For some of us ladies, being organized is second nature. One of us for example is never anything short of prepared. What ever the event, or outing she is prepared like a girl scout! Another one loves the feeling of organization and everything in order, except (with her self diagnosed adult ADD ) it takes a lot of effort and discipline to stay with it, so short cuts are always a win! When it comes to the Summer, packing for the beach, pool or lake can be a chore for even the most organized packer. Especially when you add kids and all the extra things they need into the mix. How many times do you have a bag just of towels and another of dry clothes in addition to toys, chairs and a cooler? We are bringing you our easy Summer bag packing tips, so you can tote all your Summer essentials more streamlined and taking up far less space. Which leads to us Moms feeling less like a Sherpa and naturally less stressed.
Erica’s bio does not lie. One of the best things she has brought to the lives of those around her (aside from her sparkling personality and wit) is that she got us all hooked on using pouches for everything. Changing handbags has never been so easy and no more digging around looking for lip balm, coupons, a safety pin or a snack for the kids. Everything has its own pouch and transferring them from bag to bag is a breeze. This same practice is easily carried over to Summer totes. Pouches can be found everywhere from the dollar spot at Target, your local dollar store, Marshalls/TJ Maxx or even use Ziploc bags. You don’t need to spend a lot on pouches, but you do want to have a few. Keeping products grouped together eliminates a mess of goopy sunscreens and soggy bandaids from ending up on the bottom of your bag or tote.
First Aid Pouch: We like to be prepared with items like Antiseptic Spray and Band-Aids for boo-boos, Anti-itch cream for bug bites, Benadryl for any allergic reactions (kids or adults!) in a small pouch like this cute one in “Pleased As Punch” from Target.
Sunscreen Pouch: Separating the kids Sunscreen from the adults can make things so much easier, especially if they are old enough to apply themselves. Designating a kid pouch means Mom’s pricey face sunscreen is less likely to end up accidentally squeezed out in one use. We love these Lotion Bags by Vera Bradley. Don’t forget to add non-talc baby powder to your line up. Its not just great for getting rid of sand on babies bottoms, it also works wonders on arms and legs on bigger kids too! Which means less sand in your car to vacuum out!! We also keep a nourishing and silky leave-in conditioner on hand to slather on long hair. It makes untangling those knots so much easier when you get home, which equals less tears (for everyone). A smaller pouch can hold your skincare products, as well as “personal items” you don’t need strewn across the beach by your toddler, or used as a submarine torpedo by your 9year old.
Dryclothes Pouch: Remember earlier, when we asked how many times you have packed extra clothes and it usually takes an entirely separate bag? Try cutting down on all that bulk by using plastic pouches to hold an outfit for everyone in the family. Sound a little “too uber organized”. Well, think of it this way, its almost like they are vacuum sealed to stay dry and they take up far less space than loose clothes! Plus if your kids are anything like ours, if it wasn’t for the pouches, clothes end up getting pulled out and rummaged through while everyone is looking for their own things. The pouch doubles as a wet swimsuit holder, so no soggy suits weighing down your bag. We found amazing ones in the Target Spot earlier this season, but you can also use Ziploc bags and label everyone’s name with a marker.
Cooler & Snack Pouches: When packing your cooler don’t forget items like plastic forks/knives/spoons even salt & pepper packs. Next time you get extra supplies with a take out order don’t throw them away put them in a ziploc in your cooler so you are never unprepared. It can be a long trek down the beach to a snack-shack for a fork when you packed your own salad. Keep a bottle opener and extra plastic cups on hand as well. You never know when an impromptu happy hour might strike! Snacks are a parents blessing and a curse in the Summer. While they can keep active and busy (and growing!) kids from getting cranky and hangry, those same kids are often found digging through the cooler whining and looking for something to eat but refusing all your suggestions. Make things simple, give each child a good size snack pouch (or Ziploc bag!) with their name on it. Before you head out for the day have them pick out a few snacks to last throughout the day. Do this after breakfast when they aren’t choosing on an empty belly. Select snacks you both agree on so there is (hopefully!) less drama and meltdowns later. Keep the bags in the cooler where they can easily find them when you permit them a snack. Don’t forget to pack a few for yourself. We are huge fans of NuGo Organic Bars, especially the Double Dark Chocolate Bar and super addictive Skinny Pop.
Bags, Totes, and Baskets (oh my!): Now that you have all your pouches packed up and ready to go, its time to pack them in. Pretty surprising how all the above mentioned items seem like a lot less when they are all separated and condensed. Depending on how old your children are you can hand them a towel and their clothing pouch and have them back their own cinch back pack For the adults, pick a tote bag that fits your needs. It should be spacious enough to fit the above mentioned pouches into, as well as some extras, such as a couple of towels, and any fun extras that you may want to throw in. We love this tote from Vera Bradley as it is spacious with extra pockets and very comfortable to carry. One of our most favorites for the beach is this mesh tote from the Saltwater Canvas which is super roomy and a breeze to clean up at the end of your sandy day.
We hope that you try some of these packing tips and would love for you to share your pics with us on Instagram. Have a very happy summer, full of pouches, sun and fun!
With Organized & Sunny Regards,
Monica and Erica
ps…don’t hesitate to ask about any other items you may have seen featured on our Better CT segment. We will get back to you!