Organize Your Family’s Sports Equipment with These Tips

Fall has arrived, the kids are back in school, and for most families the trek to and from fall sports events has just begun. Many children and teens play football, soccer, field hockey or another sport that requires the purchase of a uniform, balls, and other equipment. Even a child who doesn’t participate on a formal team might enjoy knocking a tennis ball around with a friend now and then or tossing a football around the yard. And adults often set up a volleyball or badminton net for parties, or when friends and relatives come to town.

Sports and exercise are a healthy and fun part of life, but…where do you store all of that sports equipment when the sun goes down and the practice and games are all done? Many parents find themselves tripping over hockey sticks in the entryway, kicking balls aside when they mow the lawn, or begging their kids not to lose a third set of swimming goggles.

As with any objects that must be stored in the home, it helps to create an organizational space and strategy when it comes to sports equipment. Some equipment can present special challenges, such as balls or helmets that have irregular shapes and take up a lot of space and those hockey sticks that pose a danger if they are left on the floor.

As Unclutterer notes, the first step you should take when it comes to storing sports equipment is to set aside a specific area of the garage (or basement or mudroom) that will be used only to store your sports gear. This gives you an opportunity to set up storage solutions specifically designed for your family’s equipment, and also makes it easy to find sports-related items from season to season. Make sure the space is well ventilated, because sports equipment can get damp and you want to avoid the possibility of mold and odor (in fact, you might consider placing an air freshener in the area, or using a natural deodorizing method – RealSimple offers some suggestions).

You have two options when it comes to developing the space: you can buy sports-specific organizing solutions or create storage solutions of your own. If you enjoy the Do-It-Yourself approach, the DIY Network offers step-by-step instructions for building your own sports equipment storage rack.

If building your own rack isn’t your thing, however, Unclutterer recommends purchasing a sturdy solution that can accommodate a wide array of items, from helmets to camping equipment. Their recommendations include a flexible solution by Elfa that features ventilated shelves and shelf baskets. All components are adjustable to accommodate different storage needs. Unclutterer also likes the basic shelving systems offered by Ikea, and suggests asking about specific sports attachments.

A quick Google search of “sports equipment storage” yields numerous storage solutions for everything ranging from basketballs to skis and golf bags. Below is a list of some of the handy solutions we found:

Before you start building a storage solution or investing in some of the items above, it’s a good idea to make a list of the equipment you need to store and to measure the space you have available. You can then create a plan that includes building or purchasing and installing the storage solutions that will be most effective for your family and in your home.

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