10 How-to Tips for Storing Your Summer Gear During Winter

summer items storage tips
Admit it! This year’s glorious British summer has probably encouraged you to buy more gear than you would generally bother to get in past summer seasons. Be it an extra garden seating set for those frequent extended-family barbeque gatherings and an enormous marquee to match, so your guests can sit under and avoid the scorching sun. Or maybe, you’ve purchased a large-sized inflatable pool for your kids to splash about, a fancy portable jacuzzi and of course, that long-dreamed-of jet ski, you are taking down to Devon, right? Whatever it is, most likely, you’ve compiled a fair amount of summer items, in attempt to take full advantage of the hot weather this year.

Hmm, but where are you going to pack and store all this stuff, once Autumn sets in?

Table of Contents:

This post will address exactly that – how to safely put away and store your summer items for the winter so that they remain in their original good condition. Regardless of whether you’re going to use your garage or barn, or you’ll resort to a commercial storage facility, due to lack of spare space at home, packing and storing your seasonal stuff properly, will save you from needing to replace it the following year. So, let’s look into the ways of how to prepare various seasonal items for storage.

Storing Tyres After Season The Right Way

How to Store Wheels and Tyres

depositphotos / By intararit

With the weather turning in, your summer season tyres have to come off and be put away in a dry place until you need them again next year. And even if you use a professional storage service, which provides you with an airtight unit to keep your tyres, they still need to be packed appropriately beforehand.

Here’s what you need to do to ensure that your tyres are still safe to drive with for another season:

  • Clean the tyres well – Wash the tyres with soapy water to remove oil and dirt accumulation, and rinse them well. If you use a pressure-washing equipment, pay head not to go too close and damage the rubber. Also, now is a good time to take the opportunity and inspect the tyres for wear and tear. It makes sense not to store something that you can no longer use. Check for any small stones that might have got lodged between the treads, as well, and remove them.
  • Pack the tyres in bags – Once cleaned, allow time for the tyres to dry before placing them in individual plastic bags. Sturdy bin bags should do the job nicely. Remove all the air out of the bags and use strong tape to seal them. Some people prefer to invest in tyre tote bags for easier handling but those are not airtight. So, our advice is to still use plastic bags on top of the totes for a better protection against various atmospheric conditions.
  • Store them upright – Store your tyres vertically in the container or box, especially if they are without the rims. This way, you’ll avoid any damage, caused by the weight, generated from stacking them one over the other. If you intend to store your tyres, while mounted on their rims, then, you can safely stack them without any risk of damaging them.

How to Store Alloy Wheels When Not in Use

Whether your wheel rims are made of steel or from a predominantly aluminium containing alloy, they should be thoroughly cleaned before packing them for storage. Use specialised products for this purpose, which are specially designed for the material your wheels are made from.

Finish the cleaning process by polishing your tyre rims with wax and a dry cloth. If you decide on using liquid wax, then no manual rubbing and polishing is required. This way, the wheels will be preserved for longer.

Remember, that steel, if damp and dirty, can still rust, so make sure that you do your homework before placing your steel tyres in a strong box, ready for storage. Always use some soft material to put in between each rim to avoid scratches and denting.

Advice on Storing Garden Furniture

Storing Summer Garden Furniture

depositphotos / By kropic

We bet, you’ve seen sad-looking garden metal chairs in people’s gardens many times, covered either in snow or wet fallen leaves… Or every year, you notice the plastic outdoor furniture of indiscernible colour next door, left there, “abandoned”, through the entire winter.
Well, don’t make the same mistake of leaving your garden furnishing essentials out in the cold weather months if you hope to enjoy them again in the spring!

No matter what material they are made from, your pieces will inevitably suffer some level of damage, caused by the elements. So, do the right thing and prepare your outside furniture for storage, if you want to appreciate your investment for years to come.

