Get Rid of Multiple Charts with a Family “Big Board”

Big Board Wall OrganizerLet’s face it, as an organizer I have a natural affinity for charts.  Over the years I’ve made all kinds of charts to track various parts of family life…job charts, reward charts, cleaning charts, homework charts…I’ve made them all.

This year, as I face another school year (and all the chaos that comes with it) I’ve decided to try a new approach.  Instead of making loads of different charts to keep track of my kid’s jobs, schedules and misc. details, I’ve opted for a more streamlined approach.  We’re calling it the “Big Board.”

Big Board 3To create it, I purchased a big, magnetic dry erase board and divided it into three sections (one for each of my school-age kids) with adhesive ribbon.  Within each section I created general categories with clear alphabet stickers (you could also use a label maker or write them with a dry erase marker).  At the moment, my categories are Jobs, ToDo, Bank and Notes.  Each of my kids have three main jobs, one post-dinner kitchen job, one house job, and one big Saturday job – I keep track of all of those in the Jobs area.  The To Do category is pretty self explanatory – all the non cleaning jobs go here.  For example, you might see “write thank you note to Grandma” or “20 min piano practice” in this area.  The Bank area keeps track of their current balance (click here to read my family bank post) and keeps track of any savings goals.  The Notes category offers reminders for everything else like “give talk in Primary on Sunday” or “bring class snack on Thursday”.

Unlike a standard chart that confines you to specific details, the big board is easily adaptable by simply changing the categories.  For example, as the school year begins I will probably add a homework category to keep track of things like reading minutes as well as a calendar category to replace their weekly fridge planners (click here to read the kid planner post).

Big Board Wall Organizer InboxI posted ours in the kitchen right next to the back door so it would be impossible to ignore or neglect.  I also added two clear file boxes below it.  The inbox holds papers that come home in backpacks as well as a temporary stash spot for the mail.  The outbox is used for anything that needs to go out – like signed permission slips, lunch money, movie rentals and library books.

The entire project took me about two hours to create and cost me less than $50.  I purchased the white board at Target for $17.  The in and out boxes were $8 each at Staples.  The colorful sticker letters I used for the names, the tiny black letter stickers, and the adhesive ribbon were all purchased from Michael’s for about $10.  Just thought I’d pass it on.


8 Comments

  1. Another super, fantastic idea! Thanks for your creativity and for sharing it.

  2. Wow! I love this idea. It is perfect for my family. Thanks for sharing! :)

  3. That is a great idea. My church has done something like this to create the church calendar and uses 2 4′x8′ white boards but I’d never thought of doing it at home.

    I’ll have to think about this.

  4. Thank you for this idea! I will have 3 kids in 3 different schools this year and the board I have already made will be a lifesaver.

  5. I think my husband and I need this – and it’s a lot cheaper than getting matching iPhones (and may get him to do the dishes!! :) )

  6. I LOVE this idea. Any suggestions on how to make it work for 5 and under children?

  7. I love this idea and will be putting it together today. I just wanted to let you know that at the Home Depot or Lowes near the moulding department they have 4′ X 8′ sheets or white board for less than 13.00. It is ment for shower stalls but it works great for dry erase boards. I am able to make two boards out of one sheet and they will cut it for you free of charge. Thanks very much for the idea of the stickers and the ribbon boarder. I would of never thought of either.

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