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May 21, 2019

Seasonal Swap: Where to Stash Your Summer Stuff

As the temps rise, and neighborhood pools open to the public, our homes also transform. We put aside the clear three-drawer bins filled with hats, gloves, and scarves and trade those storage spaces in for summer essentials like towels, swim gear, and beach accessories. Check out our best recommendations for where to store all those summer essentials!

Beach Towels
Bright, colorful, fluffy rolled or folded towels just make me smile. My two favorite places to store beach towels are the laundry room and garage. (I prefer to keep them out of already packed bathroom closets, unless the bathroom is on the first floor and close to the exit used most often when heading to the local watering hole.) Storing clean beach towels in the laundry room signals to everyone in the home that the laundry room is THE place where those towels belong. It’s the one room where dirty towels should go so that they can be washed and used for the next outing. However, if you’re short on space (or too short to comfortably reach the laundry room storage), a basket in the garage or mudroom will suffice. Temporarily stash wet beach towels on a wash line out back or drape them over folding drying racks.

Everyone’s got ‘em, and they’ve got ‘em in ALL the places. Dry suits should be stored in your personal chest of drawers or bedroom closet. If you find that you need a suit on the go, then stash one in a beach bag that you keep packed at all times (and is stored in your car or near the main exit for quick retrieval). If you loved the idea of storing towels in the laundry room, then store your suits in the bathroom. The strategy of storing items in the room where you’ll interact with the most is a great memory device! The bathroom will most likely be the place where you would put them on and take them off, so it’s a great alternative if you’re low on closet space. Remember that suits need to be washed regularly to remove body odors, pool chemicals, and anything else on them. It is also recommended that you replace suits every two years (if not more often) as the elastic becomes brittle with exposure.

Swim Accessories
Function trumps form when we’re talking about accessories like hair ties, brushes, sunblock, and goggles. Although that beach hat is adorable and looks amazing hanging on your wall, it does you no good if it doesn’t end up in your bag! Keep your accessories in open-top bins, or prepacked bags, near your beach towels. We’ve already talked about storing items where you access them as a way to help you remember where they are. You can also use big items like beach towels to help your brain anchor the storage location for an entire category. Grouping similarly accessed items allows your brain to simply recall where the towels are in order to find everything else!

Pool Toys
My favorite! I realize some of you might not have kids, but everyone enjoys tossing a ball! We stash our squirt guns, diving rings, balls, and pool noodles in a plastic bin in the garage, but a carport or back deck will also do the trick. The key here is corral all the things that don’t require laundering into a drip-dry space. I wouldn’t recommend your laundry or mudroom because water has a way of ruining surfaces and causing falls. Select a safe space that’s easy for young ones to access but out of the main traffic pattern. You might even store that portable drying rack near the pool toys so that you can easily drop those wet towels with the other wet stuff when you come home.

Beach Chairs + Umbrellas
Like beach towels, these items don’t need to be accessible during the off-season. However, once you start using them, it’s important to give them a home for the summer. I LOVE using vertical storage. Hooks on your garage wall or pegboard are an excellent way to store folding chairs and rolled umbrellas. My breach umbrella has one of those plastic screw bases, so I drop that guy along with the plastic beach cupholders into a bag that hangs nearby!

Tell us how you like to organize your summer stuff in the comments below!

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