I've finally gotten a smooth "pool packing routine" down, so I thought I would share it. It used to take me for-ever to get us ready for the pool. Maybe it is just because the boys are older, but I prefer to think it's my new system that is saving us time and energy getting ready!
Here's what we've got:
- Beach Bag: I ordered one of those extra-large canvas totes from L.L. Bean last year and I looooove it. L-O-V-E, love it! It is my equivalent of Hermione's bottomless bag. I keep the bag right by the door, stocked with the following: beach towels, kick boards, swim vest, goggles, sunscreen, swim diapers, wipes, hand sanitizer, and tissues. Yes, ALL of that fits in the bag! I also have a pouch - just a freebie from the Lancome counter - that I use to store our phones, keys, pool passes, etc. so they don't get wet. (I do wish I had ordered the long-handle version of the tote, so that it fit more comfortably over my shoulder when it's full.)
- Toy Basket: A plastic basket from Target filled with little pool toys. The toys can dry out in the basket, so it just stays in the back of my car.
- Swim Floats & Pool Noodles: I usually keep these in the back of my car or sitting in the garage, ready to throw in the car.
- Waterproof pads to cover the boys' car seats on the drive home. I finally realized it is much easier to have them shower and change at home than at the pool.
- Pack lunch, if we'll be there during mealtime and want to eat picnic style. Sometimes we take the easy route and buy our meal from the snack bar. At the very least, I always throw a few easy snacks, like bananas or animal crackers, in our bag.
- Fill the water bottles.
- Dress the boys and put on sunscreen.
- Put my phone, etc., in my little pouch.
- Put the beach bag and floats in the car. Because the bag is always stocked, I don't have to run around trying to pack it before we go!
When we get home:
- Hang up wet towels and swim vest to dry. Once they are dry, they go right back in the beach bag!
- Put stuff from the pouch back in my purse.
That's it! I realize this isn't rocket science (or is it?!), but it took me a while to finally get a good system down and so I thought I'd pass it on. If you have a pool-packing tip, I'd love to hear it. I know we all appreciate anything that saves us time getting out of the house!
ps - I'm sure it goes without saying, but L.L. Bean isn't paying me to promote their tote. I wish!