Mission Control

I'm a stacker. I make stacks everywhere I go - clothes, books, papers. Especially papers. So when we moved into our new home last year, I perpetually ticked myself off when my beautiful kitchen counters were always covered in stacks. My stacks.

Time for a change, America.

One of my many projects during maternity leave was to create some kind of system that would help keep family papers in order.  Here's what I came up with:

Mission Control
It's not worthy of a Martha Stewart cover, but it's our new kitchen clutter control device, and that makes me happy.

Starting at the upper left:
- Grocery list and Meal plan for the week
Directly under these:
- A red folder full of the recipies for the week's meal plan
Lower left corner:
- An envelope full of coupons

Upper middle:
- An envelope containing the girls' vaccination records I always want to know where these are for doctor appointments or airline travel, as this is usually an approved ID for babies/small children
- Any pending critical document (In this case, Jury Summons. Boo.)
- A file folder for each family member. Permission slips, documents requiring signature or attention, or pages that Beads has colored for one of us go into the appropriate folder.

Upper right:
- Dry erase board for any quick notes
- Tickets for any upcoming events
Middle right:
- Family calendar. I printed these blank calendar pages off the internet. Every travel date, birthday party, guest arrival, etc. goes on this calendar so we know what's going on at a glance.
- Invitations to upcoming bday parties, weddings, etc
Lower right:
- Beads' school calendar. So we won't miss important dates like "Pajama Day."
- Any artwork Beads would like to display.

What I like about this bulletin board is that I have the perfect space for it around the corner from my fridge and next to the pantry. You can't see it from anywhere else in the kitchen or family room! Out of sight, yet so terribly convenient.

I'm sure there are dozens of articles or examples of family bulletin boards (think Pinterest) that are not only functional but beautiful. But those are for people who have artistic talent. (i.e. not me). There's no reason to avoid trying to create order in your home, even if you're no Design Star. Decide what you need to organize - in my case I needed to have a place for my meal plan and recipes, coupons, a family calendar, invitations and random family papers. Because all of these things were stacking up on my counters! Now they are no longer there. They have gone vertical.

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