This family command center is tucked inside a hallway and is the perfect out-of-the-way organization solution for any busy family!
Full source list is included to see where all of the items can be found!
Hallway Family Command Center for Out of the Way Organization
Our Family Command Center Must-Haves
Every family’s needs are different so there’s no one-size-fits-all in terms of what to include. Here’s what we wanted to have in our command center:
- Three dry erase monthly calendars (but we’d be using *wet* erase markers)
- Dry erase weekly calendar (for meal planning/weekly events)
- Cork board
- Holder for file folders
- Files for both of our boys’ schools/activities, coupons, receipts, and Action Needed items
- Chore charts
- Dry erase To-Do list
- Dry erase cleaning checklist
- Small shelf for holding dry erase markers, eraser, Box Tops collector, etc.
- Mail organizer
- Growth chart ruler
- Fun personalized artwork
I also wanted to use wet erase markers to color-coordinate the items on the calendars and To-Do list so it’ll be easy to identify our activities, appointments, etc.:
- The Hubs
- Misc. fun stuff/meals
- Misc. not-so-fun stuff/Game times of our favorite sports teams
- Go Big Blue and Who Dey! But my husband is a Pats fan…
- Marking out completed items
Some things that you commonly see in other command centers weren’t necessary for us, so we left them out:
- Key holder
- Grocery list (we use a shared list on our iPhones)
- Hooks for hanging backpacks or coats (we’ve already got a personalized board and batten hook wall on the other end of the hallway)
The Blank Before
Here’s where we decided to set up our family command center. It’s in the long hallway off of our kitchen that extends from our boys’ bedrooms on one side and our laundry room, bonus room, and garage on the other.
As you can see, this was a big blank wall of nothingness, but since it’s an area we pass by multiple times a day, it would be the perfect spot for this command center.
Plus, since it’s tucked away in the hallway, it won’t be noticeable from the main living area of the house, so no clashing with our decor and guests won’t notice it.
Also, while most people tend/have to go vertical in their command centers (some from floor to ceiling), we have plenty of space to use. Therefore, we could stretch our items out horizontally and keep everything at eye level and well within reach.
Planning the Layout
I hadn’t yet completed some of the projects and the frames were still empty, but at least this would help me narrow down the final items and placements without having to put a bunch of holes in the wall or waste countless Command Strips.
Once I was pretty pleased with the look on the floor, I started copying it on the wall with some washi and painter’s tape.
This was really helpful in figuring out the best height for everything as well as making sure all of the items’ placements were actually practical for us.
It would also give my husband a nice preview of what to expect since he still couldn’t quite wrap his head around what I was planning (although I had to reassure him that we were NOT going to be hanging a stop sign on our wall, despite what I had created with the washi tape. He was actually a little bummed about that.).
The Hubs decided that he wanted the To-Do list to be moved from underneath the cork board unit to the top left corner of the command center so it’s prominent and noticeable when walking into the kitchen (which was actually a decent suggestion), so after shuffling some things around, it was time for final installation!
That’s why it’s always a good idea to do a mockup first. An ounce of prevention and all that.
The monthly calendars as well as the chore charts were hung with some Command Hooks, the main unit was installed with provided wall anchors and screws, and everything else was hung using Command Strips.
So, very minimal use of power tools here! That’s my husband’s favorite kind of home improvement project.
The Final Family Command Center!
And here’s how our family command center looks in all its organized glory!
Isn’t she a beaut?
You’ll notice that there have been a few adjustments between our mockup and this final arrangement.
Namely, our personalized family motto sign is now off the wall and in our kitchen, there are three monthly calendars instead of two, and our To-Do list has been dropped to the lower row (again).
After living with the original setup for a couple months, we decided to change things up a bit, and have had this setup ever since (and since I’m not one to blog about things in a timely manner, that means we’ve had this family command center up and running for over a year now!).
It’s been AH-MA-ZING and I am just over-the-moon in love with it.
Not only does it look quite nice, but it’s been SO helpful in keeping our family organized and on the same page.
It really is in the perfect spot for our family, too.
Since it’s tucked away and out of sight from the main living area of the house, guests won’t notice it and it doesn’t clash with the rest of our modern farmhouse decor.
However, since it’s in the hallway that is right off the kitchen, we’re constantly walking by it, and therefore always noticing and–most importantly–using it.
EYE-PLEASING, PRACTICAL, and SUSTAINABLE. That’s what a command center should be all about.
Here’s a little animated gif (just because I love ’em) showing how quick and easy it is to access our family command center from our kitchen:
It’s also not in the way while walking down the hallway either.
Even with the shelving unit, it doesn’t stick out too far from the wall, so no bumps!
The Individual Components
Here are some more details about each of the individual components of our family command center.
LAMINATED MONTHLY CALENDARS
First up, the three monthly dry erase calendars.
These are the perfect size and are also laminated (it’s quite heavy duty, too), which means we can reuse them year after year with our wet erase markers.
Being able to color-coordinate each family member’s activities and see what’s going on at a glance is SO helpful on these guys.
TO-DO LIST & MAIL SORTER
Underneath those calendars, we have a DIY dry erase To-Do list for me and the man of the house, a mail sorter with some DIY labels I whipped up with my Silhouette Cameo, and a cute framed DIY illustrated family portrait.
