How to Keep Your Family-Size Tent Organized (Before You Drive Each Other Crazy)

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Whether you’re camping with your partner, your little ones, or moody teenagers, nothing kills a trip faster than arguments over space or where something is located. So why not keep your Elk Mountain canvas tent organized with these tips?

Prevent Sibling Fallout Ahead of Time by Establishing Boundaries

One of the best ways to not fight on a family trip is by preventing incidents that will trigger arguments beforehand.

And one thing that gets kids and teens riled up is the invasion of space— or even just the illusion of invaded space.

In your canvas tent, do you have designated areas where each occupant can keep their items? You could use tape to mark off certain sections, so that kids don’t start making their own “invisible boundaries.” Alternatively, you could use plastic bins as a way for each person to keep their things. There’s plenty of organization options out there to use, if you want to get creative.

Get Creative (And Practical) With Organizers

Hanging organizers are one way to keep all of your family’s items clean and organized. You could have one for keeping everyone’s toiletry items in one spot so that there’s no frantic search for a toothbrush at bedtime.

There can even be a central organizer where you keep things like utensils, first aid items, matches, snacks, etc. so that you can save yourself the hassle of having to keep track of where everything is located. There are plenty of affordable options online at Amazon or other retailers, but be sure to also check out the Dollar Store, where you can find even more economical options for organizing accoutrements.

Keep Important Things on a Gear Line

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This helpful hack can be purchased via Amazon, and allows your family to keep essential items— like keys, phones, lanterns— suspended in plain sight.

In addition to using this to keep important items from disappearing in sleeping bags, you could have the whole family attach their phones. Make it a competition to avoid using your phones during your family trip!

Keep Outdoor Apparel Out of the Way

Designate a spot where you will keep coats, scarves, and other outdoor accessories at the front of your tent, where they will be both easily accessible but still out of the way.

If you have a shoe basket at the very front of your tent, you can ensure your kids (or partner) won’t dirty the inside of your canvas tent by tracking in dirt or mud or leaves.

Think Carefully About What Needs to be in the Tent

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For sure, some items need to stay in your canvas tent: Clothes, bed linens, toiletry items. But, there are some items that can very safely and practically remain in your vehicle’s trunk.

Buy extra over-the-door or hanging organizers and deck out your trunk with those items you need on hand, but not quite as urgently as items you keep in your tent. It’s a great idea to keep bulky items, such as a cooler and extra water, in your trunk as well.

Organization Starts With Packing

Organization needs to be a consideration before you even start your trip: Packing efficiently is key to avoiding organizing struggles.

If little ones are involved, this means setting a limit on how many toys can be brought along. Setting standards, such as “You can pick four toys the same size or smaller than your Buzz Lightyear” gives your child some autonomy and responsibility for their decisions, without filling your trunk with a bunch of toys your child likely won’t have the time (or energy!) to play with during the trip.

For teens, this might come in the form of limiting them to one bag for their clothing, books, and toiletries.

Finally, consider yourself and perhaps even your partner: Are you making careful and informed decisions about what items you’re bringing along? Do you really need five books for a week-long trip, for example? Do you need to bring along full-size toiletry and cosmetic items, or is there a more efficient way to bring only what you need and will use?

Making packing an efficient and planned process for the whole family is one way to ensure an organized tent and a more harmonious camping trip for all involved.