Storing your things during the winter months can seem like a daunting task. However, it can be made easier with some simple guidance. Cold weather can be particularly unforgiving to machinery and tools, so it’s important to make sure you take the proper steps to protect them.
Step One: Find a Good Storage Location
Find a good place to store your things. A shed is an ideal location for storing things over the winter because it will protect your things from the outside elements. Some people have tarp storage structures and there are some good tips on how to winterize them here.
If you’re using a shed, it may also be a good idea to make sure the shed has a lock on it. In a worst case scenario, someone might take some of your more expensive items and you may not even know until winter is over. It’s best to be safe and invest in a quality lock because of this.
If you don’t have a shed, find a place that will best protect your items from the elements like frost, snow, and moisture. If you do not have something like a shed or garage at your disposal, a covered area will work also. Just make sure the area is won’t collect moisture.
Step Two: Evaluate Your Items
The next step is to take inventory of the items you want to store. By doing this, you’ll streamline the time it takes to move all of your items to storage. Also, you’ll have a good idea if all your items can fit where you need them to. Because some time will pass before you pull your items out of storage, it’s a good idea to make a list of all the things while you take inventory so you know exactly what you put in storage when the time comes to take it all out again.
Evaluating your items also helps you determine whether something needs to be stored or not. Things like lawnmowers and tools that are susceptible to rust must always be stored in a safe place. However, things like lawn furniture and planting pots may be less of a priority.
Step Three: Cleaning You Items
Depending on what you’re storing, it may be necessary to clean your items before putting them up. Some things to consider are whether an item will deteriorate quicker if it is not cleaned. For example, if you’re storing a hose, make sure to drain it of all water before storing it so that the cold won’t freeze the water inside of it. By making sure a hose is clear, you’ll protect your hoses against potential damage due to ice expanding inside of them. This goes for things like watering cans too.
Step Four: Transfer Your Items
The most difficult part of storing things over winter is always going to be moving them to their winter home. Try to get a friend or spouse to help move heavier items so you don’t hurt yourself. It may also be advantageous to buy a dolly if you have items that are really heavy or oddly shaped.