For most Canadians, the summer season means the end of the sedentary season and that is certainly a welcome development. More physical activity and more sun means happier and healthier homeowners, but what happens when all of your outdoor living gear starts getting in the way of your daily life? When you go from having minimal equipment out to having bikes, basketballs, rollerblades and everything in between scattered all over the place, your home can get very cluttered, very quickly.
In today’s article, I will share with you some practical organizational strategies that can help you deal with this conundrum and ensure your home and family activities run smoothly this summer.
- Figure Out What You Aren’t Using: Before you do anything else, make an honest assessment of your storage spaces and all the different gear you have. Identify the pieces of equipment (or other items) that you haven’t been using. Ask yourself if you’ve used those items in the past 365 days and if you see yourself using them in the next 365 days, if the answer to both those questions is no, it’s time to get rid of that gear. Many people neglect this vital first step either because they can’t be bothered or don’t want to part with their belongings, but sometimes you just have to know when to let go.
- Assign Storage Areas & Expectations: Everyone in your home should have a clear idea of where equipment is (and is not) to be stored. Assign areas in your home for your gear storage so there is never a question as to where it should be found and put back. If you have young kids, it will help immensely if they understand their responsibility to put equipment back where they found it after it has been used. If you have the luxury of multiple storage areas, dividing them seasonally ( winter vs summer activities) should also help.
- Further Store by Sport: Once you know where things go, it makes logical sense to divide your gear further by sport or activity. When you know exactly where the gear for each activity belongs, it makes it much easier to quickly locate for use. Installing a shelving unit and drawer system with labels (either in your garage, basement or in a storage closet) could help immensely with this task, especially if you are tight for space. If you throw all of your summer sports balls or equipment into one bin, it becomes an ordeal every single time you need find the appropriate item for that sport.
- Make Use Of Hooks & Racks: If your family often uses larger seasonal items like kayaks, bikes and sleds, using an alternating wall and ceiling storage system could make a lot of sense. When equipment is in season, keep it accessible using wall racks and when it isn’t, suspend it from ceiling hooks. This keeps equipment storage efficient and practical all year round.
Summer can get very hectic with all of the outdoor activities that take place, especially for families with children. Considering implementing some of the strategies discussed in today’s article to keep things running smoothly, because the last thing you want or need this summer is a lack of organization stressing you out.