A recent client of ours had a story that I had to share, because I’m sure it will resonate with many of you. Like a lot of families in Ashburn (and everywhere else, really), their two kids are leading lives that are almost as busy as theirs. Most of the year they have school during the weekdays, of course, and when that is done the sports and band practices, games and recitals all begin. Their daughter, the oldest, is on the tennis and swim teams at school and is mastering the violin. Their son plays football in the fall, baseball in the spring, and attends a handful of camps in the summer. Dad plays in a rec softball league two nights a week, and mom goes to Zumba classes three nights a week, is an avid golfer on the weekends, and hosts her book club meetings once a month. I don’t have to tell you, they’re busy!
Mom and dad take turns during the weeknights shuttling the kids around town to their respective activities, squeezing time in where they can for their own hobbies. This makes any given week a sort of whirlwind scramble to pull together the gear each child needs for whatever’s on the schedule that day (or that hour, for that matter). With four people to coordinate, each with their own equipment for their own activities, things can get pretty hectic. During one particularly trying week, their daughter was late to her tennis tournament because she couldn’t find her shoes, Mom’s book club materials got dirty and mangled by the baseball cleats in the back of her car, and Dad showed up to his softball game with junior’s mini-glove. I’m pretty sure they called us that following Monday.
It was important for this family to get a handle on all of their gear and find a way to make it easier to coordinate all of their activities. We really felt that their garage was being underutilized, so we designed a complete garage organizational overhaul. We helped them with a lot of the common garage issues, but a key feature of their unique solution is the individualized storage cabinets we created for each family member. This idea turned out to be a great success, so we wanted to share it with the rest of you struggling to get your kids (and yourself) around town with the items you need.
The Benefits of the Cabinet System for Sports Storage
There are two major ways that families go wrong with shared storage. They either use one large space like open shelves in the garage or mudroom for everyone’s things, or they don’t really have a system at all, which leads to many little spaces being used all around the house. The first method results in items being mixed together and stored improperly. The second leads to scrambling around the house looking for shin guards while you should already be heading to the fields. Our Ashburn family found that personal cabinets were a great way for each family member to keep their respective things in one easy-to-access, dedicated storage space where they won’t get lost, damaged, or mixed up with anyone else’s. There are many benefits to this kind of system:
Personalized Storage. The kids liked that they could make their cabinet their own personal storage space. Internal shelving, hooks, and storage baskets can be adjusted to fit their specific gear (and their specific sizes), and house everything from swim goggles to baseball bats. And they took the personalization idea even further by adding their own individual touches, like stickers. The parents appreciate that their own gear can be kept safely out of harm’s way, and their children’s way (same thing?), in their own separate cabinets.
More Efficient. The parents also appreciated the fact that so much less effort was required to find everything needed for the next practice, game, or camp. They developed a little system where their kids would simply go to their cabinet, grab the gear they needed for the next activity, jump in the car, and go. No more searching around the house or digging through the garage while already running late. After each activity, the gear is replaced in its location before even entering the house. And as each new season approaches and the family members’ activities change, they just swap out the unneeded gear from their cabinet and replace it with what the next activity requires.
Cleaner, More Organized Space. The change not only helped simplify the chaotic process of getting ready and getting out the door, but it also made this family keep their garage clean and organized. Now their sports equipment is stored properly, Dad can actually get to the workbench we designed for him without tripping over tennis racquets, and the gardening tools aren’t banging into Mom’s golf clubs. Combining this solution with our other garage organization features, we were able to give them plenty of room to store their camping gear, paint, cleaners, bikes, and other supplies safely out of the way.
A Garage Cabinet System of Your Own
Our clients in Ashburn found their own way to avoid the pitfalls of being an active family that has lots of gear to store. Your weekly scramble around town is probably a bit different from theirs, but a garage organizational overhaul will still greatly improve your routine, especially when it is designed with solutions that work specifically for your family’s needs. Get the perfect shelving height for you, the right sized storage baskets for the sports you play or activities you enjoy, adequate overhead storage for your off-season equipment, and make your garage a useful space for more than just parking. The main lesson you can take from our Ashburn family? A deliberate system of organization that factors in each family member’s activities is a major help during the weekly run around town. We’re sure we can craft such a solution just for you.
Closet America is the D.C. area’s leading creator of custom-made home offices, designer closets, garages, pantries, mudrooms, and laundry storage spaces. Our experienced team of designers and engineers help create unique solutions that are customized with your needs in mind. With Closest America, you can have everything in its place, perfectly. Schedule a free design consultation today!