6 Pool Bag Essentials


pool bagSummer is here! Who’s ready? We are!  

One of our favorite summer activities is heading to the pool. Since I just washed and stowed away all our winter gear, it only seems appropriate I pull out the swim bag and get it organized so it’s ready to go. 

When it’s time to go to the pool, I just like to grab the pool bag and dash. No need to waste precious minutes gathering up all the supplies when we all would rather be soaking up the sunshine. Not to mention, if it’s packed with all the essentials, there’s less of a chance I’ll forget something important like sunscreen or the pool pass!  

Family Pool Bag Essentials

pool bag

Find a Large Tote

Skip several small bags in favor of one large tote. For the past several years, I have used a large utility tote. It holds lots of towels plus all the accessories and is waterproof, so no worries if it gets wet.


We have two beach towels per person in our house. In the off-season, we store the beach towels in a linen closet in the basement guest bedroom. However, who wants to run down and grab towels every time they go to the pool? Not me. 

So, I grab a basket and store 1 family set of towels in the basket. I place the basket on our bench in the mudroom. Then, I place the other family set of towels directly in the beach bag. I hang the beach bag on my locker hooks. 

When we get home from the pool, we take out the dirty towels out and immediately reload the extra set of towels from the basket right into the bag. 

Waterproof Tote Full of Essentials

I generally don’t take my purse to the pool but I still need a safe, dry place for my keys and a few dollars. I grabbed a cute waterproof zippered pouch at the Target Dollar Spot last year and it works perfectly tucked into the pool bag. In addition to stowing my keys inside, I keep toiletries like a brush, hair ties, band-aids, non-perishable snacks, and sunscreen inside it too. When we get home from the pool, I make sure to restock it so it’s ready for next time.

Pool Toys

Don’t forget the goggles, dive rings, and toys. Store them in a small bag inside your pool tote to corral them easily. In addition to the usual toys, recycled and cleaned yogurt and sour cream type cups are great pool toys. If they get shared or lost, they can easily be replaced!

Waterproof Phone Pouch

Sometimes, you want to capture a photo or need to keep your phone with you but you don’t want it walking off or getting wet. Keep a waterproof phone pouch in your pool bag for those occasions.

Waterproof Picnic Blanket

I don’t know about your pool but often chairs can be a hot commodity. We like to pack a waterproof picnic blanket so you can spare your towels for wrapping around you during pool breaks and sit on the picnic blanket instead.organized summer bag

Keep everything in the pool bag and store it on a hook in the garage or by your back door. Then it’s easy to grab a water bottle and go!

When you get home, simply empty out the wet items and trash.  Then, immediately replace the towels and then store the tote where it belongs.  The pool bag is ready to work hard all summer long. You won’t waste time gathering up the supplies when it’s time to head to the pool and you will be less likely to forget those goggles or sunscreen! 

Do you have a dedicated pool bag?  What do you keep inside?  What other tips do you have for staying organized in the summer?

pool bag


  1. I agree this seems to be the best practice for our family too! It makes it easy to know the essentials are packed: towels, sunscreen, blanket, snacks, pool/beach toys, waterproof phone case, I also keep a couple plastic grocery bags for wet bathing suits. There’s no stressing about where the items are and we are ready to roll quickly!


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