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    Household Information Center

    With school fast approaching, it’s important to plan ahead about how you’re going to keep your family organized. A “Household Information Center” can be a savior. This is the place your family’s activities are centered around; the operating headquarters, if you will.

    First choose an area that is central to your family’s activities, usually the kitchen. Keep the telephone, telephone book, address book, pens and a notepad in this area. You can use the pad for taking messages or use what I prefer, a phone log. A phone log is a plain spiral bound notebook where you record all outgoing and incoming phone calls. Any informal notes from phone calls or voice mail messages are recorded here. Did you ever have a situation where you recorded information from a telephone conversation and when you hung up you said, now what do I do with this information until I need it? A phone log puts an end to that question.

    Second, have a family calendar where all events and appointments are scheduled. With the busy schedules families have, a family calendar is a must. If you keep a computerized calendar you can print one to be posted in this area. If you don’t, Sandra Boynton has a calendar called Mom’s Family Calendar. It’s arranged in a grid format and allows for the scheduling of multiple family members. It has a column for each family member with the days of the month listed down the left-hand side. There is ample writing space for each member that allows you to easily see what’s scheduled for every person on any given day. You can purchase it online at www.amazon.com or order it through your local bookstore.

    Third, keep a three-ring notebook with all school and extra-curricular information. This will be the holding place for student directories, sports schedules with coaches and players phone numbers, music programs or any other club or group your son or daughter belongs to. This is information the whole family needs access to. When your child wants to call a friend in his/her class, but doesn’t have the phone number, it will be easily accessible to them.

    Fourth, you will need an in-box or a large clip for each family member with his/her name on it. This will be a “mail box” for each family member. It should be emptied each night. You can store permission slips, reminder notices and phone messages here.

    Lastly, store any information here that your family references often such as take-out menus or baby-sitter information. Clearly post emergency phone numbers such as doctor’s names and numbers or the poison control center. Also clearly post your address, phone number and children’s birth dates near the phone. This can be very helpful to you or a babysitter during an emergency.

    A “Household Information Center” will save you time and aggravation when trying to organize multiple family members during busy times. It eliminates unnecessary requests for you to put your hands on information that other family members need. Information the whole family needs is easily accessible.