With all the different sports activities kids are involved in today, it's no wonder we can have a sports equipment storage nightmare develop fast.
It's hard to store sports equipment because it can be big pieces, or awkward shaped items, or big and awkward combined.
So, how do you store it all? You could install metal storage lockers in the garage or mudroom for each kid to keep their equipment in. More than likely, the typical family will utilize a combination of the new sports equipment organizers on the market and items they already have on hand for sports equipment storage.
A great option to save money is to utilize sports equipment organizers you don't even know you have. I prefer this option and I'll share some that I've found below and perhaps may even get your imagination moving to discover some of your own.
Most families store sports equipment in the garage so, well start there. First you'll need to organize your garage by decluttering, categorizing, and creating a space for everything.
Yes, unfortunately if your garage is totally out of control, you'll need to organize it before you can start organizing sports equipment. But, I promise, it will be quick and painless as long as you follow along.
Declutter: yes, it's hard to part with that exercise bike that's now a clothes hanger, but you're going to have to. Get rid of any and everything you don't use on a regular basis. I had a really nice exercise bike that one of my kids got on and peddled backwards. I was upset because I used this bike regularly and now the gears were stripped. It sat in the garage for three months. It was an older bike and no longer serviced, so out it went to the dump.
If you haven't used it in a year, or it's been sitting there for repairs that long, then get rid of it.
You will want to go through everything sports related and toss, donate, or keep.
Categorize: Now that you've decluttered, go through what's left and put like items together. Create categories of items such as winter sports equipment, golf stuff, football stuff, sailing stuff, hunting stuff, etc. Whatever sports your family is into, create a category for it.
Create a place for everything: Designate storage areas for each activity/sport.
Winter sports. Use shelving for helmets and ski gear. Hang skis and snowboards from wall mounted racks. I have a designated shelf in the front of the garage over the cars for skis, snow boards, and boots.
For a really cheap sports equipment organizer, you can house skis between wall boards in your garage. Just secure with a bungee cord that is wrapped around nails in each wall board.
Another great sports equipment organizer is an old chest. For quick access during ski season store hats and mittens in drawers in an old chest in the garage. Just don't fall into the junk drawer trap. Designate a drawer or two to only ski stuff and use them for this purpose only.
Hang sleds from the ceiling with rubber padded hooks.
Golf. You can store golf bags in wall mounted or free standing racks. Free standing racks have the disadvantage of taking up floor space, but you can store shoes and balls on them too.
Bikes. If it's summer and your kids are riding their bikes a lot, then designate a side of the garage for them to park their bikes in.
If it's winter and not much bike riding is taking place, then store bikes by hanging from the ceiling. Rubber padded hooks to hang bikes from are a really cheap sports equipment organizer. Bike racks mounted to the wall and a bike pole that extends from the floor to the ceiling are also great sports equipment organizers to store bikes off the ground. They even make fancy pulley systems now to store bikes off the ground too.
Hang bike helmets from their straps on the bike handle bars or hang on the wall with hooks.
Baseball, Hockey and Football. Use big "clean" trash cans as sports equipment organizers to store bats and hockey sticks with any helmets and pads. Metal trash cans seem to stay upright the best.
An old golf bag past its prime is a cheap sports equipment organizer to store bats and hockey sticks in.
Rolling bins on wheels are great to store balls to keep them from rolling and bouncing around.
Hanging mesh bags are also great for storing balls.
Use an old dresser to store pads, masks, gloves, etc.
Sailing and Boating. Store life jackets and sailing clothes in plastic bags. Be sure to let them dry out first, then hang on hangers and cover with big plastic yard bags. You can then hang them from a rod that's suspended from the ceiling to keep air circulating in them.
Yard toys. Store items like plastic bats, rubber balls, Frisbees, or any toys your kids play with in the yard in big rolling bins or containers in either the garage or shed. When it's time to play, they can easily wheel out their toys, and when clean up comes, it's fun for kids to wheel around the bin and pick up toys.
Store out of season sports equipment in big clear plastic containers that are clearly labeled. Deflate all pool toys and make sure they are dry and store in labeled clear plastic containers too. Stack these containers up to save some space.
You can get pretty creative with sports equipment organizers. Just remember to declutter, categorize, and create a place for everything and you'll do just fine.