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.

Fail-Proof Summer Camp Packing Tips

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, stationary, bunk decor, and any activity specific gear like for horseback riding or tennis your kids might need. Overwhelmed already? Don’t worry, I’ve already created a FREE summer camp packing list that you can download here.

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. As an added bonus, there are programs like ebates (one of my favorite sites!) that can help you save even more money while you shop.

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. My favorite labels are from Mabel’s Labels and we order both the stickers and the iron on labels. As a treat to you all (because who doesn’t need labels?!)

Mabels Labels is offering you a 10% code off their labels when you use the code: RACHELORGANIZES.

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.

Tell me, what are your summer plans? How do you get your kids organized for camp? Comment below!

5 Favorite Things: June 7th - 13th

Maplewood - South Orange Book Fair

Friday, June 7th & Saturday, June 8th - 10 am - 5 pm

Readers, writers and book lovers of all ages are sure to find something of interest at this annual festival being held at The Woodland in Maplewood, Words Bookstore and other venues throughout the title towns. Meet authors of all genres, from children's books to young adult and adult, fiction and non-fiction, and browse through exhibitors featuring everything for book lovers.

Children's activities include games, music, food and face-painting. Some 80 authors are expected to participate.


Visit the event website for more information.

Matilda the Musical

Friday, June 7th - June 21st - various showtimes

Rhino Theatre, Pompton Lakes

Inspired by the twisted genius of Roald Dahl, the Tony Award-winning Roald Dahl's Matilda The Musical is the captivating masterpiece from the Royal Shakespeare Company that revels in the anarchy of childhood, the power of imagination and the inspiring story of a girl who dreams of a better life.

Ages 6+

Tickets $27 - $32

Visit the theatre website for tickets and information.

The Magic School Bus

Paper Mill Playhouse

Saturday, June 8th & Sunday, June 9th - 10 am

Based on the classic book series, this musical adaptation of The Magic School Bus makes a stop this weekend at Paper Mill Playhouse. 

When the class gets lost on the way to the planetarium, Ms. Frizzle saves the day by blasting into outer space for an epic interplanetary field trip! But when rivalries both old and new threaten to tear the students apart, our young heroes must learn to pull together or risk getting forever lost in the solar system.

Sunday is an autism-friendly performance.

Tickets $15

Ages 5+

Visit the theatre website for information and to order tickets.

East Hanover PBS Food Truck Festival & Fireworks

Saturday, June 8th - noon - 9 pm

Lurker Park

More trucks and less lines ! This year we are going to have 20 of the best foods trucks from the area. Come hungry because we will have the best trucks from NJ, PA and NYC ! After you eat stay for the FIREWORK SHOW !!!

- All proceeds to benefit the East Hanover Civic Association
- LIVE MUSIC - Slippery When Wet !!
- $5 to enter (kids 5 and under free)
- Free Parking
- Over 25 non-food vendors
- Bounce Houses and fun activities for the kids
- Dogs welcome (must be on leash at all times)

Visit the event page on facebook for more information.

Family Jam Montclair 2019

Saturday, June 8th & Sunday, June 9th- 12 pm - 5 pm

Montclair Community Pre-K

Save the Date!! Family Jam Montclair 2019, a day of Music, Art & Food to celebrate the MCPK & the Montclair Community. FREE EVENT

All Ages


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