Top 5 Tips on Organizing for Summer Camp

There are only a few more weeks of school and then summer is upon us.  The kids are thrilled that summer is almost here, but personally, it brings me another set of ‘to dos’ in the form of prepping for summer camp.  Whether your kids are going to one summer camp for all 9 weeks or they are switching camps week-by-week, these tips will help make your summer run a little smoother.  Here are my top 5 tips for organizing for summer camp:

1. Buy enough of each clothing type so that you don’t have to do laundry mid-week.  Most kids need swim suits, towels, shorts, socks, sneakers, water shoes, etc.  My recommendation is that you go find 10 towels, 10 bathing suits, shorts, socks, t-shirts, etc (not shoes, but at least 2 each of those).  Trying to do a full load or two of laundry on Wednesday just to ensure that you have enough clothes for Thursday and Friday just adds more stress to


Use this over-the-door organizer to keep things at your fingertips.

your week.  You can find cheap towels in a 5-6 pack at Sam’s Club or Costco.  Hit the consignment stores for bathing suits since they won’t last more than one season anyway.

2. Label Everything!  I can’t stress this one enough, unless you have unlimited funds to replace all the items of clothing that will get lost if you don’t.  Lovable Labels has great self stick labels that adhere to the tags of the clothes and stay on even through the wash.  They even have a camp pack that includes labels for water bottles, shoes and clothes.     Enter code TaraRLB1 to get 10% off your order.

3. Make lunches easy.  There are 9 weeks of summer, so if your kids are in camp 5 days per week that means you have 45 lunches to pack for the summer.

a. Pre-label all 45 bags (our camp requires disposable lunch bags) with your child’s name, bunk and other necessary information.  If you want to get fancy, use 4×4 shipping labels and just print a few sheets of them to affix to the front of the bag.

b. Pre-pack 5 bags for the week with all the non-perishable items: snack, fruit leathers, spoon/fork, napkin, water bottle, etc.  This way you will only have to add a sandwich or main course.

c. Don’t over pack. Our camp tells us that 50% of all packed lunches end up in the trash.  Only pack what you think your kids will reasonably eat while having a fun lunch with their friends.

4. Streamline your morning routine.  There are so many things that need doing in order to get out the door in the morning, so make your life as easy as possible.  Hair needs brushing, ponytails put in, sunscreen on, bug spray, back packs packed, etc.  Keep all the items you need to get this done in a bin in your kitchen or mudroom or get an over-the-door hanger with pockets to keep everything at your finger tips.

5. Prepare for summer first aid.  No matter how great the camps are at supervising our little ones, there will always be sunburn, bug bites, bee stings, cuts, scrapes, water in the ear, red eyes from chlorine in the pools and any number of minor first aid situations.  Make sure you have a good stock of all the necessary cures on hand.  Whether you like to use aloe, Calendula, peroxide or cortaid creme for whatever ails your little people, stock up now before the need arises.

Summer is a time for the kids to step away from the books and enjoy all that summer has to offer, just make sure that you are ready to handle the the changes before they hit.  By getting organized for summer camp, you can ensure that both you and your kids have a fun-filled and stress free summer!

If you liked today’s post, you’re welcome to use it in your own newsletter or blog as long as you include the following blurb: Certified Professional Organizer and Life Management Expert, Tara Donohue Rudo, helps working moms and families focus on what is important. Get her FREE weekly tips and advice at


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