I mentioned in my July Organizing Checklist that one of the goals this month was to have "activity bags" ready and packed for summer sports and activities. And since my girls both take weekly swim lessons, I decided the swim bag would be first.
First and foremost is to have the bag in a place that is easily accessible. We hang ours on a hook inside our newly organized coat closet so that we can grab it on the go. I chose this particular bag from Old Navy a couple of years back for a few reasons. 1. it is made of mesh so it is light weight and allows wet suits and such to dry inside. 2. It has long handles which makes it easy to carry and open when needed--especially when having to handle kiddos at the same time. My old bag was so much heavier and would constantly fall off of my shoulder. This one works much better for us.
Want to know what I keep inside???
Well, I'll tell you. I have found a few specific things that have really worked for us.
(**Note this is for swim lessons at an indoor pool. As you will see in a minute we have a few more items we include for a family trip to the outdoor pool.)
First, and more obvious is towels. I always keep two towels inside. (I like having two towels for each of them (although not all in the bag) so that when one set is in the wash, the other is ready. I also keep a swimsuit coverup for each of them. They typically wear these over their suits on the way to the pool. Just nice to have them in the bag so that we know where they are.
My kids take showers after swimming so it is important for us to have body wash as well as shampoo & conditioner on hand. (Have you seen my little curly tops?) I keep travel sized bottles in a water-proof travel bag so that I can just grab it with us in the shower.
And because they change into their clothes after swimming, I found it to be helpful to have a separate little bag to hold them. I found this cute little plastic-y bag from The Dollar Tree and thought it would be perfect. (And it just so happened to have a mermaid on the front.:) After showers, we simply bring this little bag into the changing room to change clothes and then I put the wet suits and towels inside to take home and hang up. That way it it keeps everything else from getting soaked.
Oh and I can't forget a little mesh lingerie bag that we use for goggles and headbands. (They wear a knit headband as they swim). Again, the mesh allows things to dry with ease. And then my girls can see inside to find what belongs to them pretty easily too. (That sometimes just makes things easier when dealing with little ones that can get a bit possessive. Just sayin')
All of this fits inside our bag with plenty of room to spare. And we're ready for swim lessons. The only thing I really have to add before we go is their change of clothes. Everything else is already inside.
I also keep all of our extra summer necessities at the bottom of the coat closet for when we are going on a family trip to the pool.
Things like extra towels, hats, coverups, as well as sunscreen and an insulated snack bag.
Keeping everything together in the same closet keeps us from running around like little headless chickens--whether it is for our weekly routine or a spontaneous decision to go for a dip at the neighborhood pool. And I'm all about alleviating as much stress as possible.
I'd love to hear what you keep in your pool bag.
Anything you couldn't live without???