Get Rid of Multiple Charts with a Family “Big Board”Posted by MeckMom on Aug 11, 2008 in Best of MeckMom, Popular Posts: Organizing | 8 comments
Let’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.”
To 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).
I 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.