If children and swimming are in your summer future, chances are you’re on the hunt for pool organization hacks that maximize the fun and minimize the trips to the lost and found (or the store). The mad rush out of doors and the bedraggled creep back in can make it hard to keep on top of sunscreen, goggles, towels, and swimsuits, which is why we scoured the internet for the tips that made the biggest splash.

Mind your drawers.

Toni at A Bowl Full of Lemons organizes her pool with a set of labeled drawers and canvas totes. While the drawers hold all pool supplies, the totes handle all the towels; she uses one for clean towels and one for dirty ones, making cleanup—and laundry—a breeze.

Keep it separated.

If you have to travel to the pool, the way back can be a soggy mess if you aren’t careful. Keep a separate bag exclusively for wet towels and suits or make sure to bring along some plastic bags to prevent your dry clothes and bag items (ack! your phone!) from getting soaked. Encourage your kids to shower off and change at the pool so you can gather all the laundry in one place and minimize the waiting time when they get home.

To each their own.

On the other hand, you could give each child a personalized swim bag big enough for a towel, a tube of sunscreen, their goggles, a change of clothes, and whatever else they may need. Make them responsible for all the times in the bag, so they learn to sense when something is missing. A change of clothes in a one-gallon storage bag is also a good idea; it keeps the dry clothes safe and secure while also providing a place for a wet swimsuit when the dry clothes get worn.

Hang them out to dry.

Having a dedicated place to line-dry towels and suits is a great place to extend the lifespan of your summer fabrics and also give your washer and dryer (and energy bill) a break. Towel bars and clotheslines work better than hooks as they allow a greater surface area to get to the fresh air and sunshine. That said, anything is better than leaving them in the bottom of the pool bag, so do what you have to do! (We love this idea below).

Create a base of operations.

Even a temporary storage cabinet or shelving unit can save a ton on stress, time, and energy while allowing you to keep tabs on how much sunscreen you have and how many towels are clean. Tucked away in a closet, in the garage, or right next to the back door, a summer “base of operations” keeps everything at the ready, just in time for the next adventure.

Want another way to cut down on summertime chaos? Line up a bi-weekly cleaning. You’d be surprised how affordable—and life-changing—a squeaky clean summer can be.

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