This beach life hack will make your life easier, and all you need is a fitted sheet

Anyone who has ever tried to fold a fitted sheet knows what an enormous pain this is. Sure, there’s a YouTube video for it, but most of us can’t quite get it right. Don’t give up on the fitted sheet, though. In addition to being the bottom sheet on your bed, a fitted sheet makes for a pretty cool beach pen the next time you and the family head out to the shore or a lake, thanks to a clever life hack.

Just like YouTube videos, there are life hacks for just about everything. “Life hack” is a term coined by computer experts, but it’s come to be known as a simple or smart way to tackle an everyday issue. Many times, life hacks help increase productivity. In this case, using a fitted sheet at the beach can save you money and keep the sand from invading your cozy spot. It’s even easier than trying to fold the fitted sheet to put it away in the closet.

baby at the beach
Kristina Igumnova26/ Shutterstock

Fitted sheet beach life hack

Instead of dragging an extra blanket or using beach towels for the family to sit on, the next time you go to a beach, bring along an old fitted sheet from the closet. When placed correctly, the fitted sheet becomes a sweet spot for the family to enjoy when they’re not in the water. Along with the fitted sheet, you need four anchors. Coolers and beach bags typically work best because these objects are heavier than sandals or flip-flops. (And let’s be real: If you’re going to the beach with the whole family, you’re going to be bringing plenty of stuff.)

How to set it up

Follow these steps and you’ll be good to go:

  1. Place the fitted sheet on the sand upside down, stretched out as far as it will go.
  2. Place one anchor (cooler or full beach bag) into each corner.
  3. Make sure the fitted sheet is stretched out.
  4. Pull the corners up over the anchors to make four walls.

The fitted sheet will look upside down if you’ve done it correctly, as if it is just missing a mattress to plop in the middle. Now, you and the kiddos have a place to sit or lie down without as much sand blowing into your space.

Of course, nothing at the beach is sand-free, but using the fitted sheet trick instead of blankets or towels does provide added protection from blowing sand and sand that gets kicked up when people walk by. Add an umbrella, and you have a comfy spot for babies and toddlers to nap. Be forewarned: Kids might think this setup looks like a sandbox in the making. Just remind the kiddos to keep the sand outside of the cozy spot.

Other beach life hacks to take along

When you’re packing your fitted sheet for the ocean or lake, remember to take these beach life hacks along, too:

Baby powder

Baby powder has long been used by moms-in-the-know for getting sand off the kiddos before loading them into the car. How does it work? Baby powder helps dry up the wetness on the skin and just makes it easier to brush the sand off. So, once you leave the sand, allow the kid and adults to dry off. Then, sprinkle baby powder anywhere the sand was sticking. When you’re done, just brush it away with a towel or your hands, and the sand should wipe away as if it was never there. With issues surrounding talc-based baby powders, use cornstarch-based powders instead. They work, too.

Ziploc plastic bags

Brand-name or dollar-store Ziploc bags are a must for a trip to the beach. These plastic bags are an easy way to store and protect smartphones from getting wet or sandy. Use Ziploc bags to store other valuables like eyeglass cases, money, wallets, watches, and jewelry.

Boy making sandcastle at beach
David Trood/Getty Images

Hit the dollar store for sand toys

Kids go through beach toys like water. So, don’t spend a lot of money on them. Instead, head to a dollar store to stock up on beach essentials like pails, buckets, shovels, bubbles, and other toys for playing in the sand. These dollar-store beach toys hold up fairly well, and if they get lost or broken, it’s not a big deal because the playthings were inexpensive.

Kiddie pool

If you’re at the dollar store and there’s an inflatable or plastic kiddie pool, grab a couple for the summer if you have little ones. A kiddie pool at the beach is a great way to keep little ones busy and contained, so they don’t keep running off.

Diapers

Okay, if you have young kids, you are bringing diapers, but did you know a diaper can be an awesome place to stash the valuables while you’re off for a walk or swim? It’s true. What thief is going to think to open up a bag with a dirty diaper in it to find cash or credit cards? Before leaving your area, roll your valuables up in a clean diaper. Then, place it in one of those plastic bags you brought along to keep the electronics dry. You’ve got the perfect place to hide your wallet or cash.

Life hacks are clever ways to make everyday things a lot easier and cheaper. Beach life hacks make heading to the shore or a lake a little less stressful. When you’re hitting the beach this summer, try using the fitted sheet instead of a pricey beach blanket. It’s simple and makes a cozy spot for everyone to chill and enjoy the day.

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