7 Tips to Organize your Ski Gear for Stress Free Packing!

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Skiing is great, but getting all the gear together and loaded up can easily be one of the worst parts of the day. But what if it didn’t have to be that way?  What if you had a system in place so you really could just grab everything you needed and GO??

Here, I’m going to show you exactly how we do that WITH FIVE KIDS!!  Honestly, if we can do it, ANYONE CAN!

Now in the video below, you’ll see exactly what it looks like for us to grab our gear and get out the door (and seriously watch it all so you can see the craziness of getting gear ON 5 kids!).  From start to finish, it takes us about 10 minutes.  Add an extra 5 minutes if we’re packing a lunch. Keep reading below for how to make these tips and tricks work to simplify your ski packing and ski organization.

Choose The Best Storage Area for both Organization and Easy Access

Finding the right spot for our ski equipment was crucial for our family. With limited space like many households, we prioritized keeping frequently used items like gloves, mittens, hats, and balaclavas within easy reach in our coat closet. Snowpants and coats, essential due to our area’s heavy snowfall, are also stored conveniently in the coat closet or on hooks by the front door, simplifying storage and access for everyone, especially the kids.

Take a look at your family storage options and see what works best for the space you have. You want the gear that needs daily access easily accessible and to have a simple spot to put it back away.

ski gear organization

We store our less frequently used ski gear, like skis, poles, helmets, goggles, and boots, in out-of-the-way spots since we only use them on ski days. Skis and poles go in the garage, while helmets, goggles, and boots are kept in a basement storage closet. This setup helps the boots and helmets dry after use and keeps them from getting too cold, unlike if they were stored in the garage.

Always Clean and Dry Gear BEFORE Storing

Our gear care system includes drying everything before storage, crucial for outerwear like gloves and mittens to prevent damage. We use our fireplace hearth to dry small items overnight. For wet gloves, we open them and place over a vent for thorough drying, but most other gear will dry on it’s own if left out in the open overnight.

For dirty gear from skiing, we hang them on laundry room hooks for cleaning. It’s important to use special detergent for outerwear to maintain waterproofing in the long term.

Organization for Hats, Gloves, Balaclavas, and other Small Items

When it comes to staying organized, it’s always been the small things that make me the most crazy. Organizing our family’s winter gear was a challenge until we found a great system. We use a mesh hanging shoe organizer in our coat closet, with a row for each family member’s gloves, mittens, and hats. The youngest gets the lowest row for easy access and the oldest (dad) gets the top row. This setup helps keep everything in place, simplifies packing for ski trips, and ensures gear dries out, thanks to the mesh’s breathability.

ski gear organization

We store most neck gaiters and balaclavas separately but use the organizer for easy ski day prep, grabbing neck warmers/balaclavas for everyone plus 1-2 extras in case one gets lots of slobber or snot on it. This method has streamlined our gear storage and made our winter routine much smoother.

Tips for Storing Skis

We’ve experimented with various ski storage methods and found that giving each pair of skis and poles a specific spot prevents clutter. Our top pick for organizing skis in the garage is the Gravity Grabber ski rack because it allows us to adjust the heights, making skis accessible for everyone while keeping them neatly out of the way. Our children, starting at age 4, can easily place and retrieve their skis themselves. Additionally, drying the ski bottoms before storage is crucial to prevent rust on the edges, so we always wipe our skis dry before putting them away.

gravity grabber ski rack

Tips for Storing Ski Boots

The key to maintaining ski boots is to always buckle them after use to maintain their shape and integrity. It’s also crucial to let them dry out post-skiing, as moisture comes in from a combination of sweat and some snow. If we have more than 1 day between ski days, our boots always dry out fine on their own in this bin since there is plenty of room for air to circulate.

