How To Design A Kitchen Command Center

How To Design A Kitchen Command Center

Organizing important papers and keeping the clutter in the kitchen under control seems to be a never ending quest.  To resolve this, an organized “command center” where everything is one place and everyone in the household knows where to place and find important papers is one solution that works for many homes.

But how do you design a command center for your home?  Read on to find some tips and solutions to design your own.  We’ve also included images for many other functional and decorative solutions we’ve found.

 

How To Design A Kitchen Command Center

 

Step One:  Identify Your Needs

Look around your kitchen and nearby rooms to determine what is “dumped” in that area and could use a home.  Consider the members of the household and their needs – do they need a mail slot or a basket of their own?  Also, considering mail slots or baskets, are there other categories that’d be helpful – magazines, coupons, etc.  What other items do you need a home for – family calendar, school schedules, important phone numbers, lists, keys, etc.

Step Two:  Determine Your Preferences

Do you want the space visible or tucked away unseen?  Do you prefer to have papers push-pinned, secured with magnets, etc. or do you prefer a neater look and would like to use a variety of picture frames to hold long-term papers. Do you want a system on the wall or do you prefer keeping things organized in folders?  It’s important to pick a solution that can be maintained.

Step Three:  Pick Your Design

Search for design ideas and where you can buy the items you need.  We have several ideas listed below to help you get started.

 

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command center launch padchildren kitchen command center

 

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Get Control Of Meal Preparation By Prepping Ahead

Facing the task of preparing a meal after a long day of work can be overwhelming.  Preparing a meal in a slow cooker or relying on frozen meals from the grocery store are commonly used alternatives.  Another way to reduce the overwhelm is to break the meal preparation into steps and prep-ahead all or parts of the meal.

Review the meal and identify what you can prep the night before.  Are there vegetables that need chopping?  Is there meat that can be prepared the night before and just reheated the next day?  Or maybe there’s a sauce you can prepare the night before.

Chicken Breasts:

For salads or pasta, bake and cut up chicken breasts the night before and place in refrigerator or prepare several and place in the freezer for future meals.  Pull them out of the freezer the night before to thaw.

You can do the same for quesadillas, chimichangas or chicken salad sandwiches, just season and shred the chicken.

Ground Beef:

Make home made meatballs and freeze them.

Meat sauce is also easy to make the night before or in bulk and freeze.  Imagine how much quicker it is to make a lasagna, spaghetti dish, or Italian sloppy joes with the sauce made ahead of time.

You can have nachos or tacos quick and easy by cooking up the meat the night before and placing in the refrigerator.  And this is great made ahead of time and frozen in the freezer as well.

Soups:

Prepping your vegetables the night before makes it quick and easy to serve a soup with dinner.  See our blog post on prepping your vegetables and freezing them to prepare soup later.  This is a great way to use left over vegetables or vegetables that are about to go bad.

Lasagnas and Casseroles:

Consider making a double batch of your favorite lasagna and casserole recipes.  You can place the additional batch in the freezer for a future meal.

These are just a few ideas of how you can prep-ahead some of your meal and reduce the stress at meal time.  Share with us some of your prep-ahead tips.

Other posts you may like:

Spicy Tomato and Cilantro Soup

Make Ahead Salad Recipe

Spinach and Avocado Salad

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Meal Organizing: Prepping Soups

Who is craving warm bowls of soup, but find the time it takes to make not ideal for an evening after work?  Not only that, but who else buys the vegetables for soup but finds them rotting in the refrigerator by time you get around to making it? Well, our soup prepping tips may save you time and veggies.  The next time you go shopping, plan a little time later that day or one of the next evenings to chop and prep soup.  In this post, we share prepping for two soups Red Pepper Soup and Chicken Noodle Soup.

Red Pepper Soup

One of our favorite soups is the Red Pepper Soup.  To make it easier to whip up this soup, we chop and freeze the vegetables ahead of time.  For this soup, we need red peppers, a yellow pepper, celery and onion. Meal_Planning_Meal_preparation_red_pepper_soup_recipe We’ve chopped the first batch of vegetables and are ready to bag.  It does take some time to chop up the vegetables, I chose to sit at the kitchen table with a large bowl next to me to capture all the stems, seeds, etc. to throw away after. Meal-planning-tips-meal-organization-red-pepper-soup-recipe-chopped   By chopping these vegetables ahead of time, we are able to pull the bags out of the freezer and place into the refrigerator the day before we make the soup.  There are two batches of soup below.  We plan on making both in one large batch of soup.

meal-planning-meal-preparation-red-pepper-soup-recipe-bagged

 

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Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken noodle soup is a must to have on hand whether it’s for a cold day or someone’s sick – you never know when you will need to whip up a batch!  Chopping and freezing the vegetables ahead of time, makes whipping up a batch of soup a breeze! We chopped up carrots, celery and onions ahead of time. meal-preparation-meal-planning-tips-chicken-noodle-soup-recipe   Just add chicken, broth and seasonings for a quick homemade batch of chicken noodle soup.

 

Other posts you may like:

Get Control Of Meal Planning By Prepping Ahead

Spicy Tomato and Cilantro Soup

Make Ahead Salad Recipe

Spinach and Avocado Salad

Online Meal Planning

In search of a solution that would work for us to help organize our meals, shopping lists and recipes, we found Plan To Eat and we are loving it!

