Create a Communication Station to Manage Your Household

Schedules and time management systems are the quickest and easiest ways to eliminate conflict and better manage your household. It’s amazing how wonderful these tools are and how they simplify one’s life, but it’s even more amazing that with all these benefits, few people use them! It will take a few hours to set up your system, but it’s worth it.
Communication Central Shopping List:
• A weekly planner
• A set of colored dry-erase markers
• Dry-erase calendars (both monthly and weekly)
• Address book
• A small bulletin board
• Notepad
• Two letter trays
• A message book (spiral notebooks work fine)
• Scrap paper and tacks
• A three-ring binder and assorted color construction paper
• Hole punch
Communication Central will become an important place in your home. To begin, mount a weekly and monthly dry-erase calendar on your refrigerator. Assign each of your children a colored marker. Let them be responsible for recording their school notes, field trips, re-port deadlines, etc. on the calendar. Parents should have two colors; one for your personal schedule and another for family events and other activities that concern the family as a whole.
Other necessities for Communication Central include:
• An address book to keep all phone numbers handy. On the first page, fill in emergency contact numbers and make sure that your children know how to access, and when to use, these numbers.
• Keep a message book by the phone, and teach children how to properly take messages. Spiral message notebooks tend to work better than the notepads since the messages stay in one spot.
• Use your bulletin board to leave each other notes or reminders. Have some fun and leave each other special notes on special papers. A little gesture like this can brighten the day of both parent and child. You may also want to sup-ply hooks for each family member to store their keys.
Create a weekly calendar of meals, and plan these out in advance. A Sunday afternoon is a good day to sit down and have a small family meeting so everyone can touch base. Create the upcoming dinner schedule during this time and a shopping list. Post it on the refrigerator for easy reference.
Create a kid’s phone book. Purchase some construction paper and a three-ring-binder. Let each child have their own color paper, i.e. Kim’s Red Pages, John’s Purple Pages, etc. Punch the paper and insert it into the binder. Kids can record frequently dialed numbers, schedules and notes in their pages. You may want to tie a string to a binder ring and attach it to a table near the phone to prevent it from “walking” away.
Lastly, put an “In” & “Out” basket somewhere within your child’s reach. Anything she needs your help with or signature on can go in the “In” basket. You can also use this for items you need to read, file or respond to. Once completed place the item in the “Out” basket, once a week go through the Out basket and handle each item to avoid pile up.