What season is it? No, not winter. It’s Girl Scout Cookie season! And along with that comes the challenge of how to organize Girl Scout cookies.

How to Organize Girl Scout cookie sales for cookie moms and girl scouts

If you’re like me, you volunteered to be Cookie Mom, and now you entered the initial orders, you get to pick up the cookies. You suddenly realized that this can be a little daunting. Wait, forget the selling, figuring out how to organize Girl Scout cookies is the real challenge! On the plus side, the organization doesn’t have to be that complicated. Getting yourself prepped before the cookies come and ensuring you have adequate space makes the process much easier.

I picked up the cookies from my daughter’s troop today – all 1,260 boxes – this morning and within an hour and a half, I had them back to my house and sorted into boxes sold by girl, donated boxes that we drop at the local food pantry, and boxes we have reserved for our cookie booths. The 150 boxes my daughter sold? Those she sorts when she gets home from school (because this is HER project, not mine), but the same philosophy holds when you need to figure out how to organize Girl Scout cookies for the troop or for your daughter.

Cookie Moms: How To Organize Girl Scout Cookies

Before you get your cookies:

Updated for 2017 cookies: I created a how to organize Girl Scout Cookies free printable for cookie moms years ago that works beautifully whether you’re the only one sorting the cookies as they come into your home or whether you have someone helping you. Print this out and fill out the sales for each girl as your first step. Cut the full sheet into the squares for each girl and write in each girl’s name and the total cookies sold from your online system. Do this before you have any cookies in your possession. Download this version for Little Brownie Bakers cookies, and download this version for ABC Bakers cookies.

Girl Scout cookie order organization free printable for Cookie Moms

Make picking up your cookies easier

When you pick up the cookies, we write our troop numbers on a slip of paper and to place that in our windshield to ensure the right troop gets the right cookies. This is easy enough to do on a piece of scratch paper with a marker. I also note how many total cases we should receive by type of cookie. That way, I don’t have to print out another piece of paper to track, and I know exactly what we should be getting. Yes, one year, we did have a discrepancy and only because I had my own tally did we straighten it out quickly. Once you leave the pickup spot, you generally don’t have recourse for any missing boxes.

Cookie Moms make delivery of cookies simple

Easily sort your troop’s cookies

Once you get home, sort the boxes by type of cookie. Ensure you have plenty of space both for the cases that you have to start and to organize the boxes by girl. Place all the Thin Mints together, all the Tagalongs together, etc. I find it easiest to do this with the cases in a line in the order they come on the order form – Savannah Smiles first, then Trefoils, etc., which makes it easy for me to take boxes as I go and not accidentally miss a type of cookie for a girl.

Take the slips of paper you wrote out for each girl and pick the cookies one girl at a time. If I’m not sure I’ll have enough space, I will actually tape the paper to my wall. That ensures I have enough space for each girl’s boxes. I then refer to the slip to quickly see exactly how many cookies I need for each girl without worrying that I am reading off a row and giving the wrong number of cookies.

Share the girl's orders on a slip of paper to keep them organized

Once I have all the cookies sorted by girl, I send an email to the troop letting them know the cookies are ready. I give them a deadline to arrange pick up. I keep the stacks of cases for each girl organized by the girls’ first names. This lets me quickly and easily pass along the cookies when they and their moms come to pick them up. With so many girls in our troop, this is one of those sneaky tips when you think about how to organize Girl Scout cookies.

Girl Scout Cookie organization tips for Cookie Moms

For the Girls: How To Organize Girl Scout Cookies (Updated for 2017)

The same philosophy for how to organize Girl Scout cookies for the troops applies to individual girls, as well. The main difference: I ask my daughter to do her part since this is her business experience, not mine. Yes, I start out by printing out my printable for organizing her individual Girl Scout cookie orders. However, she fills it out with the order information for each girl. Use this printable for Little Brownie Bakers cookie councils, while this printable works for ABC Bakers cookie councils.

Free printable for organizing thank you note for Girl Scout Cookie Sales

I ensure there is a thank you. Plus, this includes a reminder that if customers “need” more cookies, my daughter can supply them. I also note on the sheet whether the customer has paid or not, which saves time when we deliver. While payment is not required until the cookies are delivered, some customers like to pay ahead of time.

