June 11, 2016

Get Geared Up and Gone!

As we kick off summer my husband and I get out to the mountains more and more. As a professional organizer I sometimes wish we only liked one hobby so we only have to buy gear for one hobby and always know what we were doing on the weekends…

Nahhh that would make things too simple! Instead in the winter we downhill ski, back country ski, cross country ski, snowshoe, winter back country camp and my husband occasionally ice climbs. In the summer we hike, backpack, canoe, rock climb, mountaineer, scramble, mountain bike, road bike and car camp.

This leads to a lot of gear! And that leads me to our “Gear Closet”. We live in a condo without storage in the garage, so the closet in our spare room/ office is our gear closet. As a professional organizer I take pride organizing and setting it up so we can grab and go. It took a bit of switching around and containerizing but we have it now! (At least until we decide to start another hobby!).

Room to Breathe organizes using Julie Morgenstern’s S.P.A.C.E. method.

Sort: Sort all your gear by activity first and then by season.

Purge: If there is gear that you no longer use or that needs to be thrown out for safety reasons, now is the time to do so.

Assign a Home: Maybe you have a whole garage of space to custom set up for your gear and activities or maybe you’re like us and have a closet of space, either way you should set up zones for each activity and each item should have a home in the correct zone. If every item has a home then it should be easy to maintain and you will be able to find what you need every time, speeding up the time it takes to get geared up and gone!

Containerize: Snag some bins as required, peg boards, hooks, etc to give each item an easy to access home. For very little used items place them in a bin with a label and stick them in the harder to reach areas.

Equalize: As an organizer I love this part as it is the final touches on the job. Equalizing essentially means making it easy to maintain. Labels are key here so you and everyone who uses the area know where things belong. As well, my husband and I have placed a few lists in our gear closet. In our daytrip bin we have a list of other items that we need to bring. For example we need to bring our headlamps that are in our personal bins. Also you can include some activity gear lists. Hang a canoe trip gear list on the door so you can do a final check through on your way out.

Organizing can feel overwhelming at times but encourage yourself in knowing that once your set up properly it will be easily maintainable. This will help save you lots of time, stress and energy. You will then be able to be out doing what you enjoy more!

Check out our Gear Closet Board on Pinterest for a few ideas.

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