Needs some quick, easy ways to plan your weekly menu?

This is a super easy organization tip that barely costs a thing, will take a little load off of mama and help you get the menu planned for the week.

Buy a dry erase board and put it on the refrigerator in the mom office or somewhere where all of the family members can see it and everyone can reach it. Make this the official grocery list. Only groceries may be written on this board from now on.

Or, if the board has more than one purpose, like a calendar, as well, be clear about exactly where the grocery list shall be on the board specifically. Perhaps, assign colored markers to make it more fun and everyone more compliant, but be sure to clarify that the grocery list is not a toy. Make sure that there is ample room.

Explain to your family that they can put whatever they want on it when they notice that y’all are low on an item, craving a certain dinner item or simply want to try something new.

This may actually take a little practice.  Everyone will need to jump on the idea that you will no longer be wasting psychic energy talking about what y’all need, but just writing it down and then moving on.  It will be important that even if you know you need turkey for the meatloaf and you’ll be the one to go buy it, that you too, write it on the list so everyone sees you adopting a new system, as well.

Many moms have a dry erase board, but have not fully committed to the “this is the official grocery list” mentality and this won’t work long term.  Soon, things get messy and other items that are not found at the grocery are soon being listed on it (Owen, my 4 year old, once wrote “caterpillars” on it), errands get put on it, and notes from family members, as well.

Or, the classic, “sometimes we use this and sometimes we don’t” mentality may ease in which can spark misunderstandings, disappointments and even arguments.  Make this something y’all never talk about, something you simply do as a family to keep things simple, reliable and where everyone feels some sense of responsibility.  On your shopping day, simply take a picture of it and walk out the door.  If someone else is helping out mom, take a picture of it and text it to dad or the sitter.  After the item is got, simply erase it.

It’s imperative that the little things at home are running without mom at every turn.  Take control of these small daily hassles that don’t need much maintenance with a new simple system, and you’re on your way to a much organized home situation.  I am a huge fan of stopping all communication about things that don’t need to be discussed and instead, implementing an easy system.

Surprisingly, there are a lot of these types of items and once addressed, can really lesson the load, empower the family and totally avoid miscommunication or resentment.  Imagine 10 or 20 of these life management tasks, like oh, say the “Honey Do List,” running smoother and easier once placed in a low maintenance, reliable and accountable system…nice, huh?

I have a workshop coming up that will tackle many, many more tips and tricks and apps and techs to get you super organized, ready and on top of it all for the new school year (including how to get your man to plow through that “Honey Do List” without nagging!).  You can sign up for the “Get That Mom Office in Order!” Workshop at

The Stress Therapist for Moms

Image courtesy of Ambro /