Start the school year off right by establishing a system for paperwork. A tried-and-true Family Communications Center works well to maintain schedules of events, invitations, activities, menus, and more.
What You Need
- Bulletin board/chalkboard
- Three to four Envelopes or containers
Where to Put It
Carve out a zone for a Family Communications Center (FCC), perhaps on the inside of the pantry door or on a wall in the mudroom or laundry room. Maintain control of the family schedule and activities by including the following in your FCC area:
- Bulletin Board—Hang shopping lists, an invitations/activities envelope, phone numbers, hot lunch menu, etc. Be choosy about what you add to the board and routinely purge what is no longer relevant.
- Calendar—A two-month calendar is a great way to see what’s current and what’s on the horizon.
- Pens/Pencils—Use colored pencils to indicate different categories (for example, purple for baby, green for work activities, green for social activities).
- Three to four Envelopes or containers—Label the envelopes “Invites,” “Coupons,” and “Bills to be Paid,” other related categories where you keep important Active papers.
- Invitations/Activities—When an invitation is received or an activity is scheduled, write the time and name of the event on the calendar, then place the invitation in a pocket or envelope that is clearly labeled “Invitations and Activities.” Attach the envelope to the bulletin board. When it’s time to go to the event, simply pull out the invitation that has all the details on it.
Establish a place in the kitchen or in a common area to place a three-ring binder that can house information you refer to on a regular basis. Here are some possible sections for the binder:
- Phone lists
- Business card holder sheets
- Running lists of the following:
Household projects to complete—Many well-intentioned projects go on the back burner when we have kids. Keep a list and consider prioritizing it so when you do have time, you can simply choose a task.
—For those long days when you may find it challenging to cook a meal because of the many interruptions — or because you’re simply too darn tired! Add a section to the binder for take-out menus. With this in mind, placing menus in the three-ring binder will be useful and helpful in those moments you’re asking yourself “What am I going to make for dinner?”
Above photo is of Pottery Barn’s system. You can easily establish your own by purchasing items separately at super stores.