As the cold weather makes its appearance, individuals need to consider the storage of athletic equipment for the winter months. While it can be tempting to just shove all of the equipment in a designated area and walk away from it, the proper storage of equipment is heavily encouraged since it extends the lifespan of it.
When tasked with storing your equipment, you should first consider which equipment actually needs to be stored and what can withstand the winter weather. Jerseys, material nets, and balls are all items that need to be properly stored where as posts and poles can be left outside in the elements. If you have protective padding such as post pads on outdoor equipment such as basketball posts, football goal posts or volleyball sets, you may want to consider removing them and storing them in a dry location as it will increase the life of the padding.
Once your equipment is sorted, you should then assess the condition of the equipment. Check for any stains, tears, or punctures. Put the items that can be mended in one pile and create a discard pile for the items that are beyond repair.
After you have distinguished the condition of your items, it’s important to ensure that everything is properly cleaned and dried before packing it away. For jerseys tend to any stains and mend any tears, for equipment wipe it down and check for any missed damage during the process, and lastly deflate any balls but remember to keep the inflating devices with them.
Following the cleaning and repairing of any items, you should then begin to organize them. A tactic to keep items readily available and organized is to group similar items by sport. This way you can create bins that contain everything you’ll need to be ready to play once the weather becomes warm.
Whether you choose to organize your equipment by sport, or in some other way, the next important step is ensuring that it will not be exposed to excess dirt or moisture. Most sport equipment is made of materials which need to breathe. So using plastic as a storage method is heavily discouraged. Instead, use cloth materials since it allows your material to breathe and reduces the chance of bacterial and germ damage to it.
Once all of the equipment is packed up, the next part to consider is the proper storage. Depending on the space you have, you may want to use bins for storage and label each bin with accordance to the sports equipment that’s inside. You may also consider storing the items you know will be used immediately once it’s warmer outside towards the front and items that are less important towards the back. Regardless of the way you want to store and organize, it’s important that you ensure the equipment is easily accessible. This is because once spring arrives, you’ll want to make sure that the equipment you want to use is readily available.
Ultimately when it comes to storing your athletic equipment for the winter, it’s important to remember three things: keep it organized, keep it breathable, and keep it accessible.