Active families and families with student-athletes are often challenged by how to keep all their sports gear properly organized. Especially if you have more than one student-athlete in the family or you have multi-sport interests. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help keep it all in order, yet close enough at hand that you can find what you want when you need to find it.
Thoughtful Seasonal Storage Solutions
Being able to store away seasonal athletic equipment is absolutely essential for giving you the space you need for in-season sports gear. There are a few things you can do to get everything stored away cleanly and efficiently for the off-season.
This starts with properly laundering everything before storage. Hygienically clean clothes and sports gear are less likely to experience mildew, mold, or other defects that can damage fabrics or just leave them with a funky odor when you take them out next year.
Stackable Totes For Athletic Equipment & Folded Clothes
Heavy-duty tote bins are a very versatile way to pack away out-of-season clothes and sports gear. They are available in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Flat ones can be used to hold folded clothes, and then slipped under beds or tucked away inside a storage bench.
Cubes and taller tote bins can be used to hold balls, shoulder pads, knee pads, and helmets to keep them from the rest of the clutter. Tote bins with reinforced corners can be stacked to minimize their overall footprint. Then you can use a permanent marker to write the contents on the outside to find what you need at a glance. You can then keep the stacks in the garage or on a corner in the basement where they won’t take up premium space on your main living area.
Create A Dedicated Sports Closet
Keeping out-of-season sports gear in each person’s closet can sometimes rob each person in the family of the functional storage space they need to keep their daily wear clothes and in-season sports equipment. Not to mention running the risk of having dirty jerseys and pads intermingling with their clean clothes and shoes.
Creating a dedicated sports gear closet helps keep both in-season and out-of-season sports gear out of the primary closets. If possible, you can set up a dedicated space in your mudroom, garage, or basement where everyone can go when they need to find their gear.
Give Everyone Their Own Dedicated Cubby Or Locker
The garage, basement, or mudroom can be transformed into a locker room of sorts. This keeps dirty sports gear out of the way, and out of the main living area of the home. Each athlete in the family can be given their own personalized cubby or locker space.
Not only does this keep mess and clutter out of your living space, but it also keeps everyone’s athletic gear from intermingling with each other. This can be a great peace-maker for families that have multiple student-athletes.
Provide A Dedicated Laundry Hamper For Sports Gear & Athletic Clothes
Let’s face it, sports gear and athletic clothes can get funky in a hurry. Some are very hard to get 100% clean and odor-free. So, the last thing you want is for it to share the same hamper space as your everyday clothes.
Keeping a dedicated laundry bin in your garage or mudroom helps keep everything safely separated. As a standard protocol, the athletes in your family can come into the garage or mudroom first to deposit their clothes and gear before entering the main living area of your home.
When it’s ready the hamper can be taken directly to the laundry room where all the sports gear can be washed separately. This keeps everything in its place while preventing funky smells in sports gear from transferring to your beloved daily-wear clothes.
Make Use Of Overhead Rafter Storage
A lot of garages have unused attic space or open rafters that can be used for off-season sports gear storage. Even if you just have exposed rafters in your garage ceiling you can still use them to store long items. This includes things like a hockey stick, lacrosse sticks, rackets, distance markers, and long pieces of field equipment. You might want to consider tucking them away inside tote bins or wrapped in small tarps to keep dust from building up during the off-season.
Another way to make use of the attic space in your garage for storing sports gear is to install a pull-down shelving system. They can be spring-loaded or crank activated. The shelf is then loaded with tote bins or boxes and you simply tuck them up into the garage attic or ceiling space for off-season storage. While you are at it, this is a great way to tuck away seasonal holiday decorations.
Adjustable Garage Shelves For In-Season Gear
The garage is a great portal for keeping dirty sports gear out of the main living areas of the house, while also giving it a dedicated place to stay where it is easy for anyone to find. Adjustable shelves in your garage let you change things up from one season to the next.
What was once space used for big bulky fall football helmets can then be transformed to hold lightweight bike helmets in the summer. While also maximizing the vertical space to the optimized storage potential.
Adjustable Peg Hook Systems
Pegboard and hooks used to only be thought of as a way to store grandpa’s tools and hardware. Though they have since evolved to become versatile solutions for modern-day storage. This includes adjustable clips that can be used to hold rackets, sticks, and field markers. Some impressively heavy-duty hooks can be used to hold helmets and body pads that need good air space to dry.
Keep Deodorizer In The Garage
The truth is sweaty sports gear sticks, and you don’t always have time to properly clean and deodorize everything including shoulder pads, kneed pads, and practice clothes. Keeping a few air fresheners in the garage near the hanging sports gear, and a spray bottle of fabric refresher close at hand can help prevent your garage from during into a den of horrific stink. Especially in the summer when heat and humidity can turn the smell up on just about any sweaty piece of sports gear.