Spring into Organization: Pro Tips for Storing Gear
As snow gear takes a backseat to the toys of spring, garages across the valley fall into disarray. Sound familiar? Don’t panic! A few practical solutions will keep your gear in reach.
First, can we please debunk the “I just need to get organized once and for all” myth? Seriously. Unless you plan to never add another item to your life, you will need to evaluate your possessions seasonally or annually. It’s a fact — breathe.
Start by asking yourself what has changed for you since last spring. Did you quit road biking? Buy a pop-up? Sustain an injury that has changed your recreation style? I bet you are already thinking of three things you’re not likely to use in the coming season.
Next, make a date to haul your spring/summer/fall gear out in the light of our longer days, grouping similar items together. Assess for viability, duplication, and necessity. Be present; saving items for “someday” wastes your space today. Be honest; how likely are you to fix the zipper on the tent you’ve already replaced? Discard, recycle, or resell items that you are letting go.
Now that you see what you have, it’s time to create infrastructure, or you’ll be back to the archaeological dig next spring. Explore storage options to find what works for your gear, taste, and budget (see Storage Sources sidebar).
Use your vertical space. Install adjustable shelves, cabinets, hooks, and bins to corral your gear. Don’t forget the ceiling! Look for easy-to-install lofts and bike hooks. If you don’t own your current space, use freestanding options.
Keeping your gear in zones by activity (for example, a camping zone) makes your garage predictable and expedites finding and replacing items.
Remember, if your system is simple, so is the upkeep. Gear on!
• Do prioritize storing kids’ gear within their reach. Easy access for them means less work for you.
• Do overpurchase supplies and keep your receipts. Nothing kills a project’s momentum like running back to the hardware store. You can return any excess material when you’re done.
• Do visualize your endgame and how much you’ll enjoy the ease of your organization.
• Don’t start an organizing project hungry or tired. Trust me, it won’t end well.
• Don’t assume your partner will organize like you. Communicate, compromise, and compliment. It will make your project’s completion even sweeter!
• Don’t get hung up on fancy. Those milk crates from last year’s spring cleanup can be mounted on the wall to create storage.
• Do use these tips to tackle closets, pantries, and playrooms!
• Local hardware stores offer ventilated or wire shelving and storage systems such as Rubbermaid’s FastTrack.
• gladiator.com and flowwall.com — cabinetry, shelving, and custom design
• fleximounts.com — overhead and loft storage
• racorstoragesolutions.com — cable-lifted and bike storage options