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Challenge: Get organized!

How to Get Your Kids Organized for Summer Camp

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My girls are heading back to their favorite sleepaway camp again this summer and they could not be more excited! Their time at camp is full of adventures and new experiences which they will remember forever. My husband and I are of course already missing them and I don’t know if we will make it through the summer with them gone (it will be so quiet around here) so we have already come up with an organized plan for letter writing to keep us busy! And I am throwing my energy in the next few weeks into summer camp packing lists!

With any sleepaway camp, there is a lot to prepare and get ready but luckily as a professional organizer (and veteran camp mom!), I know how to get my kids organized and ready for a fun-filled camp experience! This year we have already started packing (and are almost done) and my girls pitched in more than ever. Involving them in the experience really took a lot of the burden off of me and made it a fun experience for us all to be involved in.


1. Create a List. Write down everything (I mean everything!) that you know your kids will need for camp by category and quantity. Categories include, clothing, sunscreen, bug spray, toiletries, bedding, stationery, bunk decor, and any activity specific gear like for horseback riding or tennis your kids might need.

2. Check Inventory. To prevent purchasing items you already have, check your home and then cross those items off your list. This may seem like a small step but trust me, it will save you so much time and money. We just found string lights from last summer and I felt like I won the lottery!

3. Purchase. The great thing about this day and age is that online shopping (hello Amazon!) makes purchasing just about anything easy. This is much more efficient than driving around to multiple stores to pick everything up saving you countless hours.

4. Label. Before everything gets packed, remember to label! I could do an entire blog just on labeling (and I might) as labeling is a key step with getting kids organized for sleepaway camp. Labeling also gives you a fighting chance of getting things back at the end of the summer! Labeling is a great way to get your kids involved in the summer camp packing process too, my girls love picking out and putting the labels on all their camp supplies.

5. Organized and Pack! When you go to pack, it is easiest to do it by grouping everything by category like bedding, clothes, bathing suits, toiletries etc. This way, you can check off your list of must haves very easily. I then label ziploc bags (no need to send the packing cubes off to camp to never return!) to help keep clothing, toiletries and activity specific items separate (and contained!). It also makes unpacking and packing up later in the summer a breeze because like items are together.

Although I miss my girls over the summer, when I think back to when I went to camp, I remember the days of excitement leading up to leaving, days spent outside with my closest friends, and gaining more independence. Those years were truly special and helped to shape who I am today and I am so grateful I am able to give my girls the very same experience.

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