Here is how to prepare and pack your general garden furniture for storage:

  • Clean each individual piece thoroughly on a nice sunny day at the end of the season and leave them to dry.
  • Stack carefully the chairs, if plastic or metal, into one or two stacks (depending on their number) to reduce the space they would need for storage.
  • Foldable chairs can be folded neatly to achieve the above mentioned goal.
  • If feasible, remove detachable plastic table legs and tie them together with a tape or a string.
  • Dismantle flat pack wooden furniture according to the manufacturer’s instructions and lay flat into sturdy boxes.
  • If your preference is to leave your bulky and hard-to-pack furniture outside after all, then, make sure that you cover each piece well with a strong black plastic sheet. Secure the ends of the covers around the table, chairs or benches’ legs with tape, plastic wire or cable tie straps.

For those of you that might need more detailed information on the topic, read our detailed guide on how to pack and store furniture.

Winter Care And Storage Tips For Your Trampoline

This playtime outdoor item is for sure awkward to pack. But this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t make every effort to protect it against harsh atmospheric conditions, especially if you don’t intend to use in the winter. Leaving your trampoline uncovered outside carries instantly significant safety risks for your children, next time they rush to jump about on it and have fun.
That’s why, take every measure to winterise the trampoline properly to avoid unnecessary wear and tear, and thus, jeopardise your kids’ well-being.

Trampoline care and storage advice:

  • Remove the safety netting, if applicable, and fold it neatly. Place the netting in a plastic bag;
  • Clean the mat and springs with soapy water and a soft bristle brush. Rinse and leave to dry;
  • Detach the springs and remove the clean mat. Try not to leave air pockets or create creases, while folding the mat carefully;
  • Store all the above in a dry place or pack everything in a box, so it’s ready for a storage facility;
  • You can leave the frame, if rust-resistant, safely outside. Still, to be on the safe side, we advise you to cover it with a plastic sheet for the winter.

The Inflatable Pool – Packing Tips For Storage

Inflatable Pools, Storage and Packing

depositphotos / By alenkasm

Inflatable pools come in all shapes, designs and sizes. But one thing is for sure, when not in use, they are best stored indoors or in a commercial storage unit. Only this way, you can ensure that your pool will retain its perfect condition, so you can appreciate it time and time again.

Here’s what to do with your above ground fast-to-set (frameless) inflatable or steel-frame pool, once the cool weather sets in:

1. Drain the pool according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

  • Choose a spell of dry weather to complete the task;
  • Ensure that the chemical composition of the water has a neutral pH level and doesn’t contain too much chlorine (stop using any chlorine tablets 10 days prior draining);
  • Attach a hose, as described in the manual guide, to release gradually the water and safely water your garden at the same time;
  • Don’t attempt what this guy did in this video and flood your backyard, even if you feel that it’s time to part with your pool for good.

2. Clean the pool thoroughly.

  • Remove any plant debris, fallen leaves and insects with a hose;
  • Use a sponge and soapy water to clean accumulated algae, if any;
  • Deflate the inflatable pool or dismantle all metal parts of the steel frame pool, following the instructions manual, and pack them in a box;
  • Rinse well with a hose or a pressure-washing equipment on a low setting to avoid damaging the pool.

3. Leave it to dry.

  • Air-dry the pool for a few hours until there is no moisture left to avoid mold growth when folded;
  • Sprinkle some talcum powder to prevent the vinyl from sticking together.

4. Fold the pool flat.

  • Fold the pool lining membrane carefully by laying flat the sides over the bottom sheet of the pool;
  • Ensure that the liner is smoothed out, first, and has no visible creases;
  • Ask two people to help you pool one of the sides over until it meets the other side;
  • Keep folding in half and when you end up with a long strip, fold again in half. Repeat, if needs be, until the vinyl sheet can be packed into an easy-to-handle size.

5. Store it in a dry place.

  • Keep the pool somewhere indoors where the level of humidity is low;
  • Ensure that the place is free of pests, especially rodents;
  • You can cover it for extra protection or place the pool in a box, along with the frame parts (if applicable), so it becomes more manageable for transportation, in case you decide to use a storage service for your items in the winter.

Bicycles Storage Solutions And Advice

If your family loves cycling, you probably own a few bikes that you struggle to find space to store in the blistering wintery weather months. And it’s no like you can pack and “tuck” them away in boxes out of sight, right? So, if you have too many bicycles for storage, winterise them properly in advance before you approach a professional storage company to help you out.

