4 Ways to Pack a Perfectly Organized Beach Bag


Guest blog by Kacey Mya, the blogger behind The Drifter Collective

Getting the family to the beach is a mission in and of itself. You’ve packed the bags, filled the car and gotten everyone to your rental for the week. But that’s just the beginning.

Once you’re at the beach, you must make sure the bag you’ll carry with you has all the under-the-sun essentials you and your family will need throughout the day. As such, you have to pack it thoughtfully — not only do you want to make sure you have everything, but that you can easily locate what you need throughout the day.

So, start by laying out everything you think you might need in your beach bag. Then, pack it with our four best tips.

What Does Every Beach Bag Need?

You probably have an idea of what you want to bring to the beach with you already. But when it comes to must-haves, don’t forget the following.

  • Sunscreen: The American Academy of Dermatology suggests you choose a broad-spectrum variety that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Make sure you select a brand with a sun protection factor of at least 30. And, if you plan to jump into the sea, find a water-resistant formula.
  • Towels: Once again, these are an obvious must-have. Opt for a thicker terrycloth towel to soak up water and dry you off faster.
  • Protective accessories: Everyone’s beach look will be different. Whether you prefer to wear sunglasses, a sun hat, a coverup or all three, make sure you pack all the accessories you and your family need to stay comfortable under the sun.
  • First-aid kit: As a parent, you must go to the beach prepared. As such, any beach packing list should always include a first-aid kit in case of the unexpected. Some will include bug spray, too, depending on the environment.

Of course, every family’s list of essentials will differ. For instance, you might want to carry along beach furniture, such as chairs or umbrellas, if you’re spending all day by the shore.

How Do I Pack It?

Now that you know what needs to fit into your bag, here are some tips for ensuring it all fits.

1. Roll Towels and Clothes

Firstly, you don’t want to fold your towels into squares and throw them in the bag. If you do, you’ll quickly run out of space for everything else you need to fit. So, fold the towels in half once vertically to create a long rectangle. Then, roll them into cylinders you can place in a corner of your bag, leaving the rest of it open for other essential items. If you bring extra clothes to the beach, do the same with them to maximize space.

2. Place Bigger Must-Haves Next

Now that you have your towels and clothes in place, you have to smartly organize the rest of your bag to fit everything else. So, round up all your larger items now. Perhaps you’ve picked up one of the summer’s best beach reads, or you’ve stocked up on magazines to browse by the beach. Slide them into the bag now, along with any children’s toys that will take up a lot of square footage. Don’t forget that if your kids want to bring buckets, shovels, etc., the bucket itself can be a beach bag — let the kids carry their buckets filled with all their other toys. This tactic will give you more space to work with inside your bag, too.

3. Then, Durable, Smaller Items

You can probably already see the pockets of space where you can slide your small-but-essential items now. Tubes of sunscreen, goggles, lip balm, reusable water bottles and more can slip in just about anywhere. And you don’t have to worry about them getting jostled around or covered in sand, so put them wherever there’s room.

4. Protect Important Pieces from the Sand and Sun

Finally, you’ll probably have your cell phone and perhaps a camera with you on the beach, as well as some cash, credit cards, headphones, etc. Some of these items are easy to lose, so you don’t want to toss them into your beach bag with no plan. In a similar vein, too much sand or sun exposure can ruin your electronics.

So, protect the final items you place in the bag. At the very least, toss your wallet into a Ziploc bag to keep it dry and dirt-free. If you plan to spend lots of time at the beach this summer, you can invest in a waterproof phone case, although the plastic bag trick would work here, too. No matter how you protect your pieces, make sure you keep them in the shade so they don’t sustain any heat-related damage, either.

Have It All

With proper planning and packing tactics, you can easily pack your beach bag and ensure you have everything within reach. So, get started — write out your must-have checklist, fold everything wisely, then slip it all into place. With that, you’re ready to go, and you’ll have everything you need for a perfect day at the beach.

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4 Ways to Organize Your Recipes


1. Recipe Box

Is there anything more traditional than a recipe box? Store all of the recipes you’ve gathered from friends and family in one convenient place with a simple recipe box. Most recipe boxes are designed to store standard-sized 4×6 inch recipe cards or index cards. You can also use index-sized dividers to sort recipes into different categories to make them easier to find. Place a recipe box on the kitchen counter, in the pantry, or other easy-to-find location.

A recipe box is often a prized family heirloom, especially when it contains recipes written in your mother’s, grandmother’s or great grandmother’s hand.

