Preparing Your Outdoor Equipment for the Cold

A black barbecue grill sits on a snow-covered back porch.

As temperatures drop and daylight becomes more scarce, the realization that winter is right around the corner begins to set in. Along with digging out the winter coats, it becomes time to consider what you’ll do with your backyard grill, patio furniture, and other outdoor gear, especially if you live somewhere with a lot of snow.

Properly storing your things during the winter is vital to ensuring you have a successful spring and summer once next year rolls around. However, it’s important you don’t wait until the first frost to take action. Storage Star has put together this handy guide to help you understand how to prepare your outdoor equipment for winter storage.

Clean and Prepare Your Things

Before you pack everything away, thoroughly clean all your outdoor items. Give patio furniture, grills, toys, tools, and all other accessories a good wipe-down to remove dirt, debris, and anything else that has accumulated over the summer. For things with mechanical parts, test that they still work and perform any required maintenance.

You should also inspect each item carefully for signs of wear, chipping, fraying, or other issues that need addressing before storage. Check for any rips, cracks, rust, corrosion, or other damage and make any needed repairs. Make notes on any other problem areas you find so you can make fixes later on, as catching damage early prevents it from worsening over the winter.

Organize As You Go

As you clean and prep your outdoor gear for winter storage, take the time to sort your belongings into similar categories for easy organization. Group together things like patio furniture cushions, outdoor toys, gardening tools and supplies, grilling accessories, and anything else that belongs together. This will make unpacking much easier for you come spring.

Keep your storage space organized by placing common items together. Put stuff you won’t need for months near the back and things like fishing gear or grilling accessories you may occasionally grab near the front. It can also help to label boxes and storage bins clearly so you know what’s inside without opening. Use our unit size guide to prepare for where your things will go.

Proper Winter Storage Procedures

It’s essential to utilize appropriate storage containers and exercise caution when storing things away for the winter. Remove any food or perishable items and ensure everything is dry before moving it into storage to avoid rust. Fragile items should be packed carefully and marked as such to prevent damage.

Here are a few more specific winter storage tips that are necessary for those storing sensitive items:

  • Garden hoses. Drain them fully and tightly coil them to prevent cracking.
  • Patio furniture and grills. Cover them with high-quality waterproof covers.
  • Metal surfaces. Wipe them down with a protective coat of oil to prevent rusting.
  • Lawn equipment. Drain the fuel from your equipment, such as your lawn mower.
  • Leather items. Apply a conditioner to items like your boots, jackets, and sports gear.
A car parked in a snowy vehicle storage lot with a covered windshield.

Winter Car Storage Tips

Storing your car away for the winter requires some preparation and maintenance work. Start by thoroughly washing your vehicle and cleaning out the interior. Next, change your fluids, top off the fuel tank, and consider adding a fuel stabilizer to prevent it from deteriorating. You should also inflate your tires to the recommended pressure and disconnect the battery to avoid drainage and damage from occurring over time.

Cover your car with a breathable fabric wrap to prevent dust without trapping moisture. You can also consider renting indoor vehicle storage for extra protection from the elements. Lastly, seal off your car’s exhaust pipe to prevent any critters from getting inside. Taking these winter car storage steps will ensure your vehicle is ready to hit the road when warm temperatures return.

Protective and Preventive Care

In addition to basic cleaning and storage prep, you should perform some preventive maintenance on your outdoor gear before packing it away. Re-stain and seal any patio furniture that’s faded or cracked from sun exposure. Sharpen lawnmower blades and garden shears so they’re fresh for spring planting. Patch small hose leaks, replace worn-out tarps, and touch up any chipped paint spots.

Putting in the effort to take extra care now saves you from dealing with bigger issues later on. Conducting a thorough assessment of your belongings and making any repairs will extend the life span of your outdoor belongings and make sure the good times keep rolling.

A hallway of climate-controlled storage units in a storage facility.

Invest in Climate-Controlled Storage Units

For the best protection from moisture, mildew, and other weather-induced damage, consider renting climate-controlled storage for your winter outdoor gear. These indoor storage units are kept between a consistent range of temperatures year-round to prevent fading, warping, discoloration, and more. This controlled environment will help keep your sensitive items sheltered far better than a garage or shed could.

Rent Winter Storage Units From Storage Star

When you need a place to keep the things you don’t want taking up space around your home this winter, come to Storage Star. We offer winter self storage units in various sizes, with options for temperature-controlled storage, vehicle storage, and more. Whether you’re looking to store barbecue equipment, sports gear, or patio furniture, we can lend a helping hand.

Find the closest Storage Star facility to you to get started today! You can also explore our storage solutions page and list of frequently asked questions for additional information.

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