Have summer stuff that has to hibernate? Find winter storage

As the warm days of summer turn crisp, it's time to start thinking about how to keep summer's toys, tools and more safely tucked away during the upcoming snowy months.

Here are some tips on how to store summer items so everything will be ready to use again once the weather warms up.

How to prep your summer equipment for storage

Before you start to pack everything, take time to go over your equipment and make sure everything is in good shape for when you want to use it next. Clean off equipment like lawnmowers, kayaks, adventure equipment, or pool toys and let everything dry completely before putting it in storage. Invest in covers to keep valuable items from getting scratched, dented or dusty.

How to store summer clothes

Wash and dry clothing and store it in clear, airtight plastic bins with a dryer sheet tucked inside to keep them fresh. Avoid using cardboard boxes for storage, since they won’t keep out moisture, dust or pests as well. Carefully label bins and other items as you store them, and leave clear walkways for easy access.

Next, it’s time to consider which storage option is the best fit for the items that you want to store, as well as your budget for storage.

Shed

A shed lets you store summer equipment close to home, and there are plenty of different sizes available to accommodate your needs. Solid walls and durable construction provide plenty of protection against the elements. This makes them suitable for storing more sensitive items, such as summer clothing, as long as carefully store items that are susceptible to moisture in air-tight bins. They are also ideal for more rugged equipment, such as lawnmowers, summer tires or a patio furniture set. Once you install one, they are typically fairly permanent. This option also requires a larger initial investment. Depending on the size you need, prices can range from several hundred dollars to several thousand.

Storage locker

If you live in an apartment or home without outdoor space for a shed, your ideal solution may be to rent a storage locker. Because these spaces are usually highly secured and feature climate control and fire prevention measures, they are also a go-to choice for storing valuable or fragile items, such as summer clothing or high-tech toys and equipment like kayaks. These units may be a bit less convenient, depending on how far one is from your home. The cost can range from around $50 a month for a smaller unit to over $100 per month for more spacious units.

Temporary shelter

If the items you have to store are more durable, such as tires, outdoor furniture, and sports equipment, you may only need a temporary shelter that can shield items from the elements. A temporary shelter is one of the most affordable storage options, usually costing just a few hundred dollars, and providing plenty of space for larger equipment. A typical design consists of a strong metal frame and heavy-duty waterproof cover. This makes it easy to set up and allows you to conveniently move it or take it down.  However, they provide less protection from wind and moisture than either a shed or a storage locker, and tend to not last as long.

Taking the time to go through a thorough seasonal organization ensures that your valuable summer items will be safe through the winter. With plenty of different storage options available, you’re sure to find one that provides just the right kind of protection..