10 Tips to Corral Beach Vacation Clutter by Mary Feliz

Kid and beaches are a classic part of summer. But we’ve all seen visitors who appear to have packed for a month-long safari and spend all their time lugging equipment between beach and car. Or those whose kids get sand in uncomfortable spots and make everyone miserable. A little pre-planning makes any trip more fun for everyone.


  1. To reduce housekeeping chores, set up a foot rinsing station outside your front door. Keep it simple. A plastic dishpan of water and a towel or soft brush will do the trick.


  1. Use mesh bags to transport sand toys. Shake to get rid of excess sand then rinse off in the ocean, with a house, or under a faucet at the end of your trip. Toss the whole bag in a plastic garbage bag for maximum sand control.


  1. To manage sand in the car, line passenger foot wells with old towels you can carefully lift and shake out when necessary. Keep a whisk broom handy for the driver’s area, where a towel could get dangerously tangled among feet and pedals.


  1. Cover your rear passage seats with a fitted sheet. As often as necessary, the sheet can be removed and shaken out or laundered.

  1. On vacation at the beach without sand toys? Check your rental kitchen for durable, unbreakable measuring cups or containers. Be sure to return them to the unit at the end of your stay.


  1. A rental with easy access to laundry facilities will make packing easier, leaving you room to pack layers adaptable to vacillating temperatures and conditions.


  1. Having trouble removing sand from skin? Sprinkle baby powder over the sandy area. The powder absorbs moisture making it easier (and less abrasive) to brush the sand away.


  1. Sunburn can ruin a vacation. Test sunscreens before the trip to make sure you’ve found one the kids will tolerate. Bring extra.


  1. Consider timing beach visits for early mornings or near sunset when beaches may be less crowded, sand is cooler, and sun exposure is less intense.


  1. Sand in the eyes? Bring extra water and keep a sand-free towel in a zip lock bag.


Mary Feliz writes the Maggie McDonald Series of cozy mysteries featuring a professional organizer turned amateur detective and her sidekick golden retriever in California’s San Francisco Bay Area. 

Cliff Hanger, the fifth book in the series, releases July 16 from Kensington Publishing. Address to Die For, the first title in the six-book series, was named a Best Book of 2017 by Kirkus Reviews. A resident of Northern California for decades, she now lives on Monterey Bay, enjoying the area’s myriad natural treasures. She attends organizing conferences in her character’s stead, but Maggie’s skills leave her in the dust.


When a hang-gliding stranger is found fatally injured in the cliffs above Monterey Bay, the investigation into his death becomes a cluttered mess. Professional organizer Maggie McDonald must sort the clues to catch a coastal killer before her family becomes a target . . .

Maggie has her work cut out for her helping Renée Alvarez organize her property management office. Though the condominium complex boasts a prime location on the shores of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, aging buildings and the high-maintenance tenants have Renée run ragged. But Maggie’s efforts are complicated when her sons attempt to rescue a badly injured man who crashed his ultra-light on the coastal cliffs.

Despite their efforts to save him, the man dies. Maggie’s family members become the prime suspects in a murder investigation and the target of a lawsuit. Her instincts say something’s out of place, but solving a murder won’t be easy. Maggie still needs to manage her business, the pushy press, and unwanted interest from criminal elements. Controlling chaos is her specialty, but with this killer’s crime wave, Maggie may be left hanging . . .