Back-to-school checklist: school supplies, check. School clothes, check. School snacks and lunch ingredients, check. Celebratory wine, check. So what’s missing?
Once school starts, you’ll realize that what you really need is a family message center. It’ll serve as the command center of your home, a place to relay messages, keep track of appointments, events, vacation days, and PTA, and stash all the stuff that comes with the back-to-school rush (notes, projects, permission slips). You’ll wonder how you ever managed without it! (Hint: you didn’t. Remember the field trip fiasco?)
It’s easy to incorporate a message center even if you’re low on space. Just be sure to put it in a central location: the kitchen (where you can regroup at dinner and prepare for the day at breakfast; it’s a great way to use cabinet ends and fridge panels), the study or office, or at an entry point (front door or mudroom).
Ready to get your message center underway? Choose the features to include based on your space, budget, and needs. Start with these suggestions:
- Message board (white, chalk, or cork; for messages, important notes from school, and art project displays)
- Charging station
- Hooks (for keys, accessories, or [if you have enough room] bags)
- Supplies (magnets, pushpins, markers, chalk)
- File storage: folders, file organizer, or clipboards with enough space for each family member
- Shelves, cabinets, and/or cubbies
- Desk area (flip-down if you don’t have space; chair or stool optional)
Then check out these awesome message centers for inspiration: