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Organized Boathouse for Easy Lake Living

"Life is better near the water," a little wooden painted sign reads. Many of us lake lovers know this to be true. You arrive at the lake and breathe a sigh of relief. Sitting alongside a large body of water (or even a pool) tends to help us relax.

You know what isn't relaxing? All the toys, life jackets, gear and supplies that lake life requires...when it is disorganized. Especially when it all sits on the floor, growing mildew and spider families.

Before: storage unit of boathouse accessories

That's why lake life needs organizational systems....organization enhances your relaxing, healthy, and happy experiences near the water.

Bottom Boathouse:

My family has owned lake property for 30 years in northern Wisconsin on the Three Lakes chain of lakes, and we recently upgraded our ancient wet boathouse. My role was to help implement organization. As you might guess I suggested my usual system preference: elfa from The Container Store. The utility tracks and assortment of durable hooks did the trick in the bottom of the boathouse, where it is susceptible to moisture. The hooks easily hold life jackets (for humans and dogs), lake toys, folding tables and chairs, ropes, brooms, and other flotation devices.

We also mounted cushioned/coated screw-in hooks directly into studs to hold folding chairs and umbrellas.

My dad got creative and built his own fishing rod holder and a locking system for the stand-up paddle board...all made out of wood.

Upper Boathouse:

While the bottom of the boathouse is very utilitarian, the upper boathouse is more polished and comfortable. There is a small room for storage, where I got to use elfa again!

We chose elfa decor in white with plenty of shelving and drawers to hold cleaning supplies, extra chairs, portable fan, scissors, etc. Oh! And extra pool noodles, of course, set atop bracket posts near the ceiling.

Since the cottage is 4 hours north of the Milwaukee location of The Container Store, we designed it, ordered the materials, picked it up from the Store, and installed it ourselves!

My handsome handy husband!

If you like any of these ideas for your boathouse, cottage, or outbuilding near the lake (or not), let us know! We'd be happy to help you with the design process for your organizing project, so you can maximize relaxation.

Bonus: Check out my sister's company Lake Effect Co (online or in-person alongside Pewaukee Lake, WI) for more ways to enhance your life near the water. Use promo code "piecesintoplace15" for 15% off your first order!

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