By Graci Woodworth, Storage.com

As if balancing practice times, games, and the schedules of a dozen little ones isn’t enough chaos for a youth soccer coach, there’s the built-in requirement of handling carloads of equipment in between. Where in the heck are you going to store all of this gear? Your car? Your garage? Your basement?

Here’s a better idea—rent a storage unit at a nearby storage facility!

The storage unit best suited for you will ultimately depend on team size and the amount of equipment you’re responsible for. Start by making a list (like the one below) of everything you haul around throughout the season.

  • soccer balls
  • jerseys
  • cones
  • coolers
  • chairs
  • air pumps
  • extra cleats
  • goals

“One may think that you just simply need a couple balls and a net. This isn’t the case at all,” says Stacy Bartels, youth soccer coach and student athlete at University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “For a coach to have an effective training session, they need to have a ball bag (with at least 10 balls), cones, jerseys, flags, and other materials pertinent to that session. For games, coaches are asked to not only bring the materials listed above, but they also need to have a big net just in case the fields don’t have one provided.”

When it comes to finding a good unit size for your youth soccer team’s equipment, a 5×5 storage unit will likely do the trick. However, if you have to store goals, you may need a 5×10 or 5×15 storage unit.

When asked for tips about preserving sports equipment in a storage unit, James Franklin, Extra Space Manager in Overland Park, Kan., suggests climate-controlled storage. “I’d recommend climate control since things like footballs or soccer balls are temperamental and may not be good with heat,” he says. “We keep our climate-controlled units between 50-70°F, so everything in there is treated well.”

Another feature that may appeal to busy coaches is the option of 24-hour access. Inclement weather can change practice and game times faster than you can rearrange your schedule, so having a storage facility with this convenience can save you from showing up to a 9am game on a Sunday morning without your equipment.

Before officially packing up your team’s belongings into storage though, get rid of germs, sweat, and dirt by spraying equipment with disinfectant and a damp rag. Coolers or water thermoses should be drained, washed, and dried to avoid mildew or unwanted odors.

When it comes to organizing all of this inside your storage unit, keep as much as you can protected in containers or bags. If there are specific items that are used more often than others, arrange those toward the front of your unit. Make sure to leave some sort of path to navigate through the unit without having to move other items as well.

With a storage unit, the days of last-minute hunting for pieces of soccer equipment strewn about your house are gone. That’s one small step for your soccer team, and one giant leap for your living room…the team huddle awaits!