Here is how to winterise your bicycles:

  • Clean the bike, including the frame, saddle, pedals, handles, wheels and tyres;
  • Give special attention to the brake pads, cables and chain – align the pads to avoid unnecessary wear, and clean and lubricate the chain and cables;
  • Inflate the tyres, so that they don’t suffer excessive pressure from the weight of the bike, if it’s going to be stored standing for a long period.

And if you are lucky enough to own a good-sized garage space or a large shed, you can get inspiration from some DIY bike storage ideas.

Prepare Your Barbeque For Storage

British people rarely have a chance to use their barbeque in the winter, as the weather is more often than not wet, miserable and dull. So, leaving your portable cooking device unprotected outside in such conditions, even under a plastic sheet, will only make it easier for moisture to get in and cause the barbeque to rust. Not to mention the field mice or rats, which may rush to settle under the grill cover in search of shelter, leaving it contaminated and unusable next season. Mould growth, oxidation and corrosion are also notorious culprits behind the significant damage that individual parts of your barbie can suffer if left outside.

So, you better make provisions to store securely your garden cooking gear indoors where it’s dry and rodent-free. Or pack your device neat to add to the bundle of summer items, you intend to put in a storage facility for the winter. Don’t forget that you’ll need to clean the barbeque thoroughly to ensure that it’s in top condition when you next need to use it.

Note that gas bottles (for gas-fueled devices) need be stored correctly outdoors, as they cannot be included in the load you want to place in a commercial storage unit.

How to Clean And Store Gardening Items For Winter

Storage and Maintenance of Garden Equipment

depositphotos / By stockasso

Naturally, with the cold months setting in, later in the year, there are less and less things to do in the garden. So, if you’re a diligent green-fingered enthusiast, you’ll promptly clean and prepare your garden tools and equipment for winter storage.

Store Your Garden Hose

Drain the hose well before putting it away for the winter. Coil up the hose carefully and connect the ends together with a tape. This way, you’ll prevent little critters from nesting inside the hose. Also, if don’t own a hose reel to store correctly your garden watering device, you can improvise DIY-style. Still, don’t hang the hose directly on a nail to avoid creating irreparable twists and kinks, and thus, make it unusable next season. Instead, get a medium-sized can or a tin, place it over a long nail, attached securely to a beam or a wall, and hang the hose loop on it.

Maintain And Store Your Garden Tools

At the end of the gardening season, inspect your collection of manual tools for wear and tear. Clean thoroughly the metal parts from mud and dirt. Then, you can use steel wool to scrub them down or a wire bristle brush to remove any rust. Sandpaper is also very effective to shine your tools to perfection. Furthermore, hard-to-clean rust can be removed, if you dip your fork, shovel, hoe and the like in a homemade solution that contains either, white vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide or coca-cola. Once cleaned, put your garden devices somewhere dry and off the floor, or pack them neatly for storage. Make sure that all springs and coils on your tools are off pressure.

Long Term Storage of Garden Machinery

Garden power tools need tender loving care in the winter months, as well, don’t you agree? So, clean well the blades of your lawn mower from grass and dirt. Then, remove, sharpen and oil them. The same goes for other electrical or petrol-powered garden machinery that you might have – aerators, scarifiers, hedge and lawn trimmers, and so on. If your tools operate with a cutting wire, make sure you have a new one ready for next season, and throw the old one away. Also, make sure that you empty the fuel tanks of your garden equipment before placing it into storage. Petrol, sitting inside the tank for a long period, may damage the latter irreversibly. Moreover, note that you’ll not be allowed to place items that hold inflammable substances into a commercial storage unit.

Preparing Pastime & Hobby-related Items For Storage

Hobby Related Items in Long Term Storage

depositphotos / By mihtiander

And now, let’s move on to some fun-related summer items and see what you should do before storing them after the season, in order to keep them protected from the adverse effect of moisture, cold weather and pest activity.

Inflatable Dinghies and Boats

You can safely store your boat or dinghy inflated or deflated, as long as you follow some common sense rules.

