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When you have kids, the battle between order and chaos at home can take place on many fronts. Ordering Disorder is about ways to fight domestic entropy with organizing tips, tricks, meal ideas and more.
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My kids have gone to camp for years. While I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world, packing kids for 3 weeks can be a challenge. This will be my first year packing 2 at the same time, so I really have to concentrate on what I’m doing so one doesn’t end up with 24 pairs of shorts and the other with none.
The challenge is to efficiently pack what they need and will use without losing your mind or breaking the bank by re-buying items because you can’t find them. Over the years, I developed a system
1. Designate items “camp stuff” and put it all in one place when camp is done. I’ve learned this the hard way, because somehow the camp stuff always ends up spread across the house and I can’t figure out where it is when it comes time to pack again and I end up buying more (see also: 4 single bed mattress pads).
2. Check the camp’s website or mailing materials for a suggested packing list. As a former camp head counselor, I know first hand that you’d be surprised how many people don’t look at it. It often contains valuable information that can save you time and space, and notes things you shouldn’t bring as well.
3. Create a master packing list - Like the reusable vacation list, make a reusable camp list based on the suggested packing list so you can remember the little useful odds and ends. Be sure to update it (both additions and deletions) right when camp is over while things are fresh in your memory.
4. Make sure your camper knows what they have packed - Even when kids are old enough to do most of the packing themselves, it never hurts to go over what’s in their trunk and what it’s for. Last year, one of my kids (who was plenty old enough to know better) assumed I’d only sent 1 pair of shoes for 3 weeks because he never looked in the other bag he had.
5. Pack socks and then pack some more - There are never enough socks, period. It’s also helpful if you can find distinctive socks and send all the same kind, it makes clean laundry sorting for the cabin much easier, and your camper may even bring some of them home!
Do you have anyone headed to camp this summer? What tips do you have?
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