team uniforms + acessories

Maura63February 14, 2006

I have two kids that play multiple sports (usually only 1 per season).

It used to be that uniforms got washed and folded along with regular laundry and returned to kids' rooms in a laundry basket. But then there were too many times where a uniform, etc. could not be found, too close to game time, so I decided to lessen that stress by keeping all this stuff in once central location.

Basically the uniforms get washed then hung on a hanger (wet) until needed again. The off-season stuff stays in a bin.

Then there are head & wrist bands, glasses strap, mouth guards, jock straps, etc.

None of the above stuff goes into the dryer.

Each kid has a duffle bag.

Guess I'm rethinking the whole process and looking for inspiration here.

If you have uniforms and other sports-paraphernalia to deal with on a almost daily basis please share your "system".

In my dream mud room/back entranceway each person would have a locker! (No room, unfortunately.)

Thank you in advance.

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Can you rethink each child's closet or room to create a "sports locker"????

For example (JUST an example) -- maybe hang the uniform on a BRIGHTLY painted hanger in each closet -- and stuff the accessories in a see-through shoe bag on the back of the closet door?? Or hang the uniform on hooks on the backs of their doors?

Hang the empty sports bag(s) on hooks too?

I hung wire baskets on the backs of almost ALL of my cupboards -- so incredibly handy!!!! ((pantry, guest room, linen closet, laundry closet))

    Bookmark   February 14, 2006 at 3:10PM
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My kids play sports, too. We have a mudroom as you come into the house, but no cubbies or anything. Shoes are all piled next to the door (I try to straighten them up, but piled in one place is how it usually is).

If they can get uniforms into the hamper immediately, I can usually get them back in time for the next game/practice. I just hang them up in their rooms or on the bannister and they know to look for them there. Otherwise they are digging through the hamper before the next game race or practice.

As for all the other little stuff, I have them keep it all in their duffle bags, in their rooms (I sometimes have to be the one to put the bag in their room, though). What they do with it there is up to them, and they are responsible for having what they need at the game/race/practice. If they need something washed, they need to make sure it is done the night before or I am not responsible for it. I do get a spray that neutralizes the smell, and sometimes stuff gets left on the porch to air out for a while (we don't have a garage or I'd put stuff in there).

Off season shoes/boots and larger equipment are stored away and uniforms and other small equipment they (kids) usually take care of storing.

Do you have space in your laundry room to hang things? In your kids' rooms? If you are consistent with where you put things, would they take responsibility and get what they need before games/races/practices? How old are your kids?

    Bookmark   February 14, 2006 at 4:38PM
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for stuff that doesn't go in the dryer, my DH and I have a system. I put that stuff in a net bag, and he knows not to throw any net bags into the dryer.

For whateve reason (will shrink; has a stain I don't want to get set).

This would mean the kids have to learn which things don't go in the dryer, but they ought to be able to. If they can memorize who's in what hot band of the moments, of how cell mitosis works, they can learn that wrist bands, etc., don't go in the dryer.

Would have the other advantage of not making you handle each of those little things one at a time.

And each kid could have their own net bag (w/ some marker writing on the zipper, or color, or something), and there's no sorting either?

    Bookmark   February 14, 2006 at 4:39PM
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Our two boys have always played multiple sports. One is away at college, but the other is currently playing basketball, hockey, and has football conditioning twice a day, three days a week (by the way, when did high school football become a 12-month sport?).

Uniforms are washed immediately and hung in the laundry room to dry--and left there until they're needed again (this is easier for us than keeping them in the closet with clothes). Hockey equipment (except for the uniform) is kept in a duffle bag. During football season, all those little pads are kept on the desk in the living room overnight until re-assembled in the pants when the pants are dry the next morning(why on the desk, I have no idea, they just are, and it keeps them together, LOL).

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 5:59AM
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I also have multi-sport kids. Right now it isn't so bad because they're young (the boys are 7 & 4), so everything is small!

