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It’s That Time Again: Streamlining Family Life

We recently took a lovely vacation full of sunshine and relaxation. I came home with a pocket of anxiety about the upcoming school year, though. August is notorious for being full of things I generally don’t enjoy such as school registration, back-to-school shopping, daily sports’ practices, dentist appointments, parent meetings and what-not. Plus, our kids start school on August 20. Yeah, that’s next week. Not cool.




Last fall I was diligent about taking an hour or two on Sunday to plan the week. I left a hard copy of the schedule in the kitchen for all members of the fam to peruse. It worked great. By January, I’d gotten lazy. No more hard copies in the kitchen. One reason? I have to walk 15 to 16 steps up the staircase with my laptop and connect the printer via USB. I know! It takes all of 5 minutes and even that was too hard! Boy, that’s pretty ridiculous and lazy.

To circumvent the whole printer issue, I decided to try a different method this fall. I bought a super cheap planner from Dollar General (two bucks) with a weekly spread for me to write in the dates myself. Since I loathe disorder and piles on my counter, I also bought a super cheap letter holder (three bucks) to pop the planner into. Boom! Feeling better already…

Once a week (Sunday works well for me), I jot down all the practices, appointments, etc… for the week, and at the bottom of each day, I add the dinner menu. Once I have a meal plan, I create a grocery list. Easy!

Here’s another little nugget I tried. I decided to get the Evernote App for my phone since it syncs to my computer and is really easy to use. Well, I created a Note for meal ideas. It took a few hours, but I brainstormed all the meals my family enjoys then listed them by Italian, Mexican, Sandwiches, Grilled, Seafood, Everyday, Chicken, Soups, Sides, Salads. I have almost 90 main dishes list and 35 sides. I *hope* this will make meal planning easier and more varied for us.

I also purchased a wireless printer out of necessity. When I upgraded to Windows 10, my perfectly good old printer ceased to be compatible. That’s life. The new printer will be arriving soon, and I’m sure it will make life easier.

What is your secret to organizing your life? I’d love to hear it!

Have a terrific weekend!



Jill Kemerer is a Publishers Weekly bestselling author of heartwarming, emotional, small-town romance novels often featuring cowboys. She hopes to encourage readers through her books the way so many books have encouraged her. Jill's essentials include coffee, caramels, a stack of books, her mini-doxie, and long walks outdoors. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two almost-grown children. For more information, visit her website,

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