In my book, summer is best enjoyed by doing. Whether it be the pool, the park, the zoo, the sprinkler in the backyard, or what have you, spending time outside and within the community screams summer to me.
Most days between 11-2pm you will not find us at home. Or if we are at home we are most likely outside. I know, worst sun hours ever, but what’s a mom to do when that’s prime awake time?
Plus Elizabeth yearns to be outside. She seriously is on the verge of throwing tantrums when we are inside. So out we go. I remember when I nannied having to force the boys outside on some days…not so with this one. She’s forcing me outside.
And so I learned that in order to go out and not be frantic, rushing all around trying to remember everything, I came up with a plan. A way for mom’s to enjoy the summer. Because I know sometimes that getting out of the house seems like more work than its worth some days.
I learned while nannying that being prepared is a great way to set yourself up for success and ultimately means more summer enjoyment all around. So here’s how I’ve tried to set myself up for success…so far it’s working because we’re getting out and momma is not stressed about a thing. I created two main stations that for the most part remain in our car. The “pool” bag (basically my summer diaper bag) and the “car” tote.
This bag resides on my passenger seat and gets last minute things thrown in like my wallet, snacks, and lunches. I tend to wear my swimsuit to the pool and just throw in undergarments for afterwards. For E, since she’s not potty trained, I change her at the pool.
Inside: Snack (cheerios/raisins), sunscreen, hat/sunglasses, onesies, swim diaper, E’s towel, my towel, E’s swimsuit, swim toy bag, diaper pouch w/ diapers,wipes, diaper cream and a pacifier, plastic baggies (for wet items), and a toiletry bag.
Toiletry bag contents: bug spray, hand sanitizer, kleenex, tylenol, face and hand wipes, clorox wipes, and alcohol wipes.
I tend to be in and out of this bag all throughout the day no matter our activities. Because it stays on my seat or the floor in front of the seat I normally just throw in our last minute items when I hop in. The diaper pouch has been my most loved item…on Sundays we just grab it out for nursery and if I’m running in somewhere I just toss it in the stroller or my purse. I also always keep a swimsuit in this bag. That way if we happen to be somewhere and a suit is needed we have one. I also keep cheerio/raisin snacks in here. Obviously if your kids were older, granola bars, etc. would work. But raisins and cheerios, while not so exciting, fill the need when hunger grows rampant and do not melt in the sun.
When I nannied we had a similar system at their house. But as soon as they got a bit older they were all in charge of their own sling bag. They were in charge of their undergarments for after the pool, goggles, swimsuit, and towel. It worked great and helped them learn to take some responsibility for their own things.
This bag has been a lifesaver this summer. In my absentmindedness we’ve been places and realized we have no diapers, we needed a blanket, or we forgot a sippy. Thank goodness this was in our trunk. My mom gave me the super cute 31 Tote as a fun gift and it has worked perfectly. This bag shares trunk space with our stroller, fits perfectly above the wheels and always stays in the car. Always.
Inside: Diapers, swim diapers, wipes, first aid kit, snacks (cheerios/raisins), bib, extra sippy cup, pool float, sand toys, and a blanket.
This is so handy for last minute trips and for remembering where things are. Going to the park and need a toy, great…sand toys in the trunk. Heading to someone’s pool and need a float…great in the trunk. Going to a concert in the park and need a blanket, check…got it. We’ve used everything in here this summer so far while we were out exploring the city and it worked perfectly. Especially the extra diapers/wipes and the blanket. Who knew how many times you might need a large blanket to spread out?
Keeping things organized and in the same place has really allowed us to enjoy the summer more fully with less stress. We get out more, we’re not trying to remember a hundred things at the last minute, and we’re covered when we forget.
Obviously the contents will look differently for everyone but it’s helped us so much this summer that I thought I ought to share. I’m sure I’m forgetting some important things we should have in our bags…
So tell me, how do you keep organized in the summer?