Thursday, August 11, 2011

64 An Organized Day of Water Play! And a Freebie!

Better late than never.  This post that is.  We LOVE LOVE LOVE the beach.  And have already been a beach bum family oodles of times this year.  And yes, I will be posting about getting organized for school before you know it, but it had never dawned on me up until now, to whip up a quickie post on organizing for a day of sun, sand and sea!


So how does a family of five pack up for a day away playing on the beach?  It's simple really, I refuse to lug endless bags and wagons and bins and coolers.  Absolutely won't do it.  Everything we bring must fit in either our beach bag or beach basket:
 


I have a list of beach essentials so I don't forget anything when we pop out the door.  What's on the list?  Glad you asked!!

{click here to download your free copy!}

It's great to keep a copy of the checklist, right with the beach bag itself.  You know, just in case...

First off, I totally adore our beach bag.  I found it early this year at Target and it's by far the biggest and best beach tote I have found up to this point!


It fits our beach towels, small first aid kit, face wipes, brush and hair ties, Ziploc bags, snacks, sunscreen, goggles and camera!

First aid kit?  It's not really anything crazy.  I just threw together some essentials that I popped into an old face wipe container, just in case...


Band-aids, Neosporin, cotton pads, hand sanitizer spray, sun screen stick and lip balm!

The large plastic basket is the perfect beach carry all, since if it gets sandy, it's easy to clean up!


Instead of bringing a huge over sized blanket, I just picked up a tablecloth on clearance, again from Target, that is perfect for picnicking!

And you can't forget about the tunes!


And sand toys!  We actually keep these separate from their every day sandbox toys.  These are always packed up and ready to go!


Sometimes if we are going to be gone for long periods of time, we will pack up a small cooler with extra beverages and even snacks/food, however, if it's just a quick trip, the basket holds a pre-filled water bottle for each family member:


All set!


Time to play!






When we head back home, all I have to do is toss the life jackets in a bin in the garage, and the rest of the goodies go straight to the laundry room, where they will wait for our next trip!

I keep most of our "day at the beach" items, including the kiddos swimsuits, sunscreen, my mini first aid kit, beach toys and the beach bag itself, right in this flexi tub:


Which I pop right on top of our laundry room linen cabinet.  The beach towels get tossed right into the washer, then straight to the shelf until our next day of water play!


We used to keep all of our beach supplies in our garage, however, I like the idea of keeping them clean and dust free, so now they live happily in the laundry room. 

So who thinks I am totally nuts?  Am I the only one out there that actually organizes their beach belongings?  I really love a quick grab and go method whenever possible, not to mention, this system works great for a trip to the pool or even playing with water in the backyard.  So I haven't completely gone overboard...

What other essentials are a must for a happy day of water play with your clan?  Any other favorite ways to spend the hot days of summer?


64 comments:

  1. My god girl, you think of everything! You make it seem so simple to just have everything right there. I need to do this. It would be so much easier on me when I am trying to get out of the house with my little ones! Oh, and I love the idea of the plastic tote for the sand toys, etc. Genius!

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  2. I used to have a grab bag... but now i'm upping the beach gear organization even more! Love the bucket idea!

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  3. I second Colleen in the think of everything arena. After seeing your beach towels all lined up nicely for each family member, it just dawned on me that I don't need all the beach towels I have taking up space all over our linen closets. I only need one per family member and they can be separate and apart from bath towels. *smacking self on forehead* This in itself will free me of the crowded linen closet nightmare I have been dealing with since buying beach towels on clearance 8 years ago.

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  4. You're not nuts at all! We don't even go to the beach that often but we have a similar bag packed for when we hit the pool. The only addition I have is bug spray - great to have with you, especially for those times when you end up staying out later than expected. Love your checklist!

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  5. Jen, you are a girl after my heart!!!! I love organization, I have 5 kids and if you don't have a plan of action, things can get quite chaotic quickly. Sometimes by the time we would get to our destination I would be so stressed out just from the preparation to go!

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  6. This is a wonderful post! I love the idea of having everything together and ready to go for fun. Getting prepared for a day out can be exhausting, this makes it a no-brainer! I'm off to make a list of essentials. Thank you, Jen!

