If you are a parent to school aged children, then you know that they come home with all kinds of papers from school, nearly every single day at that. And if your children are like mine, then you do not dare throw out their artwork that they make at school or at home. My 6 year old daughter makes or draws something every day and at some point we started to run out of refrigerator magnets, and refrigerator space as well. Her artwork takes over. I always wait a few days and throw some away when she is not around (we have actually started a binder for her to punch holes in certain artwork and keep for good). I then make sure it can't be seen in the garbage. I swear, if I don't cover my tracks she will find me out and give me quite a talking to about how to NEVER throw away her artwork. "How could you, Mom?!!"
We had some free wall space in our kitchen across from the door to our garage and next to the door to our basement, so up went two painted pieces of trim with 3 nails in each. On the nails hang bulldog clips and on the clips hang their artwork. They still manage to get a few things onto the fridge, but it's not as bad as before. And I still have to secret ninja my way to discard of things here and there. Under the artwork, we have hooks to hang lightweight coats, their backpacks and library books. Truth be told, my husband's belts, sweatshirts, baseball caps, etc. make their way to these hooks pretty often. His closet is in the basement, so eventually they get back downstairs to where they belong. Please disregard the ugly brown doors and trim. They will be painted white one of these days.
Our tall pantry cabinet is right next to this wall and the side of it was a perfect spot for our Thirty One Hang-Up Home Organizer in the Party Punch pattern. I LOVE this thing! Now, we do have a large dry erase calendar in another area of our kitchen where I write in everyone's activities, appointments, reminders, etc, but this wall organizer is strictly for the kids' school calendars and homework. I had major inspiration for this layout from one of my favorite bloggers. You can see her post over at A Bowl Full of Lemons.
When we get home, I empty their backpacks and put any homework into their labeled pockets. There is stays until they complete it and then it goes back into their backpacks. We currently have two kids in school. There are 4 pockets in this section, so I will add the other's names when they start going to school.
Underneath the wall organizer, I have their chore charts. Over the past 2 years, I have tried a few different chore/behavior charts and rewards systems. Some worked okay at first and then we would forget to focus on them. It's all trial and error. This is the current system I have. It's only for my 4 and 6 year old. By the time my 2 year old and 10 month old are ready for chores, I will probably have been through several more charts. These are framed, magnetic dry erase boards that I picked up at Staples awhile back. I spray painted the frames from black to this teal-ish color. I simply wrote their names on each and split them into "To Do" and "Done." I printed out some chore labels that I downloaded. I wish I could remember where I got them, but it was so long ago that I originally came across them. If I ever remember, I will update this post with the link. I laminated them and popped some magnets on the back. It's on the kids' level so they can easily move their chores from one side to the other once they complete them. For every chore that makes it over to the "Done" side, they get a pom pom (those little fluffy balls you can buy at the craft store) in their glass jars. I am still debating where to keep said glass jars. For now, they are on the counter in the kitchen. When their jar is full, they have earned a trip to the dollar or toy store (depending on my mood and my wallet :) to choose a toy. We actually JUST started this new system, so we will see how it goes!
Their "chores" are brushing their teeth, brushing their hair (Audrey only), set or clear the table for dinner/snacks, clean their rooms, clean up wherever else they played that day and no fighting with each other. I can assure you that "no fighting" will rarely make it over to the done side, but it's worth a shot, right?
And here are a just few more views of our Kid Command Center. Again, do not mind the ugly brown doors or horrific 1960's linoleum flooring. I know, it's enough to give anyone nightmares. I am constantly debating the blue wall color as well. But anyway...
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