Organization has always been a bit elusive for me. I love to see a well organized space and truly see the value in it but as a busy mom of two, it is the reality that gets in the way.
Designate a Bag
We have designated tote bags for each activity that my girls participate in. Soccer has its own bag and all soccer related stuff, including extra water, bug spray, sun screen go in that bag. The cool thing is it is a system that seems to work for my family too. If they are looking for certain items I will here them say, “look in the _________ bag for it.” I have never been accused of being over organized, mind you, but I hate getting to an event without the proper uniform, snacks or equipment.
In this type of organizational system the key is to check the bag or box after each use. If you have to wash something, make sure it goes right back. If you run out of something, replace it in the bag immediately. Now this system will drive type A personalities a bit crazy I am sure, but for the rest of us mere organizational mortals, this system seems to work quite well!
Choose Your Bags Carefully
I have also found that the style of bag can play an important role in the success of this system. I use a sturdy backpack for our adventures at a local amusement park so it is easy to carry around all day. On the other hand for soccer or swim lessons I use a big open tote so my kids can easily access towels, balls, snacks and water bottles. For school, as I am a teacher, I designate one bag for my school stuff. This bag is a professional style computer bag that I am not embarrassed to be seen with in a work setting. You may have to play around with the style of bag to see what works for you, or for the given activity.
Good luck on your endeavor to quickly and easily becoming more organized without breaking the bank or losing your mind in the process.