Friday, May 20, 2011

Managing Your Communication Center

Every home should have a communication center. Where you put the communication center is determined by your household. I am single and have my communication center in my office. Many of my clients have the communication center in the kitchen or an eating area just off the kitchen. I've also seen the center in a large mudroom where the family enters the home, a den, and a nook in the living room.
Communication centers are the place where all incoming and outgoing family information is processed. A large calendar is crucial to a family center. When my boys were at home, the rule was, "If it's not on the calendar, it's not happening!" Soccer games and practices, Scout meetings, parent/teacher conferences, church activities, doctor appointments, social events, etc. should be recorded for the whole family to see. A bulletin board for regular scheduled events and rosters is also a big help. Invitations can also be tacked to the board.
The communication center is also a good place for action folders. Action folders are simply folders that are labeled with the action needed for the papers inside the folder. Examples of the labels are: "To do", "To call", "To file", "To read", and "Waiting for." If you have children who often need forms filled out or permission slips signed you could also have a "To sign" folder.
Mail would also be brought to the communication center. Whoever brings in the mail might drop it into a landing basket where the adult in charge would sort it and either trash, shred, recycle or place the mail into the correct action folder.
The communication center should be user friendly for the whole family so there is no more "Mom, where is my permission slip?" or "Did you see the map for the next scout event?".
Maintenance is of key importance to keep the communication center functioning as it should. files should be looked into on a regular basis. Items on the bulletin board should be updated frequently.
I would love to hear some examples of how you use your communication center.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

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