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  7. Great ideas! I remember when I was little my parents lugging tons of stuff for the 4 kids every time we went to the beach...I don't think it was very relaxing for them!

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  8. Is that an Ikea shelf/cupboard set in that last picture? I love it!

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  9. This great Jen..love it and cannot wait for your school organization list ..hope it is soon . My kids start back in a week.Where did you get your water bottles they look too cute!

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  10. @AGohl, Yeppers! It's all pieces from the Ikea Effectiv line! We love it also! :)

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  11. Where we live we have a community pool so I keep my "pool bag" packed and ready to go in the hall closet. Your check list is a nice add to my bag! Love your blog.

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  12. Another great tip is to take a small bottle of baby powder. When you are leaving just sprinkle some on the kids and all that sand rubs right off, so that you aren't taking the sand home!!! It would be great to add baby powder to the checklist!

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  13. Just a thought, but ocean beach goers might want to include a jar of meat tenderizer in their first aid kit. It can be applied to jellyfish stings to take out the sting. I'm from FL and we never went to the beach without it.

    Love the list! Thanks so much for sharing how you organize your beach supplies. :)

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  14. We don't live near the beach so no day trips for us there but I do keep a snack bag packed in our pantry so I can just grab it and go and grab water bottles or pouch drinks straight from the fridge before we leave, and I keep an emergency bag in the van that holds first aid, sunblock, extra clothes, wipes, diapers. If the kids want toys to take along I limit them to 1 bag. I can get out the door with all 3 kids and maybe 2 bags at the most and only make 1 trip to the van. I love having the emergency bag kept in the van because I don't have to pack a diaper bag for 2 smaller kids just to run to the grocery store. It's enough to keep up with 3 kids while grocery shopping and not have to deal with separate bags. If we need to make a run to the van it's much easier to park the grocery cart at customer service and do what needs to be done in the van and then return to the task at hand!

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  15. Hi Jen! I love how you've set everything up so that it has a home and makes it back there when not in use. I'm trying very hard to get my house in order and your site provides quite a bit of insight, a-ha's and forehead-slapping! I love your site and your ideas and totally dig your "check lists".

    I was trying to click the link for this list and was told I need you to "share" with me (username there is "dragonwillow").

    Thank you!

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  16. Love it! Love it! Love it! It seems we are always scrambling around spending way too much time getting out of the house when we want to get out on our boat. Thank you for this great idea..... I have a small beach bag that's falling apart so this gives me the perfect idea for it's replacement too!

    Monica

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  17. Perfect timing! We are just about to take our toddler for his first trip to the beach and this makes everything seem a lot less stressful - thanks!

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  18. I love the idea! My hubby and I are in the process of building a new house right outside the twin cities and I bookmark so many of our ideas! Ha - my dream would be to have you come and organize my house when we move in! I love each and every idea you have. I consider myself orgainized but it's never as beautiful as yours!
    So jealous... ;-)

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  19. I love this! We can't go swimming often enough this summer to make this worth it for us right now. However, what i can still take away from it is to think through what I do regularly and pack in prep for that.

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  20. What brand are your water bottles? Love them!!

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  21. We don't have beach nearby but we do a lot of swim lessons and water parks. I have a big Lands End tote above our washer that holds the goggles, divers and the towels. Once the towels are clean, they go right back into the bag. The sunblock doesn't live in there though because we use it almost daily and I want to make sure we are always using the newest bottles. Great checklist you have provided. Thanks!

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  22. For anyone having trouble with the original download, I updated the link in the post. I am playing with a couple of different sites to find the best and easiest one to host my freebies.

    http://www.box.net/shared/8pp73skdqn1b8kxmdk54

    xoxo!
    Jen

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  23. P.S. The water bottles for the kiddos are from Old Navy, and the hubs and I splurged on some life factory glass water bottles and we couldn't be happier with them! http://www.amazon.com/Lifefactory-16-Ounce-Beverage-Bottle-Spring/dp/B004C3R09K

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  24. you're not crazy, you're organized. i do the same thing with different packaging(so maybe i'm crazy too). the only difference is my bag also has pool toys. of course i dont use mine as much anymore since my kids are 2/3's on their own. but there it sits, in the hall closet ready for a trip to the lake, river or the pool.
    thanks again for sharing!

