It's time for summer camps again... and you, the parents, will be packing for a week! I have been astonished how much time it takes to gather the supplies, label everything, and pack it up as instructed (in the right trunk that is the right size they specify!). My kids did not go this year, but previously they have gone to two-week camps that required a lot of stuff. Here are my tips for organized camp packing:
- Set up a staging area for putting this all together. For us, it was the dining room. Be prepared to feel like it's out-of-sorts for a while until they leave. You need room for footlocker trunks, an ironing board, and a flat surface like a table to sort things into piles easily.
- Camps require everything to be labeled, so buy iron-on labels. Here is a resource I have used successfully: http://www.irononmdlabels.com/ They have rounded corners and the product works very well. (just try pulling those things off later-- whew!)
- Label dark items with metallic Sharpie® markers. Things like navy blue footlocker trunks and black shower sandals can be hard to label, and the silver metallic writing shows up great.
- Use color-coding for more than one kid. We had one color for the towels and sheets and blankets for each of our sons.
- Consider buying the linens you need. It was worth it to me to buy new (cheap!) towels and sheets, one color for each kid, because those would be the "camp towels" year after year, and we could tell them apart from our normal household linens quickly and easily. Your child will also be able to identify his/her stuff very easily at a glance in a crowded cabin. After camp was over, they were then already labeled for next year, and we just kept them in the trunks and they were ready to go. We bought two extra towels and washcloths than they needed, since it was likely they would get lost from year to year (we were right about that).
- Use Rub-A-Dub laundry markers for labeling clothing if you don't have the iron-on labels. I love these and use them around the house all the time.
Get those kiddos off to camp and then take advantage of some peace and quiet! Enjoy!