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Handy tips for storing sports equipment in winter

Handy tips for storing sports equipment in winter

Whether you play soccer, basketball or field hockey, recreational sports can be a great way to socialize while getting some much-needed exercise. However, come wintertime, you may hang up those cleats and sticks until spring rolls back around.

If that's the case, what should you do with all your equipment? Leaving it around the house isn't only just an annoyance, but it can damage this pricey gear. Instead, take steps to properly store your sporting goods all winter long. Here's what to do: 

"You must clean every piece of sporting equipment before it goes into storage."

Start with a through cleaning
Proper storage of your sports equipment begins by making sure everything is clean. For instance, if you leave gloves or face masks dirty for the entire winter season, that can damage the materials - especially if they're made of leather - and make everything unusable by spring. Be sure to follow specific cleaning instructions for everything, including gloves and helmets. If there are boots or cleats involved, like with riding or football, make sure they're thoroughly dried out, lest you deal with mold in the soles.

Try to purge as well
Cleaning is a good idea, but so is purging. Depending on how much you've played with the equipment in recent months, you might be looking at damaged shoes or a broken helmet. Tossing these isn't just a way to free up vital space, but you protect yourself come spring by not using broken equipment that can prove unsafe. Depending upon the condition of the equipment, you may be able to donate to a local charity who can refurbish these pieces for young kids in need. If you have kids, make sure they try on equipment before storing to ensure it still fits properly.

Develop a storage system 
Once you have a better idea of what you want to store, you need the right system in place. Again, you can't just toss everything in a closet and expect it to last through the winter. Items like gloves and helmets can be stored in large plastic bags. If you have sticks or skis, meanwhile, these need to be bundled together to save room and keep them from being scratched or damaged. If you have anything like bulky jerseys or riding jackets, these need to be hung up. You can use something like old bookcases to store your gear, or opt for PVC wall panels.

Consider every step 
When storing your equipment, there are other, less obvious, conditions to keep in mind. For instance, some pieces can be temperature sensitive; your average baseball bat must be kept at around 60 degrees Fahrenheit or it might begin to crack or warp. Similarly, some soccer cleats or baseball mitts have to be treated with special chemical preservatives to maintain integrity.

It's because of considerations like temperature that many people opt for professional storage when putting away sports equipment and other valuables. Atlas Van Lines is a popular choice. Not only do they have warehouses nationwide, but they're temperature controlled and regularly monitored to ensure the safety of your equipment. That way, you don't have to worry the next time you want to hit the trails or play ball.

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