Storing Your Boat Deflated

Keeping your inflatable boat deflated in a box or cupboard, when not in use, resolves perfectly any storage space issues that you may have. First, clean and dry the watercraft properly to remove all possible water microorganisms. The last thing you need is to discover a colony of miniature specimens (a scientist’s dream) on your boat next time you want to go for a paddle. Remove any hard parts, according to the instruction manual (if applicable) and fold the boat tight. Always start with the sides, first, and then, roll the boat from back to front. Place in a box to keep somewhere dry indoors, or so it’s ready for transportation to a storage facility.

Storing Away Your Dinghy Inflated

  • Ensure that your boat is stored in a dry place and off the floor;
  • Regularly top up the air with a pump so that the boat is firm and rodent-repellent.
  • In relation to the above advice, never store your dinghy half-inflated, as it makes it an easy target for rats to gnaw at the rubber and destroy your boat.

Fishing Gear

We don’t even imagine that you’d pack your fishing kit hastily for the winter if you are an avid angler or a keen fisherman. Still, we share below some basic tips for storing your fishing equipment if you’re just starting up or fishing is an occasional pastime of yours.

  • Disassemble your rods, clean them and store them vertically in individual rod sleeves at room temperature to avoid damage.
  • Clean the reels, after taking them apart, and lubricate all movable parts with oil. This way, you’ll avoid problems with corrosion and freezing temperatures.
  • Check your fly lines for wear and tear and stow them away in loose coils in a designated fishing kit box. This way, there’ll be less chance of finding them all twisted and tangled before the next fishing season starts.
  • Discard all no-good and broken or bent hooks, lures, jigs and artificial baits. Consider replacing them in time, so you’re all set and ready next time your mates call you to go fishing.
  • Inspect the rest of your fishing tools, like hook sharpeners, pliers and fillet knives, clean them well, and sharpen and oil them if necessary before storing them in an airtight box.

Sports Equipment

Certainly, we can’t go through the long list of sports type of gear that you might have and enjoy playing with during the hot summer months. You probably own various items, including football, basketball and volleyball balls; tennis and volleyball nettings; roller skates, skateboards, hoverboards, segways, kids scooters and so on. We can only recommend that you clean, fold, roll and prepare your sports items properly and with due care before packing them in boxes and sturdy bags. It always helps if you stick a label on each package, especially if you intend to put the load in a long-term storage unit during winter. This way, the movers will know if they should handle some of your expensive and breakable sports gear with extra care.

Stowing Away Items You Use During Holidays

Winterise Holiday Items, Tents, Hammocks and Other

depositphotos / By duckeesue

Be it when camping, hiking, rock climbing, fishing or just going to the beach, you probably have all sorts of stuff that you take with you to make your adventures or holidays out in the open more comfortable, enjoyable or hassle-free. And if you want these items to serve you well for years to come, you need to prepare them properly for storage when not in use.

Tents, Umbrellas, Awnings & Hammocks

Although made from durable types of fabric that can often withstand pressure and extreme temperatures, this doesn’t mean that you should stow away beach umbrellas, hammocks and tents in a rush. Always pack them, when completely dry, to prevent mold from damaging your textile or PVC camping gear or items you use on the beach. Fold flat by avoiding the formation of air pockets and creases, where condensation can set in during periods of fluctuating temperatures. It’s best if you use waterproof packaging material to wrap your summer fabric essentials before storing them in a dry and rodent-free place.

Small Inflatables

Well, these might be inexpensive fun items that your kids use when they go swimming at the local pool or at the sea. And of course, you don’t mind buying them new every summer. Still, why do this when you can store your small inflatables the right way after the season so that they can be used again. Just clean all pool toys, float animals, sticks and rings, pool rafts and beach balls, dry them well and deflate. Pack the inflatable accessories neatly in a box and they’ll be good to go into your chosen storage space.

Portable Stoves And Cooking Gear

Winterising your camping stove and other cooking gear involves very much the same steps as if you’re packing a portable barbeque.

  • Clean meticulously your cooking devices
  • Detach the gas bottles from the stove (keep those properly wrapped outside under a cover)
  • Place the items in a sturdy box and stow away somewhere dry

This way, you’ll always enjoy hearty meals year after year, far from home on your new adventures. And your cooking gear will never fail you and put you to the test if you can survive for days on snicker bars, Bear Grylls-style.

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Posted in Moving and Packing Tips

Last update: September 18, 2018
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