I've found that the Hockey Tree works for almost all their sports uniforms. Most of the small stuff stays in the equipment bags, but their uniforms and pads hang on the tree. I find that the hockey equipment in particular gets so unbelievably smelly in the bag that I must hang it to let it air out.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hockey Tree

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 10:05AM
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Thanks for all the replies and for brainstorming with me.

As I'm rethinking my system, I've come to the conclusion that my system actually does work. It's the execution of the system that presents the problem. (That, and wishing I had more space to contain it all in one central location -- aka mudroom/laundry room.)

In theory, having the sports stuff in the kids' bedrooms might be ideal. But in practice it needs to be in one location. Sometimes there is barely time between games to wash the uniforms. So the less the uniform travels throughout the house, the better. As they come out of the washing machine they go on a hanger. In the past, they would then get folded and sent to the bedroom. I've since learned that if bedrooms are involved then there's the risk of dirty getting mixed with clean (not to mention the odor factor). They now stay on the hanger until needed again. Being on the hanger also indicates "guaranteed clean". (And while they usually stay in the laundry room at this point, sometimes they have to be moved into the DR to dry over an air vent if they require a quick turnaround.)

The duffle bag is a problem in itself. (Any suggestions on how to keep it clean and deodorized?) My DD (freshman) practices 6 days/week and tends to accumulate smelly socks. Her own fault, we both acknowledge this. But I'd hate for her to store clean headbands, socks, etc. in this bag. Better for her to grab fresh items as needed. She knows to find these in a laundry room bin. (I actually keep these in a net bag -- otherwise the cat likes to drag them throughout the house while we are not at home. Good idea to actually wash them in the net bag too. Thanks, TS.) Sometimes the clean headbands get hung on the same hanger as the uniform, over the top of the hanger.

The kids are 14 and 12. I know...old enough to take care of ALL of this stuff on their own (even washing!) But, I have the time -- and frankly, my daughter just does not have the time between HW and sports to maintain this on a day-to-day basis. (There are days when I feel more like her manager than her mother.) I don't mind doing this at all -- and they are both good at completing their other daily responsibilities.

I think if I clear out a small space in the garage to hang the duffle bags (so we are not tripping over them in our very small mudroom) that would help too. Then (presuming the bags are hung empty), it's just a matter of getting what is needed from the laundry room. The laundry room and mudroom and garage are all within the same proximity. There's just not enough room for more than one person to occupy these spaces at the same time.

I think the current system actually is working, (with some minor tweaks based on suggestions here, thank you very much,) we just need to stay on top of it. (And it helps to "think out loud" and see it here in writing, too.)

Thanks again :-)

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 12:20PM
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There's a machine called a "smell away" that I've seen in ice skating rinks. You throw the entire bag in there and it's supposed to deodorize it. Most of us have been tempted to throw a kid in there from time to time as well, but we've resisted the urge.

In addition to spraying the hockey bag with deodorizors, I occasionally throw a dryer sheet in the bag. It doesn't take the smell away, but it helps a little.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 11:31AM
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Can she make it a practice to turn the duffle bag inside out when she empties it? Then the stowaway socks, etc., will be apparent; they'll fall on the floor. And the inside can air-dry?

I had a cat that "hunted" socks too--he preferred the clean ones from the sock basket, and left their "carcasses" all over the house. Mom kept yelling at us to stop leaving just one sock in the living room. It took us about 3 weeks to figure out that these were DEAD socks. And of course, when it was sock hunting time again, he had to get a "live" one--you can't play w/a sock once it's dead. So, his name became "socks"--which always confused visitors bcs all his paws were gray, like the rest of him.

Can she remember to put the headbands in the net bag w/ the socks?

Maybe the net bag can travel with her? Or she can have a few of them (maybe little ones, like the round ones for bras?) , and one of them is in play (in her duffle) at any given time, w/ a day's worth of socks, headbands, etc.?

    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 3:41PM
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