ILLUSTRATED FAMILY PORTRAIT
This cute little illustrated family portrait that I made last year just so happens to be one of my favorite elements of this command center.
Cuteness heart-melting, galore!
I hung it in a decorative frame (the not-a-stop-sign marker from our wall mockup), and it’s such a fun way to really personalize the space.
It’s OUR family command center, after all, so WE (in our extra illustrated adorableness) should be prominently featured.
I’ve also included this portrait on our school excuse notepad (more on this below), and a different version is hanging in our garage in our mini-mudroom area.
What can I say…I just love it!
If you’d like more information about how I made this family portrait (and learn how you can make your own), check this out!
THREE-SECTION WALL UNIT
The largest piece is a three-section unit that combines a dry erase weekly calendar, cork board, and small shelves.
Once I saw this item, I knew it would be perfect because it combines several of our must-haves in one piece.
Plus it’s magnetic! Extra bonus.
Our meal planning has never been more consistent thanks to the weekly calendar.
Usually on Saturdays, my husband and I will both go to the board (after one of us calls for the other with a “To the board!” command), to plan out our meals and grocery list for the upcoming week.
So no more text conversations during the day that go something like this: “What’s for dinner tonight?” “I dunno.” “Well, nothing’s thawed.” “Then you better grab something on your way home or it’s more spaghetti.”
I mean, spaghetti’s good and all, but, ya know.
Every weekend, I also transfer the activities and/or appointments that we have scheduled for the upcoming week from the monthly calendar to the weekly one, just so they get highlighted.
The NOTES section at the bottom also highlights important To-Do’s that need immediate attention or things that are too far out to be added to a monthly calendar just yet.
And three more cheers for color-coordination!
We use the cork board (and these handy clip push pins) to hold appointment reminder cards, a yearly calendar-at-a-glance (this one happens to feature my two-year-old’s adorable preschool picture), fun family photos, and other important stuff, like UK’s basketball schedule.
Yes, that’s very important when you’re born and raised in the bluegrass state. #BBN
The three shelves are small but they serve their purposes beautifully.
On the second shelf, we have a white board cleaning cloth tucked away, and I usually keep my sunglasses in there too.
The bottom shelf is the perfect size for our collection of colorful file folders where we keep necessary paperwork handy (and no longer piled on the kitchen counter for eternity):
- Rowan’s school/activities
- Brayden’s school/activities
- Action Needed (like bills to pay…boo)
We also have our address book stored in there, and on the front we have the notepad I made for when the boys have to miss school.
It sure is super handy on busy school mornings!
SEMI-DIY-PERSONALIZED SCHOOL EXCUSE NOTEPAD
To see all the details on how to make a semi-DIY personalized school excuse notepad for your own family, check this out!
Underneath this unit is where we have chore charts for both boys.
It’s the perfect eye-level height for them so they can check off items as they’re completed (and be reminded of their fun reward for that week).
These are actually sheets of paper from customized notepads, and I tore off one sheet from each and then ran them through my laminator.
That way I don’t have to refill the entire thing each week (#lazy) and we can just use our wet erase markers.
Work smart, not hard, y’all.
Next to the chore charts are three inexpensive white frames.
Two showcase some fun and colorful inspirational messages, while our home cleaning checklist is in the center one.
HOME CLEANING CHECKLIST
This home cleaning checklist has been SO HELPFUL. I mean, like, wow.
Who knew just writing down what needs to be done around the house can actually make you do those things??? I know, it’s mind-blowing.
I don’t actually mark off the daily or weekly tasks (#stilllazy), but I do take a peek to see what’s on schedule for that day/week.
The right side of this checklist has been the all-star though, for sure. It’s for those monthly, seasonal, and yearly tasks that tend to get over-looked (sometimes intentionally).
GROWTH CHART RULER
The last component of our family command center is our family growth chart ruler with yearly photos.
When we first moved in, we had this hanging on a narrow wall in our kitchen. However, once the command center was in the planning stage, I knew this growth chart ruler needed to be included.
I just love adding photos of my boys each year after their birthdays and look at how much they’ve grown and changed. It’s really fun to compare their heights, too!
To see the complete tutorial on how I made this family growth chart ruler, check this out.
And you can snag the free cut file to make one of your own!
Before & After
I just love a good before-and-after, so here’s the transformation of our blank hallway wall into our family command center!
New light fixtures help with the upgrade, too.
Here’s where I found or DIYed the items in our family command center:
- Laminated monthly calendars
- Three-section unit w/ weekly calendar, cork board, & shelves
- Growth chart ruler – DIY (free cut file is available too!)
- Dry erase To-Do list
- Insert – DIY
- Mail organizers – Amazon (similar to these)
- Labels – DIY
- Illustrated family portrait
- Chore charts (but these specific designs are no longer available)
- ‘Squad Tribe Posse Family’ art
- Print – Etsy, but it doesn’t look like it’s available anymore.
- Cleaning checklist
- ‘Be Awesome’ art
- Print – DIY
Don’t forget to Pin this post and save it for later when planning your own family command center, and you can also follow me on Pinterest!
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