If you have been pursuing water sports since you were a kid, you may dread the process of putting things away for the winter and getting them back out for the summer. But, fear not. Materials engineering and storage design have come so far, so fast that modern storage products make frustrating, inefficient, ugly storage from the past simply obsolete.
Sorting Your Gear
First back up a step. Any effort to de-clutter starts with sorting out what stays and what goes. Many people find it helpful to create piles to help sort things out, such as:
Stays - Items in workable (or serviceable) shape
Goes - Useable items you haven’t touched for the last couple of seasons, and are willing to pass along or donate
Trash - Items that are no longer serviceable
Organizing Your Gear
Once you’ve sorted the wheat from the chaff and determined what stays, you then need to group things together in a logical fashion for purposes of storage and figure out how much storage you need to devote to different categories. It is a good idea to know how many items you need to store, as well as their measurements. This will be helpful in planning storage solutions.
Large items, like wakeboards and inflatable kayaks, should be stored together. Their similar shape and size will help make the most efficient use of storage space.
In most cases, these items will be stored in the garage or some other designated storage area, such as a shed or sometimes a covered carport. Once you have grouped them by size, shape and other characteristics, you need to arrange the right kind of storage for the items in questions.
Storing Your Gear
Most folks tend to store large items on open, undifferentiated shelves, which tends to take up more space than necessary, and can also make it hard to access your gear again in the spring.
Here is a much better solution: A ladder rack that can be hung on the wall or from the ceiling with no tools. With a Kwik Tek ladder rack, you can easily eliminate clutter without having to break the bank.
An item like this costs far less than old fashioned bulky shelving units found in garages. Plus, it can be readily adjusted to fit specific items of various widths and shapes, such as inflatable kayaks, water skis, snow skis, wakeboards, surfboards, lumber and other bulky items.
If you have a lot of larger items, it may make sense to get two or three ladder racks. You can set them up side by side along one long wall.
Softer items such as inflatables & PFD’s should be stored in “critter proof” boxes or plastic tubs. It’s also important to keep them in a dry, climate-controlled place, out of the way of excessive cold, heat, exhaust, chemicals, or fumes. Bonus: place a tarp over your tubs & equipment to keep things clean & dry.
You can also save yourself time & hassle in the spring by giving all of your gear a good final cleaning, and repairing minor leaks before packing it away for storage.
The Benefits of Good Organization & Proper Storage
Storing things the right way in the fall will make it easier for you to get back out on the water in the spring, and will also help protect your items from damage throughout the winter season!