The kitchen in many families’ homes often ends up being the spot where many of the non-kitchen related essentials of your family’s life ends up. For example, paper, crayons, vitamins and medicine, pens and pencils, phone chargers, lotion, chapstick, sunscreen, etc. It makes sense : it’s where you spend a lot of time as a family, morning and night, and is often a passageway in and out of the home. I know from experience that it can quickly end up in a disaster pile and a total mess. Having a place for everything ESPECIALLY in this area is key to keeping it from being chaotic AND easy to find whatever the kids or I need. And when kids need something, they always NEED IT NOW, right?
Enter my “homework station/mom’s corner.” It is literally in the corner of our kitchen, right by our laundry room, which leads to our mudroom, and then out to the garage. I knew when we were going over plans for building this kitchen that this corner was going to be dedicated to exactly this function – it just seemed like the spot where we would come and go, and where stuff would just LAND. So I made sure to have a system for that “stuff.”
It’s kind of a long name for this area, but it really generally covers everything that it is – a homework station AND a mom’s command center. I split it up into the right side and the left side.
One main feature I love about every element of this area is that it can be easily taken out by section to be portable around the house, and then easily placed back. Most have handles and area clearly labeled.
Here’s a breakdown of each area.
S H O P T H E P O S T
R I G H T S I D E | H O M E W O R K S T A T I O N
Back when I was organizing professionally, I created a cabinet almost identical to this for one of my favorite client homes. She too was a mom of three girls and had a busy life, and creating a spot in her home for homework supplies near where they actually did their homework – the kitchen – was essential. I used the same items, labels, and magazine holders and thought “when I have a kitchen with a corner like this, I am going to make it look just like this.” And that’s exactly what I did – I copied myself! 😉
However this space didn’t measure out exactly like my past clients’ space. And the contents of the space and our family’s needs were different. That’s the important thing to know about organizing – there is NO one-size-fits all system. You have to take ideas and make them work for your space and your items and customize the system for you. So I created it to fit what we needed.
I also played around with a different label look of using white paint marker against the clear. But it just didn’t “pop” and was actually kind of hard to read. With plenty of black and white in our house, the classic black label with white chalk marker was the best choice aesthetically here, IMO. The navy pulls the blue from around the house.
I love these pails and tubs because they are inexpensive and easy to use and also the clear plastic looks super cute. I never use glass in an area where kids are involved especially when they are toting the items back and forth because of the risk of breakage.
The magazine holders up top are for different kinds of paper. Pretty simple!
You might be thinking wait a minute, this cabinet is HIGH. How are the kids supposed to reach the supplies? That’s INTENTIONAL! My responsible 12 year old is taller than me so has no problem, my 6 year old asks me to take items down or uses a step stool that’s always in the kitchen, and my 2 year old cannot reach this WHICH IS THE MAIN POINT. A toddler with free access to markers, crayons, glue and pencil sharpeners = disaster.
Also, I like this method because it keeps me engaged in the girls’ homework and art processes in a way. I always help them get the supplies they need which keeps me mindful of what they are working on, and I always end up staying at the table to chat about, look at, and help them with their independent practice or artwork.
L E F T S I D E | M O M E S S E N T I A L S
This side is where I keep all of our vitamins/ supplements and everything needed at the start and end of each day. As a mom, you don’t have just your needs – you have so many people to take care of and your mind and tasks are pulled in so many directions at once. This little corner of the kitchen I have dubbed the “mom’s corner” is my command center for all the things all the people need. Hair supplies, band-aids, lotion, vitamins, thermometer, medicine. etc. With everything placed so that I can find it easily, take it around the house as needed, and put back right where it belongs. We have a two-story house, so some of these items are upstairs, too, but so much of LIFE happens downstairs so it’s super convenient to have items down here in the corner.
Vitamins and supplements can be a nightmare to organize for a few of reasons :
- They make the most sense to keep in their original packaging, because they’re like medicines and have different instructions and I think it’s important to have all the fine print details there just in case. That means, they’re not going to look as pretty.
- They come in all different sizes and shapes (my multivitamin is a SQUARE)
- They need to be placed at a location accessible to you the parent, but not easily accessible to young children.
- They are so customized to each individual’s needs so placement and grouping them together them can be tricky, especially when you have more than one person using them
I played with the idea of decanting them into jars, but with the space available and then especially for the first reason above, I felt that keeping them in their original packaging was the best route.
I have reached for these bins before in other spaces (they are meant for the fridge and pantry!) and after measuring everything out they were the perfect fit!
After taking in all the types we had, the following categories made the most sense for us:
- AM VITAMINS
- PM VITAMINS
- KIDS VITAMINS
If you want to know what each of these categories entail, let me know and maybe I’ll do a post on all our vitamins and supplements!
Above the vitamins are three caddies (using these acrylic caddies) that hold the following daily must-haves :
- FIRST AID
- ESSENTIAL OILS
Being a mom of 3 girls, I needed something downstairs for their hair, and I use this caddy daily in the morning to do their hair or after school to fix their hair before extracurriculars. I LOVE this caddy, which has little convenient sections for each supply.
And because I use essential oils as therapeutic aromatherapy – using scents to usher in an energetic mood in the morning and a calming one at night – I keep it here because I consider it to be an essential part of my daily routines (see what I did there?) I keep the diffuser on the counter on a tray.
I didn’t get a close-up of the “first aid” caddy, but it has :
- A thermometer
- Children’s motrin
- Nail Clippers
- Oil of Oregano (immunity booster)
There’s also this bamboo charging station that we’ve had since our last home – and I found that it works well here, too! In this pic there’s our old iPad we use for our home automation controls, and that’s my Mophie charging pack. When everyone’s home, my phone and Maddix’s phone are on this and the black round thing is where Russ charges his iPhone. A central spot that holds all the chargers AND the cords out of sight is a MUST for me!
So that’s it! I tried to go into as much detail but of course if you have ANY questions at all, leave me a comment below or ask me in an email/ DM on Instagram! I always do my best to answer every one and no question is too small 🙂 In fact, I always love the random questions!
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