Keeping track of muddy cleats, unwieldy bats, playground toys, and runaway balls is tough. This game plan gives gear a home base.

By Stephanie Sisco
Updated September 12, 2013
Mike Lemanski

Stow away seasonal items. How often do you picnic? Store baskets, camping gear—whatever isn't a weekly need—on the top shelf.

Have uniforms ready. Minimize the times you hear "Mom, where's my [fill in the blank]?" by hanging clean jerseys out in the open.

Hang hats. Whether they're vacation souvenirs (any mouse ears up there?) or necessities for Little League, caps can add up. Keep them organized and easy to find with over-the-door racks.

Park a wagon. You can wheel castle-building tools out the door and straight to the edge of the sandbox. Or simply have their favorite ride ready for a walk around the neighborhood. (Just remember to clean the wheels before coming in.)

Secure the sticks. Utility hooks (available at hardware stores) are an easy, inexpensive way to prevent baseball bats, hockey and lacrosse sticks, and your broom (if this isn't strictly a sports closet) from clattering around in the corner.

Keep the balls (from) rolling. Under the desk? Behind the garbage can? Nope, they're right where you left them, thanks to wall-mounted claws.

Create a catchall. For anything that doesn't have a specific storage spot (tennis rackets, golf umbrellas, bike helmets), a tall wire basket provides a simple solution. And kids can see straight inside to find what's hiding at the bottom.

Sweat the small stuff. Use a hanging shoe organizer for little essentials, like ear-buds, swim goggles, and a stopwatch.