Every home needs a home message board, or family command center, of some type, where messages can be shared between family members, and information the whole family needs to know can be conveyed.
The busier the household the more important this is because people are coming and going and there still needs to be communication.
Yes, with smart phones a lot of the little notes like, "gone to the store," don't need to be shared anymore since you can just call or text, but even now there are still papers from school or church with dates or needed information, phone messages where a child has answered the phone and needs to tell a person has called, etc.
There is no right or wrong way to do this, but it is important that there is a designated area where these communications can occur.
I started by calling this a message center, but many who discuss home organization have begun to call it a "command center" and I think the name makes sense. It's the place like the central command, in a military operation, where everyone gathers to learn information and see what needs to be accomplished.
There is a lot of flexibility, as shown below, in how to make this command center. You choose what information you believe needs to be conveyed, how, and where.
After seeing these real life ideas I hope you'll feel inspired to make your own command center, and it's easy to do.
First, choose a spot to place the information. A central location that everyone normally looks is important. That's why many people either place these centers in an entryway or the kitchen, two spaces in your home most family members congregate.
Second, choose what types of information you want to share in these areas. The sky's the limit, but ideas include:
Chore charts for kids, or cleaning schedules for the family
Menu plan for the week
Place to write notes or to do lists
Place to collect school papers, permission slips, etc.
Below are some real life examples from readers who've created these areas in their home to give you ideas for setting up your own.
Do you have such an area in your own home? I'd love to see it, as well as hearing your tips keeping up with these areas of your home since you've got to stay vigilant so they don't get cluttered up.
The photo above was provided by a reader, Laura, who said, "This little nook is right by our back door. We have a home office so no need for paperwork here. Just a family calendar, weekly menu, chore charts and back packs."
Thanks so much for sharing this picture Laura. The area looks lovely.
Many family and home message centers do have a calendar in them, which makes a lot of sense since this is one of the main ways a household communicates and gets on the same page about what is happening.
I like the idea of also posting the weekly menu as well. It helps the kids (and everyone) know what to expect. Here's a printable weekly meal planner template if you'd like to fill one of these out each week to post in this area of your home.
In addition, you can use a menu board to help you display what's for dinner each night in your home.
If you'd like more ideas for these menu boards check out my article!
Another Example Of An Entire Wall Of Information:
This picture was provided by a reader, Umm, who said: "I have a full on management wall."
Family Message Center For Calendar, Chores, & Paperwork
Kim shared this picture, above, of her family message center, where she's put up several things to help her family communicate and keep up with what's going on in the household.
First, you can see her family's calendar on the left.
Underneath that is her kids' chore chart. Brilliant to keep this with the rest of the stuff, I think.
Finally, she's got a place to collect mail and other paperwork on the right in the wall mounted inboxes (you can see similar products below).
Here's another example of a family message center, which a reader, Hayley, sent in. She sent both a photo showing the whole thing, and also a couple of detail photos since there are several components.
Hayley calls this her family workstation, and she's got a chore chart, to do lists, a place to organize and save papers, and even cubbies to hold items for her kids for school.
You can see more details in the next set of photos below, to see the chore chart and some of the other checklists and to do lists a bit more close up.
Here's another photo sent in by a reader, Seena. She said, "I really was in need of a command center for weekly menus, activities for the week, present month calendar and personal sections for three of us. I didn't want to spend too much on it so I gathered what I already had and picked up a few things from the Dollar Tree. I think this will work . ☺"
In addition, here's another photo from a reader, Jade, who said, "This is my command center with my daily do its. This way there is no excuse for hubby to not see!"
She took the opportunity that this challenge presented and went ahead and decluttered the board.
A family bulletin board can be such a good way to keep track of schedules, calendars, messages, and other pieces of paper that your family needs to keep and reference.
Then, everyone in the house knows where to both put information and where to look for it, whether you're there to help them or not.
However, as you can see from Bec's before and after pictures if you're going to use this system you've got to keep on top of it.
If you keep adding papers without removing anything, ever, you'll soon get a cluttered space where you can't actually find the information you need.
Therefore, I would suggest doing a cursory glance at the board or message center every time you tack something new onto it, and pulling off anything that is old and no longer needed. After all, who cares about last month's calendar?
In addition, if these ideas have inspired you to organize even more make sure to join the 52 Week Organized Home Challenge. Each week we work on a different room or area of our home so that slowly, over the course of the year, your whole home becomes organized! If that sounds good to you I'd love it if you participated with us.
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