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  25. Where is the radio from? Is it waterproof?

    We live on a beach and we do something similar. Grea post!

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  26. Nope you are not nuts at all. I have a big basket that I keep in the hallway with hooks above it, it houses all the kids clean towels, swim suits, and coverups. There is also a small bin within the basket for sunscreen, lotions etc. Beach and pool items don't even go in their rooms they go straight to the basket and their personalized beach bags get hung on the hooks above it so I can pack us up super quick.

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  27. Great post...combining your family and organizing. If this is the direction you are headed with your blog, I'll be happily reading right along.

    -Ariane

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  28. We live on the lake in Michigan; our beach bag hangs on a hook in the mudroom, right next to the dryer, all summer. I put the nice clean towels right in; the sand sculpting tools are already at the bottom; the small inner pocket has band-aids, sunscreen, and $20 in case of emergency (or french fry necessity). The kids each get to pick what they want to bring, they're old enough now to help haul it! And I toss a book & some snacks into a picnic basket, then we go. :) Great post! Love the pics of the kids - so cute! Happy summertime to you all. :)

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  29. Jen, I think you are my new bloggy BFF. This post is so timely! We live in AZ, so no beaches here- but, we just went to the water park last week and I felt like I was bringing the WORLD with me. Thanks for the tips :)

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  30. I swear, you are the most organized person I know!!!!!! I am printing out this list for several friends! Thanks!!!! Again, your kids are ADORABLE!!!!!!!! One question.....hair pieces???? Just wondering;):) XO, Pinky

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  31. Not crazy at ALL! I keep our pool/splash park gear packed up in similar fashion. I have a big beach bag tote that has towels, sunscreen, swim diapers, crackers, water bottles, and a little first aid kit. Next to that is basket that has her water toys and float suit. I keep one swimsuit for each of us in there at all times. This saves us a lot of time when we want to go have water time... if things weren't pre-packed, I would be frustrated trying to scrounge everything up at the last minute. Even if our towels aren't that wet, they get washed after every pool trip, and our bag gets repacked.

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  32. Looks great Jen. I use a very large zip top tote from LL Bean. I keep that stocked with our beach towels, sunscreen, bug spray etc and it is big enough to add our drinks to. Then I use one of the big blue IKEA plastic bags to carry our sand toys etc as that is so easy to just shake out and wipe down (but I love the large plastic basket idea!)

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  33. Hey, Jenn! Okay first of all this isn't really related, but I LOVE your hair blonde! I've noticed you changed it and am dying to know how you went from dark to light w/o damage and it looking so fabulous and natural... Any deets you can give me that will help me tell my stylist would be GREAT! It's the perfect color and no one ever gets how to do it how I want it, lol! ;)

    Also, thank you for this post! So much to love. And thank you for the printable... Yay! Gotta read through the comments to see where you got everything b/c, as usual, it's super cute!!! :-)

    Thanks! Stephanie :-)

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  34. I totally do this too! Checklist and all! So, it can't be nuts if I do it too. Ummm . . . Nevermind. That's not really reassuring.

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  35. The checklist is a great idea! I'm going to copy yours. Hair pieces? Why do you need that at the beach? Just looked funny! Even I would keep a to go bag for Swim stuff when my daughter and I went to Mommy and Me (we took turns hosting and in the summer we went to the homes with pools). Tuesday AM I'd have everything ready and off we go. Natalie was in a pool at least once a week those 5 year. Now she goes swimming without me. waaaaa!!! lol

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  36. Nope not crazy, love it. Very similar to what we do. We don't have a beach bag though we put everything into one bit tub, we do have separate beach toys too and a beach tent. Everything fits into the tub, so then the only other thing we need to pack is the cooler, and we'll put both food and drinks in there.

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  37. I recently found your blog and have devoured tons of your posts. You have great ideas and I am loving the fun style you have created on your printables. Thanks!

    One thing we also take to beach is a garbage bag.

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  38. I recently discovered your blog and am now going through it entry by entry (almost) as I try desperately to organize/declutter a house filled with three little girls!

