The last time you had a locker, it may have held your algebra book and pictures of Shaun Cassidy ripped from Tiger Beat. These days, though, lockers can serve as catchalls at home for your kids’ mountains of stuff.
Vanguard single-tier lockers, in Champagne, $247.50 each, pencoproducts.com. Paint, in Gray Squirrel and Yucca Plant, by Martha Stewart Living Paint, from homedepot.com/marthastewart. Paint, in Oriole, benjaminmoore.com. Kids Original boots, in Green and Powder Blue, $75, usa.hunter-boot.com. Sports equipment, from Sports Authority.
Shoes and Cleats
It seems that every sport has its own (often mud-caked) pair of shoes. Luckily, two shoe bags fit perfectly within this locker. Hang them from a dowel, which can be painted and screwed in through existing holes in the locker. Place a tissue box holder full of plastic bags inside one compartment, so kids can put soiled sneakers inside them to keep the shoe rack from getting dirty.
Aspen round dowel (painted), 11/4 inches, $3.87, by Alexandria Moulding, from homedepot.com. 10-shelf organizers, $15 each, by EZ-Do, and Neo large round magnetic hooks, $6 for 2, by Spectrum, from surprisesurprise.com. Grundtal tissue box, $8, ikea.com/us.
Rollerblades, Scooters, and Skateboards
Kids' sets of wheels get their own parking spot here. Hang bungee cords from the locker’s existing hooks, and then wrap them around the end of the item (the wheels of a skateboard, the handle of a pogo stick). A bin on the top shelf holds water bottles, and pool passes or other IDs can hang from a magnetic hook.
Bats and Balls
To indicate to children what goes where, take a cue from Julia Child, replacing French copper pots with bats and tennis rackets. First, cut a pegboard 1/8-inch shy of locker dimensions on all sides, and paint; let it dry, and then paint silhouettes of your items. Next, create a frame, and attach to the back of the locker using 3/4-inch square molding. Screw the pegboard to the frame (this creates space behind the board for hooks), and hang your items. Add magnetic hooks to the door for a hockey stick, and use a laundry bag for balls.
Perforated pegboard (painted) 24 inches by 48 inches, $7.87, and pegboard hook assortment, $4 for 32, by Grown Bolt; homedepot.com. Mesh laundry bag, in Orange, $6, containerstore.com. Ellipse medium magnetic hook, $6 for 3, by Spectrum, from surprisesurprise.com.
Helmets and Gloves
Instead of tossing their helmets, gloves, and shin guards on the first empty surface they see -- whether it’s the kitchen table or the bedroom floor -- kids can tuck them away in this organizer. As with the shoe racks, hang the organizer from a dowel screwed into the top of the locker. Post practice and game schedules on the door with magnets.
Aspen round dowel (painted), 1 1/4 inches, $3.87, by Alexandria Moulding, from homedepot.com. Six-shelf organizer, $17, by EZ-Do, from bedbathandbeyond.com. Superstrong magnets, $8 for 6, by Magnutz, from containerstore.com.
Division of Labor
No, this locker won’t become a collection of junk drawers, as long as you create a series of dedicated compartments. Download our locker labels.
Exterior Vintage basket locker, in Ocean, $600, rehabvintage.net. Magnetic hook (holds up to 7 pounds), $6, by Spot-On, from containerstore.com. Kanken daypack, in Moss, $65, fjallraven.us. Ink-jet magnetic sheets, $12.79 for 4, staples.com.
Everything in Its Place
Use a plate rack to file permission slips or homework. Dedicate another drawer to a first-aid kit, plus on-the-road supplies such as sunscreen. Have your child place gloves and hats in the lower drawers and hang her backpack from a hook.
Top left: Maple rack, $7, containerstore.com. Paint (on rack), in Yucca Plant, by Martha Stewart Living Paint, homedepot.com/marthastewart. Top right: Mini Meds cabinet, $25, mxyplyzyk.com. PP make boxes, from $2.25, muji.us. Bottom left: Bra boxes, $7 each, containerstore.com. PP make tray, $2.75, muji.us. Bottom right: Sox boxes, $6 each, and underwear boxes, from $6 each; containerstore.com.
Bins Full of Fun
Think of this as a boredom-busting station, with supplies for keeping a child entertained indoors and out. Place construction paper and coloring books in letter trays on the top shelves, and crayons, markers, and sidewalk chalk in organizers mounted on the door (because they’re magnetic, she can just carry the whole container to wherever she’s playing). The bins -- use canvas, so they don’t scratch the locker’s finish -- can hold larger items such as instruments, jump ropes, and balls.
PS cabinet, $99, ikea.com/us. Fabric drawers, in Green, $6.87 each, by Martha Stewart Living, from homedepot.com/marthastewart.com. Edge letter trays, $25 each; Mini magnetic hooks, in Olive, $9 for 4, by Spot-On; and Circuit magnetic bins, from $7 each; containerstore.com. Reusable magnetic strips, 2 inches by 6 inches (cut to 1/2-inch widths), $46 for 100, uline.com.