Prepare the night before for a better morning

By David Burton

University of Missouri Extension

A home with school-aged children often experiences late night and last-minute requests from children for school snacks, field trip money and school needs that can sometimes constitute an emergency.

The late-night rush of activity is made worse in households where dual career and single parent families are struggling with the demands of home and work. But according to Renette Wardlow, field specialist in human development with University of Missouri Extension.

“To help with the problem of busy schedules, it is important to organize your roles and communicate with all involved. Planning to be organized and implementing organization is two very different things,” said Wardlow.

A few missed alarms, clothing that is nowhere in sight, homework that the dog ate, and everyone running around the house to get ready in the morning may be motivators to get more organized.

“Now might be a good time to get started,” said Wardlow.

Several things that we can do to be more organized may include starting preparation the night before. Wardlow says making lunches, finding clothing, making sure all backpacks have needed books and supplies are some of the activities done early will make mornings far less chaotic.

“Evenings may not be the most popular time to get organized for the next day but a few moments invested in doing so will help everyone to leave the house in a good mood the next day. Nagging, complaining and pleading are not good ways to begin any day,” said Wardlow.

Keep in mind that the maturity of a child will make a difference in the outcome of the organizational plan. Wardlow says it may take more time with very young children while older children can help to get things ready the night before they need them.

“Save your sanity by organizing your day. If at first, you don’t succeed, keep trying,” said Wardlow.

For more information, contact any of MU Extension’s human development specialists in southwest Missouri: Renette Wardlow in Greene County at 417-881-8909.