Today's mission is to create a telephone and home message center so everyone in your family can pass messages they've received or need to communicate easily.
This is a pretty straightforward and simple mission to do, and I really don't want you to try to complicate it further.
Instead, the point of this mission is to provide you and others in your household with a simple way to communicate amongst each other, and to leave messages for others.
It can be to leave a message about something happening around the house, or about an errand, or it could be a way to take down phone messages that come in when someone calls and they aren't there and another person in the family answers the call.
Therefore, doing this mission can be as simple as making sure there's a pad of paper and a pen close to the phone people use most frequently, or close to all of the phones, to allow someone to jot down information, and also communicating to all family members where they should leave messages so others can discover, read and then act upon them. See, not brain surgery, at all!
As an alternative you can combine this mission with the one we'll do next week, which is to create a family command center for your home, to keep information everyone needs to know in a centralized location. That way messages that have been received can go in the same place as other family related information, including meal plans, calendars, information from school, sports practice schedules, and more.
The question you may be asking yourself, though, as you read through this simple
mission is whether, with voicemail and texting and all kinds of other new communication technology available, is this mission and concept now obsolete?
That's a question you'll have to answer for yourself. I'll be the first to admit that with technology some of this isn't as needed as it was even a decade or so ago.
Now we've got cell phones, which means we're much less likely to be away from our phone when someone calls. Similarly, texting and email allows us to jot notes down for people almost immediately, without having to leave a paper note behind.
But I'll be honest, I think this mission is necessary, especially given how simple it is. If it was really complicated I might say, nah, it doesn't matter enough. However, since the fix is as easy as creating an area that people know is the place where messages go, and to make it convenient and easy for everyone to actually write the messages down, then why not?
Having a message center does come in handy from time to time, when the rare important call comes in when you're not at home, and someone else answers. Or when your spouse checks the home telephone's voicemail and wants to tell you something on it. Or someone stops by the house and provides some information.
There are still lots of scenarios where jotting a message down on a piece of paper makes sense and is easier than using technology.
With that being said, below I've gathered some simple ideas from other readers, showing their message centers in their own homes, that can give you ideas for how you can make one for yourself quickly and easily.
Phone Message Center: Contents Contained In Basket
Susan from Camp Slinkard shared her before and after pictures when she cleared out her telephone message area in her kitchen.
As you can see from the before picture she already had a system in place, containing the papers and phone in a cute basket on the counter.
However, she found that it was being overrun with too much paper.
Therefore, she spent about 20 minutes clearing out this area, with the plan to deal with the paper that accumulates more regularly in the future.
I like how she's got pen and paper ready to take some notes if she needs them, or if someone else in the family answers the phone and can easily take a message, and then everyone would know where to look for that message so nothing gets lost or messages aren't forgotten or left undelivered.
Just like Susan needed to periodically clear out the clutter that accumulated in this telephone message area in her home, so did another reader, Robin, who sent in the two photos above of the before and after. So while making this center is an important thing to do, make sure you occasionally clear it out to keep your counters or wherever you place it looking nice.
The photo above is from another reader, Marloes. She went with the suggestion of doing something really simple, and just added a notebook to the place next to her phone. Hey, that's all you've got to do (as long as you also have a pen handy!)
Marloes explained about her photo, "the telephone is only disconnected because its proper place is too dark for a picture."
Family Message Boards Are Great Whether You Have A Landline Phone Or Not
I discussed, above, whether a small message center set up in your home was obsolete or not, especially if you no longer have a landline phone. Here's a couple of readers who have a board for sharing messages with family members, even without a landline phone.
The photo above is from a reader, Maureen.
In addition, this photo is from another reader, Aimee. She said, "I don't have a landline, but it is always nice to get random Post-its from family members. Here is my message center."
Finally, above is a photo from Barbara, who created an area with some pads of paper as well as pens for jotting down notes. She said, "Didn't like the pens loose in the pencil tray, so used a toothbrush holder for the pens and put note pads in the tray together. Much easier to keep organized and find a pen. All pens work!! Discarded all duds!😂"
So at least consider this simple mission for your home, and then you might just thank yourself later when it comes in useful!
Want To Do More Decluttering Missions? Get Started With Declutter 365 Today!
Once you declutter one type of item in your home I bet you'll want to declutter some more. After all, decluttering gives you a great reward for even a small investment of time and energy.
The Declutter 365 system is designed to help you declutter, over the course of a year, your entire house, with just 15 minutes of decluttering each day!
Hundreds of thousands of people use this proven system to get rid of their clutter, and bring peace and calm back to their homes.
Declutter 365 works to guide you to clear the clutter without overwhelm, focusing on just one small area at a time, and without making a huge mess in the process, so you see consistent forward progress without all that "messy middle" that makes it even harder to function in your home than before you started.
In addition to building a daily decluttering habit, the Declutter 365 program, along with the accompanying 52 Week Organized Home Challenge, teaches you the skills, habits, routines, and mindsets necessary to maintain the clutter free and organized state of your home from now on, so it'll never be as messy and cluttered as it is right now, ever again.
If you haven't already, make sure to get your copy of this year's Declutter 365 annual calendar here (it's FREE!), find today's date, and do 15 minutes of decluttering on the day's mission. Then, repeat again tomorrow, and again and again. Over the course of the next year, if you do this 15 minutes per day, you'll declutter your whole house!