More beach, less beach bag packing

Happy July! If I had to pick a favorite month, this would be it. Summer is in full effect, which is also my favorite season, and that means beach days any chance I can get!

Because simplicity is the name of the game over here at Sort and Sweet, I’m going to show you today how to pack a beach bag in just a few easy steps. If you’re schlepping your kiddies, we’ll need an extra step or two but the idea is that you spend less time packing and more time playing.

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If you ever get to know me personally, I could potentially make you scratch your head a bit. I’m definitely a less is more kinda chick but I also like to be prepared for everything. It’s a bit of a control issue tbh. So while I’ll be super organized when packing, I’ll also want to bring everything but the kitchen sink GOD FORBID x, y or z happens.

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A couple years ago, I showed up to my friend's house straight from being at the beach so I had my unnecessarily massive bag with me. I remember sitting on her deck, needing something in my bag and pulling out all of these smaller bags to get to it. She teased me for having all these bags, completely warranted, but I tried to explain why. It was a matching set from Mudpie (so obviously, adorable) and it came with three different sizes. The larger zippered bag had products (sunscreen, UV spray for my hair), the medium size had drink or food related tools (bottle opener, coozies), and the little guy held important things (money, my phone). So, see? You wish you could be so organized.

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Or not, because honestly, lugging that huge ass bag with all these little bags was kinda annoying. It was extra weight and I barely ever used half of what I was storing in there. This summer I decided to really make my life easier and whittle down. And whittle down h a r d. I found this swimsuit sack from Bed Bath and Beyond (that’s currently on sale for under $5!) and it’s been a game changer. Now I don’t use it for its intended purpose considering I haven’t changed my bathing suit on the actual beach since I was maybe 4 but it’s roomy enough to hold what I need plus waterproof in case I do need to throw something wet in there.

It has two thin front pockets which I usually store what I need to reach quickly, including my phone. I did also find a waterproof case in Homegoods that I’ll bring for extra protection. Inside the bag, I’ll keep sunscreen, a comb, some sort of hair product (travel size sea salt spray or detangler is more than enough), and then there’s room to throw in some extras if I want! Mini bottle of perfume, headphones, q tips (Idc they’re not good for you, water in the ears is the pits!).

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So what about your towel? That’s one thing that would be kinda hard to squeeze in this miracle bag. Enter..the backpack chair. Why anyone would ever not have a chair that doubles as a backpack is beyond me. Once you go backpack, you don’t go back. Trust.

Not only does this Tommy Bahama chair (also currently on sale at Bed Bath and Beyond!) hold a towel (also a book or magazine) in the top compartment, it has a small insulated bottom compartment that can hold at least 4 bottles of water or, you know, beer.

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Now if we’re having dranks, not just drinks, in comes this handy rolly cooler, another fun find at HomeGoods. It holds a 12 pack plus some AND has all these sneaky little pockets to hold your tools (i.e. cups, coozies, utensils, you name it). And get this : if you still are living in the dark ages with your non backpack chair, this cooler can actually double as a backpack. Not sure I’d want to have a packed, heavy cooler on my back but, options are always good ya know?

What if you have more than yourself to worry about? Like a bunch of mini yous in tow? This is where a larger bag is going to have to come into play and the swimsuit sack might actually be used the way it’s supposed to be if you’re changing them into dry clothes before heading home. The “like with like” rule should apply here when organizing your bag, just like it should for organizing everything else! For example, if you have diapers and wipes, try to keep those together and sand toys can go in a mesh drawstring bag to help minimize the amount of sand souvenirs you take with you (a tip from the same friend who teased me about all those bags and is a pro at toting her cuties to and from the beach on the reg). 

I hope this helped simplify things for you! Now get out that door and hit the beach so you can walk the tan walk aka channel your inner tan Stewie.