Turn a small hallway into a family control center! Conquer school paper clutter! All for around $100 - Major Hoff Takes A Wife

Turn a small hallway into a family control center! Conquer school paper clutter! All for around $100

So the 4 kids went their merry way to school and came home with a plethora of paperwork. Seriously??? So I decided that instead of piling it all over the breakfast bar and kitchen island, this year was going to be different! This was the school year we are going to be more organized (cue Superman music here)! What to do, what to do…. I decided that the mini hallway we have in between the playroom and kitchen would be the best bet for a control center. Here are some of the before pics:
 Notice that I taped off all the trim like an organized/prepared painter? Makes me feel like a grown up when I do things like that! The tape I used was Frog Tape and I scored it in my swag bag at Haven. I've used it before though, because we have highly textured walls and this seems to be the only tape that really works.

I was originally inspired by this picture:

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That picture just makes me swoon. Doesn't it say organized all over it? I also made the bags, but those are going somewhere else. Be sure and check out her blog, it's one of my absolute favs!
So here's my version:

First I painted the wall. And then I freaked. I may have said to my friends on Facebook that it looked like and Easter Egg threw up on my wall. 
It took me 2.5 days to get used to the white walls looking like this, but in the end I liked it. 
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The chalkboard keeps our daily activities in check. That way the week is all laid out. There is a letter bin for each kiddo for all that paper clutter!
On the other side I put in a freestanding letter bin, a small board with clips, and a bulletin board.

Here you can see the bulletin board. It houses more important paperwork, like school menus, athetic team game dates, etc.
The freestanding letter bin was a splurge, but I love it. It has sections for "To file, etc". 
The board with the clips was very easy to make. The hardest part was finding the right glue for the job (not hot glue, not craft glue). Only E-6000 seemed to do the job!

Added accessories: Over the Playroom door. Three vintage tiles I purchased years ago from a garage sale. I believe they were sold by Southern Living at Home. 


 So here is the price breakdown:
Chalkboard Wall:
  • Chalkboard paint $10 (didn't even use half of it)
  • trim for board (4 poplar boards @1.99 each plus a decorative trim molding ($2 @ habitat restore) $10
  • Board for chalkboard (my way is too textured to paint directly on it, so I used a dry erase board from Home depot, I had it cut to size there $10
  • The letter bins were a splurge at $16.99 each. I tried to make my own from Lady Goats tutorial  but that was a Big Fat FAIL! I found these at TJ Maxx
  • The iron scrollwork I had around the house, it was purchased years ago from Entertaining at Home (I don't believe they are in business anymore?)
  • The actual paint for the space was on sale. It is Valspar and was $20/gal on sale. Even with 2 coats of paint on heavily textured walls I didn't even use half of it. 
For the other side of the Hallway:
  •  The bulletin board I already had, I just repurposed it by painting the edge with trim paint. 
  •  The clip board was made by using a leftover board, painting with trim paint and glueing clips I found at Hobby Lobby on (clips were $2.40 after coupon)
  • The other splurge was the big letter bin. It was $29.99 at TJ Maxx. Well worth it. 
So that's it!!! What do you think? The bins are already filling up with paperwork. The chalkboard has helped out a ton with keeping up with all the activities. The boys are disappointed I won't let them color on it, so I think I need to make another one somewhere else for them to play with! Total cost of project breakdown: $91.37. I cut the cost of the paint in half because I only used half of the amount. If you had to bought the big sizes out right like I did it would cost $106.37. I'm sure you could save money on the letter bins if you made them yourself. I just apparently am not the best at using a jigsaw. Thanks for looking at the blog today, I really appreciate it!

DIY Show Off
The Shabby Nest
I Heart Nap Time


  1. What a great project, Mrs. Hoff! I am in awe of your organizational skills and DIY skills too. It sounds like your boys like the control center too.

    1. Thanks Miss Kitty! It has been a lifesaver for sure. If I couldn't kill the paper dragon, I can at least tame him!

  2. Please come help me organize next!! You know, in all your spare time :). Looks fabulous!!

    1. hmmm, I might take you up on that idea! Thanks Eliesa, I appreciate it!

  3. Great job and pretty too!! I'm gonna have to use some of your ideas - Thanks for sharing!! Found you from Decorchick!!

    1. Thanks so much! Please share pics if you do a control center-I'd love to see yours!

  4. I love this! My friend has almost the exact layout as you, sending it her way. thank you!

    1. Hope it helped her! Its an odd layout having that "mini hallway" but I've never regretted using it for this purpose!

  5. This is a great project! I need to do this!!

    1. Just saw this! Thanks Deneen! Everyone seems to have paper clutter :)

  6. Hello, I'm popping by to say "Hello" to tell you it was really nice to meet you at SNAP. I just love your organization station. What a wonderful space.

    Warmly, Michelle
    Faith, Trust & Pixie Dust

    1. It was so great to meet you too-with your adorable business cards! Thanks for stopping by!

  7. This is such an awesome idea! I love the blue & white with the chalkboard and corkboard.

  8. I love your command center!! I'm trying to figure out where I can replicate it in my house!

  9. What a great use for a small hallway section!

  10. What a pretty way to keep everyone organized!

  11. I love this & the color you used for the hall - it will be so much fun to stay organized now!

  12. This is amazing!!! I love everything about this. I so badly need to do something like this, I am so unorganized


Thanks so much for commenting! I appreciate it and love communicating with you!

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