NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The countdown to summer camp is on.
Right now kids are getting ready for vacation and some will be heading to sleep-away camp for as long as eight weeks.
For parents, that's a planning nightmare, but CBS 2's Cindy Hsu recently found out how to take some of the pain out of packing.
Most kids love camp, but packing can be tough on parents. Dr. Jodi Gold is sending her son, Jackson, to sleep-away camp in a few weeks.
"It's just you don't want to miss anything. It's more the anxiety -- should I send the Yo-Yo? Should I send the playing cards?" Gold said.
Meredith Glenn has twins, so said she has twice the packing.
"My house has definitely been over-taken by camp," Glenn said.
Barbara Reich, a professional organizer, said stick to the packing list.
"Get the least expensive stuff possible because you're not sure what kind of shape it's going to come home in," Reich said.
In fact, a lot of it will end up in the trash after camp, so if you can pack old, ratty things, go for it. Also, don't forget to pack a caddy to carry your child's toiletries. However, Reich told Hsu not to go crazy loading it up.
"A lot of parents I see, they want to send Bacitracin and Neosporin. There's a fully stocked infirmary at camp," Reich said.
Make sure you label everything with your child's name. You can use a black Sharpie or a real time saver is to go with name stickers you can order on-line, Reich said.
Reich said she's also a big fan of packing clothes in plastic zip-up bags.
"When they can stick it right in the cubby and it's a way for them to stay neat and organized at camp," she said.
Always pack the big with the heavy things at the bottom of the trunk, so nothing gets crushed, Reich said, and use every bit of space.
Finally, when camp is over and everything comes back home, store your camp gear in a special place separate from everything else, so when you pack next year it will be a lot easier, Reich advised.
Here's another tip: throw some fabric softener sheets in between the clothes and linens when you're packing -- to send along a little smell of home.
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