Just click on the recipes you want to add to your meal planner and print your shopping list.  DONE!

The benefits of using this tool:

  • Recipes are on-line and easy to access
  • We can meal plan anywhere – at home, work, on the road
  • It figures out your shopping list for you – and it notes which recipe the item is associated with makes it very easy to know which items you don’t need if you make a quick menu change at the store
  • All our recipes are starting to compile in one place – takes a bit of work to enter your favorite recipes from your books or paper – ONLINE is easy!!!  Just enter the link and it automatically enters it for you
  • Print or access your plans and lists on-line
  • You can also add a note in the planner for things you wouldn’t have a recipe for and it will add to your grocery list

We cannot say enough about how much we love this tool!  Click the link below to try it out for FREE!

 

Yes, we receive a small commission - but we love it and are confident you will too!
Yes, we receive a small commission – but we love it and are confident you will too!

Organize Your Finances In Three Steps

Reduce the stress of managing your finances in three easy steps:

 

Step 1:  Use Your Online Bill Pay Function With Your Bank

Household Finance Organization
Household Finance Organization

Online bill pay is a great tool for your fixed monthly expenses.  Set-up an automatic payment from your account weekly, biweekly, monthly, etc. to ensure your bills are always paid on-time.  This option allows better control of your account than allowing the funds withdrawn directly from your account.

 

Step 2:  Set-up A Monthly Budget

Document all of your income and expenses into a spreadsheet.  Determine how much money you want to spend every month for your car, insurance, utilities, gas, groceries, household items, meals and entertainment, home improvement, clothing, vacation and gifts.  Next, set aside a monthly amount for emergency savings, short-term savings, and retirement savings.

Develop A Monthly Budget
Develop A Monthly Budget

Step 3:  Design Systems to Maintain Your Budget

There are a few different ways to set-up systems to maintain your budget.  You can designate envelopes for each category and divvy money into each envelope.  You can also set-up an automatic transfer to other accounts set-up for each category.  A combination of both probably works very well.  Set-up a system that works best for you and your family.

Most importantly, give yourself some flexibility to modify these steps until you find a system that works for you.

 

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Quiche Breakfast Cupcakes

Make Ahead Breakfast Quiche
Make Ahead Breakfast Quiche

Eating protein at breakfast helps you to feel satisfied longer and keep your blood sugars balanced.  This recipe is easy to make ahead for a quick and easy breakfast.  Make a batch of these quiches and freeze.  In the morning, microwave for about one minute.

Eat these along with a cup of coffee, some fruit, and a slice of toast for a great breakfast.

 

Make Ahead Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Tube Hot Ground Sausage
  • 9 Eggs
  • 1/4 cup Milk
  • Minced Onion
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/8 Cup Ranch
  • 2 Tsp. Hot Sauce
  • 4 oz. cheddar cheese
  • Pie Crust

 

Make Ahead Step 1:

A day or two before making the quiche, brown up the sausage and place in a container in the refrigerator.  This makes it even easier to make these.  Make the entire tube and freeze in two separate containers for future quiche or double the batch.

 

Brown Sausage For Breakfast Quiche
Brown Sausage For Breakfast Quiche

Make Ahead Step 2:

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Microwave roll of pie crust for about 30 seconds to soften.  Pinch off a piece of pie crust and press into the bottoms of a cup cake pan.
  • Evenly distribute the sausage on top of each pie crust.
  • Sprinkle each with minced onion.
  • In a bowl, mix together the eggs and milk.  Then add hot sauce, ranch and cheese.  Evenly distribute into each cup cake mold.
  • Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until the quiche is firm.
  • Place into ziploc bags and freeze.
Make Ahead Breakfast Quiche
Make Ahead Breakfast Quiche

 

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Other posts you may like:

Get Control Of Meal Planning By Prepping Ahead

Spicy Tomato and Cilantro Soup

Make Ahead Salad Recipe

Spinach and Avocado Salad

How I Got My Weekends Back

After a long week, I would spend my entire weekend cleaning the house, grocery shopping, and other errands.  I was exhausted, tired and felt taken advantage of.  I was feeling empty and deprived of time for myself.  Basically I was feeling robbed.

I dream of having the perfect house with everything in its place, but for now I’d just be happy with not having my house look like a tornado hit it every weekend.  And I’d also like to have a little bit of time to read a book, scrapbook or write.  You know actually feel like I had a weekend.

The first decision I made was to commit to doing a chore a day during the week instead of saving it all up for the weekend.  I created a chart of tasks I’d like to ensure I do every day and added an additional chore each day.  I print this out at the beginning of each week and place on my refrigerator.  Every day, I consult the list for the tasks I’ve assigned myself to do each day and enjoy checking them off as I complete them.

As I’m working on this new habit of doing a little bit more during the week, I’m learning my expectations of myself were a little too high.  I do not check off every item every day.  Often times, I find they don’t need to be completed on a daily basis.  I still keep all the task listed.  I like the daily reminder of the areas I want to see clean everyday.

On the weekends, I’m happy to see I only have an hour or two of quick clean-up around the house and I’m able to enjoy feeling like I have the time to spend time on other things I want to do.

How do you make sure you get to keep a little bit of fun in your weekend.

 

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