Most children these days will sooner or later be involved in one or several sports which in itself can be an organisational challenge for the whole family. Part of sportive activities also involves looking after sports gear which can be anything from really small to rather big and also expensive equipment.
I never really gave much thought to the concept of children and sports except that it’s a good and healthy thing. As it happens, I became a soccer mum because Mr. 11 has loved ballgames ever since he learned to walk. Throughout the last few years he’s had several soccer training sessions per week, and of course a game every Sunday. I have to admit: I was rather glad that his brother chose not to do soccer as well, as this would have become quite an organisational challenge. Instead, he practices Judo, and they both have swimming lessons for a fraction of the year.
Of course, we support our children in their sport activities and we invest quite a bit of time as a family. However, I also find it 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. Here’s how:
Have a home for everything
This is a very general rule that, of course, also applies to sports gear, however big or small. When deciding where the sports gear will live, consider these aspects:
- Size and numbers – how much space is it taking up and how many do you have (maybe you can get rid of some)?
- 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 – think shoes … it’s better to keep them 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? Let soccer boots live in the garage or the entryway so your child doesn’t walk through the house with them.
Storing sports gear
Make it easy for your kids to put their gear away. It doesn’t need to look great; it just needs to be accessible and practical.
Possible storage options and some examples of what you could use them for:
- Clear plastic containers (shoes, balls and pretty much anything)
- Wire baskets (things that need ventilation)
- Racks or hooks (helmets, skate boards)
- Umbrella stand (cricket bats, pool noodles, hockey sticks)
- Net bags (balls)
- Special hooks (bikes)
- Special bags (swimming gear)
- Laundry baskets (balls, shoes, helmets)
If you need more inspiration, have a look on Pinterest.
Routines around sport activities
Another key to achieving organisation success is having a routine before and after sport activities. Let your kids prepare and pack everything they need for the activity, including water and snacks – of course with your help depending on their age. You also might want to create a checklist with your child.
Using our family as an example, this would be:
- Take off soccer boots in the garage
- Put them on the shoe shelf in the entry hall
- Put drinking bottle in the kitchen
- Put sports bag away in the laundry (where it lives)
- Get undressed and throw everything in the laundry bin (or hang on the wall rack in the bathroom if it’s wet)
- Take a shower and get into pyjamas or fresh clothes
Clean and polish sports shoes before you put them away for the next season. Otherwise, the leather will dry out and the shoes will be too uncomfortable to be worn.
What sports do your children pursue and how do you organise their equipment? Make life easier for the family by applying these organisation tips to your household today!