Your House Your Home
By Holly Hukill, Certified Interior Decorator C.I.D.
Organized Message Boards
My sister has three children and as busy as the school years seems, the summers seem just as busy, with baseball practice, soccer practice and all the summer activities her kids attend. A central area for the whole family to keep track of activities is a must!
My sister uses the calendar on her computer and a Google app to keep extended family informed of the kids’ activities, but I really like the message boards that make it easy for kids and parents to see exactly what is going on and where they need to be every day, especially for the younger kids who don’t have cell phones.
A message board comes in very handy whether you are scheduling homework assignments or just summertime fun.
Here are some ideas for message boards, an updated version of a bulletin board, you can create to fit your lifestyle and decorating style.
Start with a central area where your message board can be easily seen and used every day. Wherever you leave the house is a great area, such as a hallway, the back of a door or the side of the refrigerator. Instead of just using magnets to hold everything to the wall, you can use a little bit more imagination and inspiration, and your message center can be stylish and functional.
Message boards can be large or small. Purchase a large picture frame and add a piece of sheet metal that has been cut to fit the picture frame. This can be hung on the wall and you can add stylish magnets to hold calendars, notes and even small storage baskets.
To create a larger area, paint the wall with chalkboard and magnet paint and add painted, inexpensive trim molding and frame the entire area to create a large message center. Add small baskets on the wall to hold homework assignments and label each basket with your children’s names.
If you don’t want to paint an entire wall, purchase a magnet/dry erase board for each child and place hooks below the boards for them to hang their backpack, coats and other daily items. Frame their name in a colorful picture frame and hang it above the magnet/dry erase board so each child has their own area.
You can add a small bench below your message center so you can have a place for backpacks, gym clothes, football helmets, pads and other items that need to make it to school that day. Pack the backpack the night before so your child can grab and go.
If you keep a single calendar, color coding it will make it easier to sort out each child’s events. Use sticky notes to write inspirational messages to encourage your child to have a good day at school or give encouragement for a sports tryout.
Many people prefer to keep their schedule electronically. A shared calendar online would be a great option for older kids. There are several online calendars and apps that can help keep your family organized. The idea of a message board and central area for backpacks and daily items is still a great idea even if you use an electronic calendar. Personalize your message board to match your décor and your style. For a country look, you could use an old painted door and mount it to the wall, or for a more modern look, build in a storage locker and baskets that can help keep everything organized. Your message center is also a great place to hang family photos; this reminds you of what is really important on those hectic days. An organized message board is really a central area for your family to stay organized and keep in touch! Make it your own and stay organized all year long.