When I was a child, our family spent many weekends traveling from the city to a family-shared country cottage by a lake. A few years later, my parents bought their own cottage and we began staying for the entire summer. Finally, we just moved there for good.
So you might guess we loved being by the lake and doing lots of water activities. There's one thing I remember though...mom was always looking for a towel or a suit or something while the rest of us sat in the sweltering car ready to go.
Today, I do not live by a lake but we have a pool which is the neighborhood entertainment during our summer months. Lots of kids...LOTS of wet towels and suits.
The first summer we had the pool, I spent a lot of time hanging up wet suits and even more time washing, drying, hanging, folding and running towels back and forth from the house to the pool. After a month of this I think I said something like "who's idea was this pool anyway?" (Certainly not mine! :)
Of course I LOVED the pool and all the fun our family was having in it. I just needed to get our swim and pool supplies ORGANIZED! And so I started organizing swim and beachwear too! And now I have more time by the pool...
I thought it through and decided to go the clear plastic tote route. Here's the steps I took. It's quick and easy and will save you lots of time whether you have a pool, go elsewhere to a pool, visit a lake, beach or any place else where you need swim and beachwear.
To start organizing swim and beachwear, just gather all things "water-fun" related in one place.
Look at everything once it is sorted and decide on (approximately) how many and what size totes will work for each category. You don't have to get clear totes... choose whatever you like. I like clear because it's easy for the kids to identify in a hurry and they are ALWAYS in a hurry!
Towels may need a large tote and possibly more than one. Be sure to remember to get a tote for wet towels and suits too and an extra for the "return-to-friends" a.k.a. Lost and Found.
Add labels and a marker to your list too if you do not have them.
Now that you have your list, head to the closest discount store and purchase the totes. You are almost done!
Back home? Great! Now, put each category into it's proper size tote and label. Stack them all in the laundry room, closet or someplace convenient.
Be sure to tell all family members about your nicely organized system. You can even designate your kids to be on "swim and beach wear duty" now that everything has a home.
This is my routine for keeping up with organizing swim and beachwear. Try it yourself, making adjustments as needed.
Hang wet towels out to dry (on clotheslines, etc.) as much as possible to avoid running the dryer non-stop.Rotate towels so you are not constantly washing them.
Always dry suits outside. Dryers will stretch and wear out most suits.
If you have a pool, keep the toys and gear in totes right near the pool. Make it a habit to put everything away and cover each night.
Fold dry towels the same way every time and teach your children how to as well. This will maximize space used in totes since towels tend to take up lots of space. (Now your children can help fold the bath towels too!)
Put a beach bag in the Towel Tote so you can "grab-and-go" when it's time to hit the beach.
Put a large Ziplock bag in your beach bag. It comes in handy for keeping cell phones and cameras sand-and-water-free.
Assign each family member one or two days per week for "swim and beachwear duty" and show them the routine you would like them to follow.
Organizing swim and beachwear will help extend your water sports enjoyment and give you more time to play as well!