Pictured: Bamboo Recipe Box and Rooster Recipe Card File Box

2. Recipe Binder

Are you looking for a fancier way to organize all your favorite recipes? Use a recipe binder to store all of your collected recipes! Some recipe binders are designed to hold index cards while others hold full-page recipes, giving you plenty of storage options. You can purchase matching recipe binders and matching recipe cards to give your kitchen a simple yet cohesive design.

Don’t want to spend a lot of money? No problem! With a three-ring binder, a package of page protectors, scotch tape, and a bit of imagination, you can create your own recipe binder! Insert full page recipes into the page protectors and then place them into the three-ring binder. You can glue or tape index cards to printer paper or card-stock to display smaller recipe cards.

Pictured: Recipe Binder and Recipe Index Cards

3. File Box

Do you have dozens upon dozens of printed recipes? Try a recipe box! Use manila folders and a standard file box to store and organize all of your printed recipes. You can easily pull the recipes out as needed and hang them on the fridge so you can refer to the recipe while you cook. File boxes aren’t just for organizing your finances anymore! This method of storing your favorite recipes gives you more space than standard recipe boxes and binders, and it allows you to easily grow your recipe collection.

4. Go Digital

With the internet at your fingertips you can find all sorts of new recipes to try, but you can also store your favorite recipes on the interweb to save on physical clutter. Websites such as BigOven, eChefs, and Mastercook Deluxe allow you to compile all your recipes into an online database.

You can also use software such as Microsoft Excel to create your own database right on the computer. This allows you to sort recipes by category, length of time to prepare, and so much more. You can periodically print out your favorite or most-used recipes and add them to your recipe binder as desired.


Place an index card inside a Ziploc bag or a printed recipe inside a page protector to keep it free of food stains while cooking or baking.

Subscribe to the Organize-It blog for more organization tips and tricks. Learn more at Organize-It.com


Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall…


Mirror, mirror, on the wall, whose house is the most stylish of them all? Mirrors create the illusion of depth and space to make any room feel larger than it really is. Adding mirrors to your home is also an affordable way to add glamour and style to any room of the home.

Mirrors come in all shapes and sizes to coordinate with any space while adding visual interest to your existing decor. From wall-mounted to free-standing mirrors, you can add a mirror to almost every room of the home. Read on for some great tips and tricks for decorating with mirrors!

“Life is like a mirror.

Smile at it and it smiles back at you.”

Peace Pilgrim


If there is one place in the home you can always count on to have a mirror, it’s the bathroom. A large mirror above the vanity is a must-have for getting ready in the morning. Choose a mirror with a frame for a more traditional look or one without to create a contemporary, modern appearance.

Do you have a double vanity? Consider purchasing two smaller mirrors and hang one above each sink to create a modern look. A huge mirror that spans both sinks provides a modern traditional appearance.


One of the best places to add a mirror is right above your dresser or makeup table. This placement creates a focal point in the room while offering simple convenience. Adding a full-length mirror to the bedroom or walk-in closet allows you to view an outfit in its entirety before leaving the home. The full-length design allows you to view your entire outfit – from the blouse to the shoes – to gauge the entire ensemble.

Child’s Room

Ah, parenting hacks. Where would we be without them? Add a mirror at your child’s eye level so they can study themselves in front of the mirror, which may help them be more conscious of their appearance before they leave home. Place a mirror on the wall near the baby’s changing table to keep your infant occupied while you change their diaper! This will give you a much needed break while you deal with the next biohazard that has appeared in your child’s nappy.

Beside the Front or Back Door

Have you ever left the house forgetting to brush your hair or missing the glob of toothpaste on your chin? Add a mirror next to your exterior door so you can check yourself over one last time before rushing out of the house. A small round or square mirror at eye-level is perfect for last minute glances.

Over a Fireplace

Add warmth to the main living room by placing a large mirror over the fireplace. Add the mirror right above the mantle to create a dramatic effect. You can then add candles, vases, and other decorative items to the mantle to add simple display – and the mirror will reflect the items for a stylish look. No mantle? Don’t worry. The mirror will reflect the other decorations in the room to add depth and color.

Over a Buffet

Add a large mirror above the buffet, sideboard, or server in the dining room to make the space seem larger. Add candles to the sideboard or your dining room table to create a romantic atmosphere. The mirror will reflect the array of food on the dining room table, creating a picturesque scene.

In a Hallway

Hallways and entryways are often the smallest spaces in your home. A
strategically-placed mirror makes the small space seem larger than it really is while adding style to an often overlooked space. Idea: place several small mirrors on the wall to create a visually interesting collage of mirrors.

Subscribe to the Organize-It blog for more organization tips and tricks. Learn more at Organize-It.com