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Spring weather has finally arrived, which means it’s time to break out the lawn gear and resume your seasonal landscaping duties. It’s also safe to assume you’re done with your winter gear for the season and you can pack it away until next winter. If available space is in short supply, consider renting a self-storage unit. This is a great option for the equipment and gear that you only use for a few months each year.
Regardless of where you store your winter items, be sure you properly prepare them for storage to prolong their lifespans and ensure they’re ready to go next fall.
Snow blowers and motorized equipment – Properly preparing your motorized equipment for storage and months of non-use is imperative to ensuring their longevity. Start by draining the fuel from the snow blower and then let it run until the tank is empty. Next, change the oil. Remove the spark plugs and add a small amount of oil. Crank the engine three or four times to allow the oil to sufficiently circulate, then reinsert the spark plugs. Thoroughly lubricate all of the moving parts and tighten the nuts, bolts, and screws. Finally, clean the snow blower and check the tire pressure. To store it, place it on a piece of wood or pallet so that it is not in direct contact with the cement and cover it to keep it free of dust and dirt. Follow similar steps for your other motorized winter equipment.
Shovels and other cold-weather equipment – Clean these items thorough to remove dirt and salt or other ice melt products and pack them into a large storage box or bin. Store any unused salt or ice melt in a place where it won’t be subjected to moisture or debris.
Sports equipment – Before storing recreational equipment, like skis, snowboards, sleds, and ice skates, be sure to clean them thoroughly. You should also make any needed repairs before storing them, including repairing broken parts, dings, dents, and bindings. Skis and snowboards should be stored in a padded bag.
Holiday decorations – Sort holiday decorations into storage bins according to the holiday and type of decoration. For delicate or breakable items and ornaments, wrap them in tissue or bubble wrap or buy specialty storage containers. Be sure to label each box clearly.
Winter clothing – Just as with your winter equipment, self-storage is also a great option for storing winter clothing. It will free up space in your closet for all of your spring and summer ensembles. You should wash or dry clean all of your clothing before placing it into storage. Avoid using any starch. This will help prevent stains and help keep pests away. Just be sure that it is completely dry before you pack it into bins. Plastic, airtight containers are perfect for storing folded or rolled clothing, protecting it from dust and moisture. Sort the clothing into boxes according to family member and clothing type. Consider adding a few cedar chips or dryer sheets to keep everything smelling fresh. Be sure to label each box. Hanging clothing and outerwear should be hung on sturdy hangers and covered with a garment bag. Don’t leave clothing in dry cleaning bags, which can trap moisture. If you’re storing shoes, be sure to clean them and allow them to completely dry. Condition any leather items prior to storage. Stuff the shoes with newspaper to help them maintain their shape and place each pair into an individual bag to keep them together and protected.
Now that you have all your winter items packed safely away, it’s time to reward yourself by firing up your grill for the inaugural barbecue of the season.