Everyone agrees that having your kids spend less time in front of a screen stuck inside the house and more time outside playing sport is a good thing. The challenge in an age where we want everything nice and tidy is keeping it all organised. Having the right kind of storage system for organising your children’s sports gear is more than half the battle. Below we have provided some simple rules and tips which you can use for better management of your family’s sporting equipment.
Cricket & Baseball Bats, Hockey Sticks and Tennis Racquets
Most people stick the bats in the corner leaning up against the wall. Over time more and more gets piled on top of them and when you want to pull the bat out, its impossible to grab without knocking everything over. You can avoid this hassle and mess by keeping bats, sticks and racquets pegged onto a slatwall or pegboard. Today’s slatwall solutions come with a great range of hooks allowing for bats, sticks and racquets to be securely attached but easily accessed. Most hooks are usually long enough to hold more than one item.
Whether they are larger balls like basketballs or soccer balls, or smaller tennis or cricket balls, they can easily be kept in buckets or tote bags. StoreWALL offers a great range of Tote Bags which cater for balls of all sizes. If you don’t want a bag, consider a deep basket or a bin for organising your Children’s sports gear. What you want to avoid is finding all the balls on the ground because the kids where looking for the tennis ball which was at the bottom of the basket. Consider a container for smaller balls and one for larger ones.
Protective Gear and Clothing
A great way to organise uniforms is to either colour cod them or to arrange them by sport or family member. This makes it easy for everyone to identify whose clothing it is or which sport it belongs to. For items like gloves or cricket pads, I suggest you keep them all together with the related clothing. This ensures they don’t get misplaced or moved away.
As an example, your cricket clothing, pads and gloves could be kept in one specific basket or tote bag. Once the kids are done with using them, putting them away is as simple as placing them all back into the ONE basket.
The ideal way to protect your soccer and football boots is to clean them after use (both training and matches). Regular cleaning with a wet rag protects the synthetic surface from scratching and staining. It also ensures whatever dirt (soccer and football being winter sports) accumulates under the shoe is not transferred to all of the other shoes or the floor.
Most sports stores sell tote bags designed for shoes. They keep the shoes aired so that they can dry out but also in a protected bag so that pairs aren’t split up. Some suggest to use peg boards to hang your shoes but I don’t find this really practical. Dirty shoes are not the nicest accessory to have on show. Use a larger tote bag or deep basket to keep your sports shoes together. If you follow the concept of having a basket for each key sport played by your kids, then you can add sports shoes to that basket as well. Preferably once cleaned.
Organising your Children’s Sports Gear
We all want our kids to spend more time outdoors than they do today. Organising your children’s sporting gear needs to be a shared responsibility. Easier to say than do, but with some discipline it can be achieved. It’s important that children learn from an early age that we don’t do everything for them. Organising their sports gear independently is one of the many things they can learn early on.
Tips on grouping sports gear
When deciding where the sports gear will live, consider:
- Size and numbers – how much space is it taking up and how many do you have
- Seasonality – is the gear used throughout the year, or can it be moved to a different place when not used
- Shape – some things take up a lot of space due to their shape (e.g. balls).
- Ventilation – it’s better to keep shoes in a well-ventilated container and room.
- Accessibility – make sure the children can access their gear without your help.
- Dirtiness – how dirty is the equipment.
Get the Kids into the Routine
An important key to achieving some success with organising children’s sports gear is having a routine before and after sport activities. Kids should know what they need to take with them for training and matches. Clothing, drink bottle, boots, towel, hat etc. Help them get into the habit of gathering these items before each session. The routine applies equally after the session is done ie returning everything to where they found it.
Here’s an example
- Soccer boots get returned to the garage.
- Put them in the soccer basket.
- Drinking bottle is returned to the kitchen sink.
- Put sports bag away in the laundry (where it lives).
- Get undressed and throw everything in the laundry bin or return it to the garage with the rest of the sporting gear.
Whilst I would love to say that my kids follow all of these rules, they don’t but I have found that keeping items organised and in specific locations helps everyone find them before the game or training. It also ensures we aren’t running around looking for them for half the morning.