Monday, September 10, 2012

The school year ORGANIZED: our FAMILY PLANNER WALL and study areas

This is my final BACK TO SCHOOL post for 2012!  Please see the bottom of this post for links to the full series.

We've had a FAMILY PLANNER WALL for a couple of years and it's been on my "to do" list to share it with you all but all those little seasons and parties are always getting in the way of the organizing posts! ;) 

I'm a planner and organizer type of girl.  Having a planner truly gives me more hours in my day!   I started using a daily planner when I was about 13 and I've carried one around ever since.  My planner is an extension of my arms (just like my phone is!).  I've even had people ask me why I carry a "Bible" everywhere.  Wellll, it's not a Bible, it's my planner.  But, these inquiring friends do make a good is like my Bible for daily practical life, my guide and lifesaver for being a classic soccer mom.

After the boys reached the age where they weren't permanently hooked on my hip, I realized I would need a much larger planner than the one that fit in my hand.  I would need one that fit my wall instead!  I'm sure all my Mama and Daddy readers understand what I'm about to complain about.  Mixing and coordinating 3,4,5....9 people's schedules is tough work, tough enough to need a MASTER PLAN.

Our control center system is from Pottery Barn.  It helps our family's schedule out so much!  There are a few different parts to the PLANNER WALL.  This wall is in a hallway right next to the backdoor that leads to the garage...and the car.  It is important to design a family control center in a convenient location. The sliding pocket door at the back of this hall leads to our laundry room and the white cabinet holds my cleaning supplies.  This entire area is the busy area for keeping our family in order!


-  a shelf to hold erasers and chalk and to organize office tools and hang keys

-  a chalkboard to write messages, announcements, and lil love notes of inspiration!

-  the most important part of the wall, the FAMILY CALENDAR! 
-  a bulletin board to hold event invitations and event calendars

-  a mailbag hangs on hooks to use to pick up the mail so we don't drop our bills on the sidewalk on the way home from gathering the mail! ;)

-  more hooks to hang hats

- a box to hold sunscreens and a hairbrush and water bottle for quick fixes as we race out the door

- and the most fun part, our family mailbox system

The most important part of our Family Planner Wall is our Family Calendar.  My goal is to keep the calendar boxes empty and WHITE during the summer months so our family is free to explore, create, and make memories.  I try not to sign the boys up for extra activities during the summer season.  But once September hits, our calendar transforms into a rainbow of colors with meetings, lessons, games, and appointments. 

Each family member has a different color marker so I can see at a glance who is doing what and when.   Any activity that includes the entire family, (like a vacation) is written in black marker.  I use pink, Chris is orange, Cameron is blue, Kotah is red, and Titus is green. 


We keep a wood bench chest under our FAMILY PLANNER WALL.  Inside is sunscreen, bugspray, and a hairbrush and water bottle for quick fixes before we head out the door!

The kids leave their backpacks in a row by the black bench after school.

I love pretty little details.  Special push pins are a fun indulgence.  These are the ones I use for this bulletin board.  The country ones are older ones I bought from Ballard Deisgns. And the fabric ones are from Anthropologie. 

The chalkboard is a lot of fun.  I love leaving messages all over for my loves as I've shared before here: Celebration Banner Boards.  It's fun to tuck messages into books, lunch sacks, under pillows, and of course, on big chalkboards! 


I also have my photo frame window on this wall.  Each window pane shows a photo of a different season: winter, fall, spring, summer. 

The hooks hold our mailbag, used to gather the mail for the tiny walk home.  They also hold big summer hats, and kids' baseball caps.

My MOST loved and MOST favorite part of this system is our family mailboxes.  I bought this hanging file from Ballard Designs and we have had many heartwarming moments using it for our family mailboxes.  Each of us leave notes, artwork, or little surprises randomly in our mailboxes.  Chris and I share the top one, and each boy gets his own.  I also use this to put the boys' birthday cards in when they come in the mail.  On their birthdays, they race down and check their mailboxes and love to find cards from their great grandparents and others!

We also use these individual mailboxes for school homework.  And if the kids have any papers for us to see from school, they drop them in our mailbox.

Then we simply pull out our file and see what needs attention.

A couple years ago, when we first got this hanging file and when Kotah was even smaller, he made labels for the files right away after Chris hung it on the wall.  Dakotah also thrives on organizing and this was just too exciting for him!

 Originally I had big {PRETTY} plans to create some lovely labels for these files in our home sweet home.  But I decided that nothing was prettier than my 8 year old son's homemade-with-love labels.  His labels have stayed and will remain. 

For each label he used a different color:  we have white, red, bright blue, and bright orange in the mix of our household decorating colors now!  And he wrote some names with black marker and some with pencil.

 He wrote our initials with a heart in the middle for the mailbox that Chris and I share.  He used computer paper.  I {great big heart} his labels!


And that completes our FAMILY PLANNER WALL.  It just needs to be dusted off after our sunshine summer and it's ready to use every single year of our full school year. 

Before I completely wrap up the school ideas for this season, I want to show you the boys' study areas in their rooms.  I've shared each of their room decor before and we previously used these spaces for home school days, but they'll still be able to use them for HOMEWORK days!  I hope you find some ideas and inspiration!

Visit each link below for full details and adorable office supplies:

Cameron's modern study area


Dakotah's Vintage Urban Study area with full magnetic wall

with magnetic wall:

Titus' eco-friendly, peaceful study area

This is the final post in the BACK TO SCHOOL series for 2012. See links below to view the complete series:

- Back to School 101: Apple Teacher Baskets, Blueberry Muffins, and Giant Pencils
- FIVE make ahead freezer muffin QUICK school breakfast recipes
- Grab n Go Sandwich FRIDGE BIN & other meal prep kitchen organization tips
- MADE TO ORDER Sandwich lunch sacks (with printables!)

Do you have a family planner wall/control center?  Please leave links to it in the comments so we could all share ideas!
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This post is linked to: Under the Table & Dreamin, Nifty Thrifty, Seasonal Sundays, Made by You Monday, Met Monday, Tuesday Tutorials and Tips, HOMEWORK: Be Inspired, Tasty Tuesday, Tip Junkie, Get Your Craft On, Works for Me Wednesday, Organize and Decorate Everything, Celebrations at Home,Transformation Thursday, Tablescape Thursday, Strut Your Stuff, 36th Ave, Foodie Friday, Frugal Friday, I'm Lovin It, Tickled Pink, Friday Flair, Design Dazzle, eighteen25, Be Different Act Normal, Funky Junk Interiors, Weekend Wrap Up sew many ways Six Sisters Saturday 


ShanaM said...

Awesome!! I wish I had the space for that!!

caveman said...

I dig our family calendar. It is a tremendous benefit for my organization and planning, too. But my favorite part is Kotah's handmade mailbox labels. Can't we just make them stay 8 years old?

Leanne said...

Thia is such a great family organization wall. I love all the specific details you thought of. And the boys study areas are awesome. What great spaces to study in.

Jenny said...

Oh man!

I needed something like this for the past week.

We've been watching our three Granddaughters and I have been crazy with not being organized.

They went home today...

But if it ever happens for that length of time again, I'm coming to you for IDEAS!

Michelle L. said...

Your planning space is gorgeous - i really need something like it! thanks for showing how pretty a practical space can be!

Vel Criste said...

you organized it really well!!! Functinoal and beautiful, great job!

Linking back from Carolyns Homework