this project easy and inexpensive. I had a couple of magnetic boards, some 12″ x 12″ cork squares, and an extra calendar. Voila, three essential pieces to keeping things organized. If you don’t have any of those things just hanging out in your closet or basement, NOW is the time to buy them while stores offer loads of back-to-school and dorm wares in all kinds of colors, shapes, and capacities.
I organized them on our wall to make it all visually cohesive while still maintaining ease of use and flexibility. Just a couple of nails and some poster mount tape and I was well on my way to creating a place to help me stay sane.
Then I began to collect things to put on the three surfaces. Now, our first fridge was actually NOT magnetic, so the magnet board was the prime real estate from the get-go. I’m also not a big fridge-door clutter person, especially since our fridge is one of the first things you see when you walk into the kitchen, so having another surface on which to keep my cutesy magnets and other various knick-knacks put my brain at ease.
As for organizational pieces, I still had a mini-dry-erase board from high school (don’t judge!) and put that up for us to write quick notes on. Now, with our new, magnetic fridge, it migrates back and forth from the two surfaces based on how much I want my husband to notice it, or if it’s being used for our meal planning. I also have a grocery check list that makes it stupid easy to keep track of what items we need at the store — just check it off on the list and don’t think about it again. Some magnetic containers made perfect pen holders and push-pin wranglers, so up they went to help keep everything central.
On the calendar we write down appointments for us, the kids, and the pets, as well as have a quick reference when checking the expiration dates on food when we’re too tired to know where we’re even at never mind what day the 23rd is. I try to make sure the calendar is visually stimulating and works with our decor as well, as it does serve a dual purpose as art in the kitchen or when you’re sitting at our table for a meal.
On the pin boards I collect coupons, appointment reminders, event invitations, and other little pieces of happy that I like to look at, like a card from my husband just because. When they serve their purpose, I just take them down and swap them out with whatever other little thing makes me smile at the time. That way it never gets boring, and I don’t end up with piles of crap all over my kitchen table. Well, minimal piles of crap.
And that’s pretty much it. Someday, when we finish our dining room and can move the table out of there, we plan on putting a desk with organizers for our bills and other businessy-type things, making it a true station for everything important. But for now, just having a place to attempt to keep track of the smaller details in life is enough to make sure I get through the day without forgetting to breathe.
How do you keep your life organized? Let us know below, and if you have any tips PLEASE share them because goodness knows I could use all the life organization tips I can get my hands on.
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