Establishing a message center system in your home will most definitely impact how your family communicates. Whether you have children or not, life is busy. Appointments, deadlines, family functions, and birthdays are just a few things we juggle on a daily basis. With a couple of kids and a dog in the mix, your family bulletin board becomes the tool that works to keeps all the crazy schedules in sync. Missing important messages and being late for an appointment is no way to start your week.
When planning your message board, location means everything. Finding the area your family uses most often will be one determining factor for a successful bulletin. The most common locations and high traffic areas are the kitchen and entryway. Start taking control of your busy schedule and try one of these 3 Message Board Systems. Choose the system that suits the ages of your children and teach them how to use it.
Wall of Information
There is no better place to ensure great communication between family members than on a wall space in a high traffic area. With a little creativity, this “wall of information” can easily blend into your decor. With so many memo product options to choose from, this bulletin will quickly become the home to your calendar, contact numbers, school forms, pictures, coupons, invitations and so much more. If using a dry erase calendar, try color coding. Fixed dates such as birthdays are in black, while each family member uses a specific color to enter their activities. The Daily System from Pottery Barn is both functionally and beautiful with the ability to mix and match to fit your needs. If your wall space is too small for this system, try the Magnetic Bulletin found at The Container Store. It looks great and is also a double functioning board!
Cupboard Command Station
If you would rather keep your memo board out of sight, try utilizing the insides of your cupboard doors above the “junk counter”. Don’t know where your junk counter is? Big or small, we all have this area in our kitchens. It seems to be the horizontal drop zone for mail, keys, homework, with random piles that grow overnight. Lining these cupboards with corkboard, a magnetic sheet, pegboard, or narrow white boards will transform this otherwise blank space with an effective communication tool. In my home, I like to mix it up a little. One side of my cupboards is lined with cork board which I painted white. This side keeps important contact numbers, and labelled envelopes containing invitations and gift cards. For the other side, I found small white magnetic boards which work great for tacking up temporary written reminders or messages to family members.
There are kitchens and entryways that just can’t possibly act as the Message Center for some families. Transforming an armoire that blends with your decor into a highly functioning communication area is so much fun. When the doors are closed, it is a beautiful furniture piece. Open the doors and voila, you have a laptop space, a drawer to file mail and school papers, not to mention doors that can be utilized in the same manner as the “cupboard command station”. Some designs even have wall pockets to keep organized folders. Now that is an effective transformation! You can find reasonably priced armoires at IKEA and office product stores. Keep in mind there will be some assembly required.
The family bulletin board or message center can help keep everyday life running smoothly. If you want yours to be successful, have quick family meetings each Sunday night to update the calendar with upcoming events and commitments. If you have teenagers using iPhones or Blackberries, try going electronic. Google Calendar or iCal with Mac allows for color coding and everyone can access the information from their own device. Simply put, choose the system that works for your family and create a routine for updating, and there is no doubt you will gain control over your “family bulletin”!
Photo: Pottery Barn