Organizing your daughter’s cookie sales

The only other material we need aside from the printable is rubber bands and tape. I’ve found using rubber bands to keep customer orders together is the easiest method. I save them up all year, and only rarely to I have to buy more. I have Little Miss pick the boxes for each order and immediately tape the thank you/order confirmation printable to a box. Then she rubber bands the boxes together.

From there, it’s a matter of separating the orders by delivery location. Our chiropractor (where all the employees tend to generously support her every year) goes into one pile. Cookies sold door to door in our neighborhood go in another. Orders from relatives are another pile. This strategy continues to ensure that we don’t forget any orders when we do our deliveries. This makes deliveries go faster and ensures customers receive cookies in a timely manner.

Maximizing delivery of her cookies

When Little Miss does her deliveries, she hands her customers the orders and ensures she thanks them. She also immediately gives a verbal reminder that if they need more cookies, she is their solution. And in the neighborhood, a wagon to carry all the orders plus some “extra” cookies for impulse purchases makes it quick and easy.

Next up? Getting your booth sales running smoothly.

How to organize girl scout cookies tips and tricks

It’s time to deliver – what are your tips on how to organize Girl Scout cookies?


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    Comments

  • Susan


    I love how organized you are. I was cookie mom two years in a row and came up with a similar system to yours. I had a love/hate relationship with being cookie mom at the time and now that it’s years behind me, I miss it just a bit.

  • Heather


    This would have been incredibly helpful for me last year! I had all manner of sticky notes and piles of boxes all over our dining room last year! This year my daughter isn’t in Brownies (she was in Daisies last year) because there wasn’t a troop local to us, unfortunately, but it was fun last year!

    • Michelle


      Bummer that you don’t have a troop near you. My daughter missed last year when our troop dissolved, but she found a new one that has been great – and obviously I’m cookie mom again. I started with sticky notes one year, but I like this so much better!

  • Heather Ammon


    I do something similar, but I put cases & boxes. So if a girl sells 39 boxes of things mints I know to pull 3 cases + 3 boxes. It makes it go much quicker when sorting (less math being done in your head). Lol.

    • Michelle


      Absolutely – the girls in my daughter’s troop last year tended to not sell enough to need to pull cases, but that makes total sense if you have motivated girls!

  • Christina Willison


    Thanks so much for the great printables! this will make this season so much easier!

    • Michelle


      You’re welcome! I’m so glad to hear you’re using them. It’s hard to believe it’s “that” time of year again!

  • kelly


    Thank you for the printable sheets! This is my third year as cookie mom. We started out with 23 girls, now down to 14. This is our first year signing up for cookie booths. Wish me luck!!

    • Michelle


      The cookie booths are fun – enjoy your time with them! I love being cookie mom every year 🙂 And wow that was a huge troop – I’m impressed!

  • Patty


    Michelle,
    You are awesome!!!! Thank you!!! These are much easier than the sticky note approach and helps both busy Cookie Moms and the scouts themselves! Thank you for sharing!!!

    • Michelle


      You’re welcome, and thank you for those kind words – you totally made my day. Good luck with your sales!

  • Elira


    I put shipping labels with the name of the buyer, how many boxes they purchased, and whether they have paid or not. It makes distribution easier.

    • Michelle


      That’s definitely an efficient way of doing it! My daughter isn’t savvy enough to make shipping labels, but I’m sure in a couple years she’ll have a system like this down so she can go faster from the stacks of boxes in my front hall to being ready to deliver to her customers. I look forward to that day! 🙂

  • Larissa


    Thanks for the great printable! It made my job a little bit easier. To make the receipt/thank you note a little more personal, I did two per sheet leaving a space at the top for the girls to draw a picture. Once the girls drew their pictures, I brought them home to scan and make copies, which I will give to them when they pick up the cookies

    • Michelle


      That is such a neat idea! I love it. We just got our cookies in Thursday and my daughter has been sick, so we haven’t delivered them yet, but this is fantastic and I may have to steal this idea!

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