In an effort to make every summer glorious, many people indulge in all kinds of new experiences and purchases, from motorcycles and boats to patio furniture and outdoor cooking appliances. But once the short summer is over and the weather begins to get colder, you need to start thinking about ways to protect your summer gear and toys from the harsh winter weather. Fortunately, some of these items are capable of withstanding some level of abuse, but you should take some measures to protect your investment and make them last longer by finding suitable summer gear storage.
There are a number of ways that homeowners can store their summer gear during winter. These include keeping it in the basement, attic, or garage, and perhaps putting on some covers to keep out dust and precipitation. However, these options can be inconvenient, for example, if strong winds keep blowing the cover off your canoe, or if the items take up too much space and crowd your garage. As such, you need to make the right preparations to safely and conveniently store away each item.
Here are some ideas for storing different types of summer gear for winter:
Your patio furniture should last a lifetime with the proper care. Leaving your garden metal chairs or plastic outdoor furniture outside can ruin its appearance and durability, costing you more every summer to renew it. Considering that you only use it for a few months each year, it’s important to make good arrangements for safe storage when it’s not in use, regardless of the materials used to make it.
Here are the steps to prepare your patio furniture for winter storage:
- Clean each item thoroughly on a sunny day and leave it outside until it dries completely before storage. You should do this before winter starts.
- Apply a protective spray for each piece of furniture before taking it to storage.
- Fold any foldable pieces or stack the plastic or metal chairs to reduce the space needed for storage.
- You can also dismantle and remove any detachable furniture pieces—as directed by the manufacturer—and tie them together using a string or tape to also save space.
If you prefer to leave the furniture outside, wrap each item individually in plastic and then cover the entire set with a large tarp to protect it from the elements. Make sure to secure all the ends with plastic wire, tape, or cable tie straps.
As you prepare to change your tires for winter driving, you need a safe place to store the summer tires for the next few months. For safe storage of your tires, you need to:
- Clean the tires using soapy water to remove accumulated dirt and oil or stones lodged between the treads. Rinse them properly and allow them to dry completely.
- Inspect them for wear and tear, so you only store them if they’re still in good condition for safe driving.
- Put each individual tire in a sturdy plastic bag and remove all the air from the bags before sealing them with tape. You can also put them in tire tote bags, but only after putting them in plastic bags, so they’re airtight.
- Store them vertically in a box or container to prevent damage from the weight caused by stacking them.
If you want to store the tires with the rims mounted, you should clean the rims as well as use specialized products, and then dry and polish them using a dry cloth and wax.
You won’t be able to enjoy riding your motorcycle all winter, so it’s best to keep it indoors away from harsh weather. Leaving it outside exposes it to all kinds of damage from the snow and ice, including rust and engine damage. Without proper care, it may require costly repairs before it’s ready for the road.
Here are the steps to prepare your bike for storage:
- Start by thoroughly cleaning the bike to remove dirt and debris that might trap moisture. The moisture may enter various components and freeze, resulting in serious damage.
- Wax your bike for extra protection.
- Inflate your tires to the maximum pressure and rotate them every couple of weeks.
- Add a stabilizer to the fuel tank or drain it completely.
- Replace the oil and other fluids. Run the bike for a while, and then disengage the battery to protect the components from cold temperatures.
Alternatively, you could keep your motorcycle in heated storage to reduce the risk of any damage occurring during the extremely cold months.
Pool Toys and Accessories
If you have an inflatable pool, then it’s best to drain it and keep it indoors or in your storage unit during winter to prevent unnecessary damage. Stop adding chlorine for at least 10 days before draining it. Then, attach a hose and drain the water gradually into your garden or lawn. After draining the water, remove any fallen leaves, insects, and plant debris, and clean it using soapy water and a sponge, making sure to remove any algae. Then, you can deflate the pool and dismantle any removable parts, rinse it using a hose, and let it air dry. You can also sprinkle talcum powder, which prevents the vinyl material from sticking together. You can now fold the inflatable pool for storage.
Small-sized items can be disassembled or folded into compact sizes for storage, including pool toys such as pool noodles, rafts, and floats. Make sure to clean everything before storage, including any pool toys, beach balls, and floating animals. Deflate any inflatable accessories and place them neatly in a box for storage.
Storing Other Items
Other items that may need to be stored away for winter include:
- Sports equipment.
- Summer clothing, including t-shirts, shorts, and swimsuits.
- Decorations, such as door wreaths, Christmas lights, and other seasonal items, unless you have a birthday to celebrate during winter.
- Tents and sleeping bags.
- Bicycles: clean, deflate, dismantle, and store each item separately while wrapped in plastic.
Make sure everything is clean and dry before storage.
For more information on how to store your valuable summer gear, contact Jiffy Self-Storage here.