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July 24, 2009

Create a Family Message Center


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Love these ideas. I have a daughter who is going to be starting school, this will help keep organized.


Great ideas!


Love this Aby! I really need to tweak our system a bit before the new school year starts. I would love to hear the things you do to make the transition from summer schedule to school schedule smoother.

Intentionally Katie

I am SO glad you posted this today! My oldest starts Kindergarten in a couple of weeks and until reading this, I don't think I truly understood what I'm getting myself into. Now I have enough time to set up a message center and file folders for the kids (#2 is going to pre-school and will have papers, too!) I love the Centralized Binder idea and can't wait to create that this weekend. (while I'm motivated...) The cubby hole in my desk hutch would quickly become overwhelmed without this awesome information. Again - THANK YOU!!! You're always so inspirational.



Please share how you keep your chalkboards from turning into a dusty mess! In my experience w/any type of chalkboard or chalkboard paint, it is always a mess of chalk dust that inevitably gets all over the house. Is there a "dustless" chalk or a best way to clean/erase? Please share...



Wow, Aby-you'd loathe my kitchen wall.

Its entirely magnetic and chalkboard painted. Chalkboards have to be primed with a layer of chalk in order to effectively be written and erased on. So, if the board doesn't appear dusty in the first place, you'll struggle to use it day after day. I use a vinegar/water spray bottle and a mop to clean it every few months but then it must be entirely coated in chalk and erased again in order to be in working order again.

I find the food the kids drop all over the floor to out weigh the chalk dust so it all gets cleaned up fairly regularily. The only way the dust seems to travel is if "someone" hauls the chalk brush around and dusts with it-lol That causes me to see green :/

Claudia (mnm_y2)

What great ideas! I would love to get a little closer look at the lists you've got on the fridge --- I see that you've got the little magnets w/ the store name. That's an awesome idea! Also on the little basket - is that the S.H.E. cards? I'd love to hear a bit more about that and if it works for you.


great post ! here's my "home management center" ...

Heather B.

Love this! I'd love to see a closer look at the menu and shopping lists. Love that the shopping list is on the little clipboard! Would come in handy for marking stuff off at the store!! :o)


Thanks for sharing, Aby - it's so inspiring. Is it possible to purchase only the instructions for the command central binder? I'm interested in setting up such a system, but as I live in the UK not only would it be expensive to post, but also the 3 ring system is quite hard to come by and if I wanted to add things it could be quite restrictive.

April Driggers

I've always wanted a "command central" but I can't stand the clutter on my counter! UGH! HELP ME! ha ha...


Hi, Karen,

About the chalkboard dust...I haven't really found this to be a problem. I use of the washcloths as an eraser. The first is wet, and the second is dry. Perhaps it's using the wet washcloth first that's keeping the dust down? I'm not sure...but I haven't had a problem with dust yet.




Jen, I would love your chalkboard wall...I think that sounds awesome!



Claudia (mnm_y2),
Those aren't S.H.E. cards...I don't know what those are. These are just note cards that have daily tasks for the kids. It's a new system...not completely developed yet, but more of a work in process. :)

As far as the lists go, here's a link to my menu planning / grocery list template:

The other lists are just written on a note pad from Target.

Let me know if you have other questions.




Bonnie - thanks for sharing the link to your command center.

April - you should check out Bonnie'slink. Her command center is behind closed doors so that might work better for you. You could also use a kitchen cabinet for this purpose...and post things on the door and store other items inside the cabinet.



I can work out something for you to purchase the instructions for the command central binder only. Email me...and I'll share the details.



Janine Adams

Aby, this post and all the beautiful pictures just made me excited. It's so funny, because I don't really want or need such a message center, since I have no kids and my husband works from home, but I think they're just beautiful and inspiring.

Love those IKEA pots!



love the idea of chalkboards (or even just square bulletin boards) for each person in the family - there's no time like the present to get started on showing the young ones how to be organized!!


I LOVE the cute magnets with the store names!!! Where do you find those?


Do you remember where you got that basket? And good I bother you for the measurements.


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