Between baseball, football, tennis, and basketball, my son needs his own social secretary just to run his extracurricular activities. Sadly, that’s me!
And although my daughter “only” plays tennis and basketball, she too has her share of uniforms, practice outfits, sneakers and gear.
What’s the best way to organize all this equipment, not to mention the logistics? Here are my tips to help you through every sporting season under the sun:
1. Store the gear for each activity in its own bin. The soccer pads, jersey, shorts, and socks all are kept together. Even the (filthy) cleats can be placed in a plastic bag and kept in the same bin. When your child comes home from practice or a game, the clothing goes straight to the laundry room and then goes from the dryer to the bin. No more searching for the soccer socks in the sock drawer, shorts in another place, and jersey in a third place. Repeat for each sport. If possible, store the bins in a utility closet or similar place.
2. Make sure whoever does laundry understand the system. After laundry is done, each sport’s apparel is placed in that sport’s bin.
3. Share the responsibility of storing and taking care of the gear with your child. If they can’t find the baseball pants, it’s because they weren’t put in the baseball bin.
4. Store water bottles, sunblock, and “grab and go” snacks near the sports equipment.
5. When your child is young and being exposed to different sports, have an idea of what that sport will eventually entail. Don’t push ice hockey if you’re not willing to be at ice rinks at 6:00 AM on Saturdays. Don’t push horseback riding unless you have the resources for a very expensive sport.
6. Use a master calendar to keep track of games, practices, and locations.
7. Overscheduling is a myth. I’d rather my children be participating in team sports than i-chatting, video chatting, surfing the web, or watching television. I remind myself of this every time I’m standing on a drafty field or sitting on a hard bench.