For organization and storage, we use a large plastic bin at home for easy drying and transport. Previously, a shelf worked for storage, but with less space now, the bin is more practical. Avoid storing boots in cold places to prevent them from becoming too cold and stiff/uncomfortable to wear.

ski gear organization

Getting Ski Gear from Home to the Ski Hill

Getting your gear organized at home is just the start; throwing everything into the car without a plan can lead to a chaotic start on ski days. It’s crucial to have a method for organizing ski gear for the trip to the slopes. Here are a couple of strategies:

  1. Individual Bags: Each person has a bag for their own gear, a common approach for families with kids on ski teams. These boot bags hold ski boots, helmets, goggles, gloves, balaclava, and hand warmers, with each person responsible for their own bag. This works well for those who prepare inside the lodge.
  2. Grouped by Type: Packing gear collectively, sorted by item type, simplifies getting ready at the car. Use one large bag for balaclavas, gloves, and hand warmers, and separate containers for boots and helmets. This method suits large families better, avoiding the need for multiple individual bags.
ski gear organization

Our Clean Up Method After a Family Ski Day

Our family has a ski rule: everyone who skis helps with cleanup or faces extra chores and a PB&J dinner instead of dinner with the family. Everyone wants a hot dinner after a ski day, so this is pretty motivating for even super tired kids. The routine is to empty the car and store all gear before anything else, (except for one parent who prepares dinner so it can be ready ASAP)

Often we split up tasks so that the work of putting gear away is more efficient. Here’s what the tasks are that we divide among ourselves:

  • Helmets and goggles are brought inside, with goggles placed in bags and helmets stored in their basement bin.
  • Ski boots are checked for buckling before being stored in the basement bin.
  • The ski bag containing balaclavas, neck warmers, gloves, and mittens is brought in, and any wet items are laid out to dry.
  • Skis are unloaded, wiped down, and placed on garage storage racks, with poles hung up afterward.
  • The car is checked for any remaining items to bring inside.
ski gear organization

Only after these tasks are completed can everyone relax and hang up their coats and snowpants, which are placed on hooks overnight and moved to the coat closet the next morning if dry.

This routine typically takes under five minutes with everyone’s participation. After changing out of snow clothes, dinner is ready, and since the kids know the drill, there’s no sneaking away or urgent hunger complaints.

Additionally, we assign someone to put away any gear still drying the next morning, to make sure items don’t stay out too long and create clutter.

Why Our Ski Gear Organization WORKS Well

  1.  Gear we use regularly goes in our hanging organizer.  Each kid has a designated section and all their gloves and hats ALWAYS go in there.  This is a total game changer friend.  Head over and buy yourself one – I’m pretty sure it will be the best $8 you’ve spent in a long time!
  2. Gear we use just for skiing stays separate from everything else.  Neck warmers and the ski harness always stay in the duffle, and the helmets and goggles always go in our big bin.  Yep, as soon as the kids take their helmets off after they ski, they toss them in our big bin and it goes straight into the basement.  I never have to think about them.  When it’s time to go, I do a quick count to make sure they’re all there and just toss the whole thing in the car.
  3. We only keep out the skis and poles that we use.  Because we have kids who are always growing, we have several extra pairs of skis that are in between our kids current sizes AND we have several pairs of adult skis.  However, with our current set-up, we only keep one pair of skis (and poles) per person accessible.  That way the kids can totally be in charge of loading them up.  I don’t have to ask them if they grabbed the right pair for everyone, they just know to grab them ALL!

A few things to note before you head out the door.  All of our kids are wearing their ski clothes up to the hill.  In fact, if they don’t have their ski clothes on, they don’t get breakfast.  Everyone is expected to wear baselayer tops and bottoms and then an insulating mid layer (usually fleece), with wool ski socks.  They also are all responsible for making sure that they wear their snow boots.  This one isn’t a major issue since for the most part they will just get their ski gear on at the car, but occasionally, we stop and play in the snow on the way home, so it’s always good to be prepared!

About Jessica Averett

Hi, I’m Jessica, a mom of 5 kids and married to my favorite adventure partner. I love to bike, ski, camp and hike. We've visited over 40 countries with our kids, but are equally happy on the road as we are exploring our home state of Utah.

1 thought on “7 Tips to Organize your Ski Gear for Stress Free Packing!”

  1. Thanks! I’m trying to learning how to organize our gear! I have four young kids.

    How often do you wash ski pants/jackets? Each time? What’s your system there… After the wash, how do you store your clothes? Maybe I need a special bag for gloves/hats, to go into the clothes bin. Any tips on washing waterproof clothes to keep them water proof?

    We have a bit of a drive to the top of the mountain, I don’t think we can wear our gear that long… Maybe we’ll just keep to wearing our under layers, and get dressed at the top. But, they hate getting dressed at the top…

    I need a system for that…


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