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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 an 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?
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.
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:
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.
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:
If you decide to store your garden furniture in your shed, make sure you waterproof it properly. For those of you that might need more detailed information on the topic, read our detailed guide on how to pack and store furniture.
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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:
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.
2. Clean the pool thoroughly.
3. Leave it to dry.
4. Fold the pool flat.
5. Store it in a dry place.
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, floating 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
You can safely store your boat or dinghy inflated or deflated, as long as you follow some common sense rules.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Winterising your camping stove and other cooking gear involve very much the same steps as if you’re packing a portable barbeque.
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.
Did you find this article useful? Then please, share it with your friends on your social media channels! And if you have your own storage tips or some unforgettable mishap stories and accidental storage failures, then, why not tell our readers in the comments below?