Thursday, June 30, 2011

our summer go-bags

Last year, you may remember me writing about the restaurant bag I keep packed for our occasional trips out to eat. It's really been useful in getting us out of the house quickly, especially since I hate packing in a rush. Let me rephrase that: I hate packing. Ask Mark, he'll tell you.
While reading Getting Organized for an Intentional Summer a couple weeks ago, Mandi suggested keeping a go-bag to help get you out of the house for summer activities in no time. What a great idea! Other than keeping the diaper bag stocked, I don't actually have these bags completely packed + ready to go. Instead, I made a list for the three general places we could go on a whim. Like tonight, while we were eating dinner, we were invited to go to the park + splash pad with some friends. After cleaning up the kitchen, we got Morgan and Parker in their swimsuits, packed a couple things and left. It was very stress-free and the kids loved the impromptu visit to one of their favorite summer hangouts. These are my lists :

backyard / park / zoo :
my market basket
sippy cups / juice boxes
wet wipes

picnics :
everything from the backyard / park / zoo list, plus :
beach / picnic blanket
mini cooler tote
portable high chair for Parker

splash pad / beach :
everything from the backyard / park / zoo list, plus :
beach / picnic blanket
beach towels
swim vests (beach only)
bug repellant
extra dry clothes
extra shoes
swim diapers
cooler for food + snacks
winged shelter (we actually have the Vista Wing, which is no longer available - this one I linked is very similar - it is perfect for getting out of the sun if we are in a place that doesn't have much shade.)

Right now, I taped the list to the back of our mudroom door that goes out to the garage. The counter in the mudroom is almost always being used to unpack or repack bags and here I can glance at it to make sure I'm not forgetting anything (which still happens sometimes!).

For me, having a list and a system make even the shortest, simplest outing more enjoyable. And that's what I want this summer to be all about.