Family Message Center

A few months ago, I shared how I made some small changes to the coffee counter in our kitchen.  You can see that post here.  In that post I mentioned that having our family drop-zone on the counter made sense there.  I like having our family calendar somewhere that I can see it often.  I find I’m less likely to forget to do things if I’m constantly looking at them.  I added to that system with our Family Weekly Schedule.  It worked, but not as well I would have liked, but I left it alone.

Then Christmas came, and my Mom and Dad gave me some 3M hanging strips.  (you might think that is weird, but I love, love, love that they got me them.)  Living in a rental, I’ve been very conscious of the fact that ANY hole we put in the wall will have to be patched and the paint touched up, should we decide to move.  So, 3M hanging strips are an awesome solution.  I’d been trying to figure out what to use them on.  I didn’t want to just start hanging things up willy nilly.  One morning last week, as I was getting my coffee I saw this:


messy drop zone


Not a pretty way to wake up!  At this point I would love to say that this wasn’t a normal occurrence, but the truth is, that tray was becoming a catch-all more and more.  I wasn’t happy with it. January had already started, the boys were in school and I didn’t have the new calendar up yet.  Obviously, I needed to rethink this.  Then I turned towards the breakfast nook (aka our dining room) and saw this:


blank wall in breakfast nook.


My wheels started turning.  I have a large white board calendar that Travis gave to me a few years ago.  I’ve got 3M hanging strips sitting there, BEGGING to be used.  And now, here’s this blank wall staring me in the face.  With the wheels spinning I did something I don’t normally do BEFORE a project, I hopped onto Pinterest to take a peak at the board I started looooong ago for Message Center ideas.   After thinking about it, plotting this way or that, I decided to stop procrastinating and just get it done.  I headed out to the garage to the bin that is still full of our unhung pictures, and there the project completely stalled.  The calendar wasn’t in the bin!  Hmmm… no worries, it’s under the stairs!  Nope!  In our closet?  The linen closet?  In one of the boy’s rooms?  The man cave?  Under the couches or beds?  Heck I even checked the garden shed, just in case.  I could not find that white board anywhere!  After stewing about it for a little while inspiration struck!  I took an old magnetic board I wasn’t using and attached one of the wall calendars from my office.  Added some colored paper to fill in the one side and then hung it up on the wall using, you guessed it, 3M hanging strips!


magnetic board turned calendar


Not bad, but the green paper was looking rather plain.  No problem there, every good message center needs somewhere to write messages, and I whipped up some note paper.


family calendar


To be completely honest, only the first two pages are the note paper I made up.   For the rest I raided the recycle bin in my office for papers with one blank side, cut them in half and hung them up.  Waste not, want not!

Having a way to leave notes is great, but I still had to consider all the paper stuff that comes home with the boys.  Liam in particular has things like reading calendars and monthly school calendars and so on.  Up until this point I’d been using the fridge for the reading calendar and some sticky tack on the side of the cupboard for the monthly calendar.    I waned to find a way to incorporate space for these and other items in the new message center.  I didn’t have any cork I could add to the wall, and I didn’t want to have to go buy anything.   In the end I settled for some ribbon around the lip of the magnet board and binder clips.




Now, for the rest of those pesky papers that come home!  I just simply used some plastic pockets I had picked up for a similar idea in my office, used some 3M strips to attach them to the wall, added a couple of labels and we were done.


wall hung folder for incoming paper


And here it is all put together.  Since I was having so much fun dressing up the wall, I decided to add one of my quote pictures to round the whole thing out.  There is DIY in the near future planned for that one, but for right this moment I’m totally happy with it.


family message center


This little wall makes me smile every time I see it.  I’ve been using it for a week now, and I cannot believe the difference it has made.  So much nicer than having everything scattered all over the kitchen.

Now some of you might be wondering where we put our mail and stuff.  I don’t have a set place for mail.  My system is to only deal with it once, I sort it, open it, file it or stick on the fridge.  As for flyers and other junk mail.  I take a quick look through to see if anything we need is on sale, if it is, I set the flyer on my desk.  For grocery items, I keep an eye out for really good sales, but since I only shop every two weeks, I only keep the one for the shopping week.  Everything else goes straight into the recycling bin.

And just for fun, here’s one more before and after.


blank wall in breakfast nook. breakfast nook message cetner



Ahhhh, that sure does make a difference.  The only problem I have now, is that I want to do more in this little nook to round the space out.  But I do believe I will save that for another day!

What projects have you been up too?  Do you have a family message center?  What did you include in it?


Linking up at:  OrgJunkie

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