    We spend our summer days at the lake or pool, so I definitely have my go-to jumbo LLBean tote for all of our towels, sunscreen, etc. Love the little radio - is it waterproof? And where did you find those flexible tubs? I could certainly put one of those to good use!

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  39. you are my idol! I want to implement absolutely every single idea you have into my own home. Keep them coming.

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  40. I love this list. Living in SO Cal we love the beach in the summer. This is a great list to have. The only other thing I think we would add to the list is BABY POWDER. It is awesome to put on hands, arms, legs, when you want to rub off the sand quick and easily.

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  41. LOVE this idea. I would like the do the same thing of camping. We love to camp, but sometimes the idea of loading up my three boys 3 year old, 8 month old, 40 year old! and all their gear keeps me from taking a spontaneous over nighter. I need to create easy checklists. Have you done that?

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  42. @Barbara - we LOVE to camp, just didn't get to at all this year :( I will most likely be creating a printable to keep us organized and help us get out the door quicker for next year... stay tuned!

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  43. I have a similar set-up for the beach but didn't have a check list...until now. Since getting hubby to help more with the 'pack up ready to go' parts of the day I've started making check lists (bub #2 almost here). Your blog has been awesome with implementing this, he's even had a look at a few post himself!
    The only other thing that is an essential in our beach kit is a couple of those individual saline eye wash pods; great to have on hand if someone gets sand in their eyes. White vinegar for jellyfish/ bluebottle stings is a great idea too (thanks The Scrappy Housewife), hadn't thought of that one!

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  44. I do something very similar but I add talcum powder to my list, its a godsend for getting sand off feet and legs.. and makes getting dressed/shoes back on so much easier.

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  45. Don't forget white vinegar for jelly fish stings!

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  46. Yeah, I agree with Deb. I never go to the beach without baby powder. It's the ultimate solution for the sand. Makes it all just disappear.

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  47. Was just going to comment about baby powder it's a must have

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    1. I was also going to say add baby powder to get the sand off - but it looks like many others have given the same advice. I'm way older than you, and my mama used it with us growing up on the beaches of California.

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  48. hi i just wanted to say, i found you blog not too long ago and im soooo addicted to it!! i cant stop reading every single posting! lol i want to do every single project here!! lol this beach idea is magical!! lolllll my beach items always wander about every room of the house trying to fit in somewhere and when its time to go to the beach, i cant find a single thing! so thanks soooo much !!!! :)
    Anais

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  49. I love this post as I actually love all of your posts. I am totally addicted to your blog. You are fabulous! This was the first year that I started keeping all my beach things in one place, and it is great!!! Of course I didn't have all the details in place as you do,but now I will, thanks to you!!!
    Keep the inspiration coming!
    Nora

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  50. You forgot Baby Powder! It gets sand out/off of anything. :)

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  51. No you are not the only one that organizes beach stuff! I have the towel bag packed similar to yours and a mesh bag for the beach toys/etc. During the summer, I keep them in the trunk of my car for those crazy days we run away to the beach at a moment's notice.

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  52. Where dis you get your plastic box at? Thanks.

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  53. I just did a quick search before heading out for Memorial Day 2013...so I am really behind on this...but you can use baby power to dust off the beach sand from tiny hands (and big hands too...and pets). Great pics.

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  54. You may want to include baby powder on the beach packing list - sprinkle the kids down with baby powder if they are covered in sand - the sand wipes right off - it's wonderful!

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  55. I have a 31 utility tote that I use as our pool/beach bag. The towels fir in it and there is still space for a small cooler. Pool toys are in the bottom. I attached a carabineer to the handle for my keys/pool pass. That is the only thing I don't like about my utility tote is no outside pocket. Just found you via pinterest! Love the blog!

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  56. where is the green basket from? love it. just organized my beach stuff and this will help give the finishing touch, thanks!

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    Replies
    1. It was a Target find a few years back. :)

      xo,
      Jen

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  57. Hi, just wondering what beaches are close by. I live in central wi and am always looking for nice beaches for the kids. Thanks Jane

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    1. There are a few man-made beaches in our area which are nice {try googling for those}. Otherwise, we head to a few private cabins or take a weekend to play on the Great Lakes. :)

      xo,
      Jen

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