Do you ever wonder how to store and organize your camping gear and other outdoorsy stuff? Maybe yours is crammed in the corner of your basement and increasingly becoming smelly! Jessica Johnson of ExtraSpace.com is guest posting for me today on this very topic! Welcome, Jessica…
Is Your Camping Gear Neglected?
When you’re setting up your home closets and storage spaces, how often do you factor in the storage of items that are 100% intended for use outside of the home?
If you said “hmm…not very often…” you’re not alone.
Indeed, that’s one of the main reasons why camping gear and other outdoorsy stuff gets neglected to the point of disuse or falling into disrepair. When you don’t have to look at it during the course of your day or use it on a semi-regular basis, it falls to the bottom of the ever-expanding list of things to do.
The other main reason is the actual storage space – you just don’t have room to pack this stuff away properly when you only pull it out a couple of times a year. Basically, it’s lucky to get a back corner of the upper shelf in the far side of the garage, right?
Not exactly, especially when you consider how spending time outside of the house is often integral to fully-functional families on the inside of the home!
Sometimes you just need to get away for a few days to reconnect with nature and with each other so you can come back refreshed and rejuvenated to continue on with the daily grind.
But those plans are stopped before they’ve even begun if your camping gear and outdoor items are not ready to go at a moment’s notice. And a moment may be all the “heads up” you get, so here are some ways to make sure you’re squared away when the opportunity to get away presents itself!
There are special considerations for camping gear and products that are intended for outdoor use that you don’t have to think about for stuff that never leaves the house. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind:
Sleeping Bags, Tents, Tarps and Miscellaneous Rain Gear
In the same way that you wouldn’t wad up a wet towel and toss it in the closet or fold up damp sheets and store them for your next bedding change, sleeping bags, tents, tarps and rain gear (including parkas, umbrellas, and raincoats) need to air out and thoroughly dry before you toss them in their newly organized storage spaces.
Make sure any items that are wet have time to sufficiently dry to avoid the proliferation of mold, mildew and funky smells!
Double-Duty Bins and Containers
Once you make sure things are clean and dry, compile your containers, maximizing your space by utilizing backpacks or rucksacks that can double as storage bins.
For example, pots and pans are great places to keep food-related items like matches, utensils, and cooking spices or water purification tablets.
Another idea is to use a plastic tub to hold your outdoor stuff like bandanas, hats, bug spray, citronella candles, flashlights and lamps. When you arrive at the campsite, you have your tub for washing dishes and cleaning up right at your fingertips.
Make things easily accessible by packing items separately in plastic zip lock bags before compiling them together with the rest of the gear. Not only do you have clear, separate stations – which make it easy to see when you need to supplement your supplies – but everything is sufficiently waterproofed for the trip!
Choose a Final Destination
Once all of your items are ship-shape and smartly stored within your storage bins and camping containers, finding the space for them is not nearly as tough as it was before.
Whether you stack things up in the garage or on your back porch, as long as they are out of the way (but ready to go), you won’t have to postpone any overnighters/weekend getaways due to a lack of organization!
One of the best ways to build your stock of camping gear and outdoor supplies is to use what you already have.
Not only is this a super-efficient use of resources, but it’s financially prudent as well: you’re not buying things you don’t actually need or expending hefty sums of money in one fell swoop. So rather than buying duplicates of new items, wait until you need to upgrade, buy a single new one and transfer the previously enjoyed item to your camping storage.
Great candidates for the camping re-do include:
- Cooking utensils
- Pots and pans
- Cooking boards
- Towels and rags
- Cutlery and Dishes
- Sharp Knives (or those that you can sharpen)
- Bottle/Can openers
- Jeans, Shirts, Sweaters, Shoes…if you don’t drop these off at a charity site, donate old clothes to yourself for your outdoor excursions!
What are some of the ways you’ve streamlined your camping gear/outdoorsy stuff to create more space-savvy storage?
Author: Jessica Johnson works for http://www.extraspace.com and contributes to the Extra Space Storage blog, exploring various aspects of organizing and storing possessions.