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      Storing Outdoor Gear: A Survival Guide for Apartment Renters

      You’ll have a garage and basement … someday

      Key Takeaways

      • Utilize under-furniture storage
      • Maximize your hang-ables
      • Use a cube organizer as a TV stand
      • Defend against sand, dirt, and mud

      By Stephen Sellner | Citizens Bank Staff

      Storing your beach, camping, hiking, and biking gear is as easy as making the necessary space in your garage. That’d be great, if you had a garage … or a house attached to it.

      Fewer millennials are buying houses between the ages of 25 and 34 than the past two generations (cough, student loan debt, cough). And while that reduced homeownership has a number of side effects on today’s generation, one that’s less obvious is having far less storage space.

      If you’re lucky enough to have a basement, then you’re all set! The rest of us have to get a little crafty to maximize our limited space for our beach chairs, coolers, tents, bikes, backpacks, and sleeping bags.

      How can you fit all of your stuff?

      Utilize under-furniture storage

      Your bed and couch are great for relaxing, but don’t sell them short! They can provide valuable storage space, too.

      Beach chairs, for instance, would easily slide under most couches. They won’t be visible on a daily basis; therefore, no constant reminder that you don’t have a proper place for them. Plus, you’re not using them every day, so getting down on your hands and knees to retrieve them before a beach day won’t be as much of a pain.

      Smaller items can be organized in long containers that slide right under your bed.

      Friends look at phone on couch with bike hanging on wall in background.

      Maximize your hang-ables

      What if your large outdoor equipment — bikes, canoes, kayaks, surfboards — could double as wall decorations? Not only will it add character to a room; it’ll solve some of your storage issues, too. Just make sure your apartment allows for drilling into walls before buying any racks or hooks.

      Smaller items could fit well in your closet. Some beach chairs, for instance, have loops on them, making them simple to hang. (If easy storage is important to you, replace gear that isn’t hang-able with hang-able versions.)

      Sleeping bags can also be hung on a hanger, which some experts say maintains their insulation better than rolling them up.

      Need more closet space for your gear? Look into collapsible hangers for your clothes to free up space for these other items.

      Use a cube organizer as a TV stand

      Don’t waste a great storage opportunity with an average TV stand. Buy a cube organizer to serve this function — particularly a wide one that’ll support the weight of a TV. Let’s say you buy a 4 X 2 cube organizer; that’s 8 extra storage opportunities.

      Sure, you won’t fit a cooler in there, but you can keep all your smaller items grouped together. A few cubes could be for camping trips — your flashlight, bug spray, blankets, tarps, matches, and other items. A couple more could hold beach items, like your sunscreen, sunglasses, towels, bathing suit, and beach bag.

      Organizing these into separate groups makes it easy to retrieve items quickly and go!

      Defend against sand, dirt, and mud

      Shoe trays are a great way to prevent sand, dirt, and mud from getting tracked into your apartment. That way you can kick off your sandals, boots, and shoes after a day trip or weekend getaway without worrying about the mess.

      As for your other equipment? That’s another reason to store them in bins, when you can. The runoff sand, dirt, and mud will land safely in your bins, which you can empty outside at a later date.

      No mess, no headache.

      What to remember

      In the future, you’ll probably live in a place with all the storage space you need. Until then, use these tips to make the most of the space you have so you’re not stuck storing outdoor gear at someone else’s house.

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