7 Tips for Cold Weather Storage: What to Store and How to Store It

7 Tips for Cold Weather Storage: What to Store and How to Store It

With winter arriving—December 21st is the official first day of winter—this is a good time to get you summer possessions into storage. Doing so frees up space in your garage or closet and extends the life of all your warm weather belongings. Follow these guidelines to decide what you can store and how to prepare them for winter storage. Click here to download our handy checklist.

Clothing This is a category that applies to everyone. Not only does storing your summer clothes free up valuable closet and dresser space, it’s a perfect opportunity to go through your clothes to decide what to keep and what to donate.

(1) Sort your clothes…

As you pull your summer clothes out of the closet or dresser, determine if you need to keep or donate them. No need to store clothes you no longer wear or no longer fit your growing children!

(2) Clean your clothes…

Make sure that any clothing you intend to store is CLEAN - not just freshly washed or dry cleaned, but stains removed. Stains will be impossible to remove after months of storage, and food particles and sweat can attract moths. Remove the plastic covering from the dry cleaner before storing dry-cleaned items.

(3) Store your clothes…

Whether you store your clothes in a cardboard box or a plastic tote, line the storage container with an old cotton sheet or acid-free tissue paper. Clothes can become discolored or stained when in prolonged contact with cardboard or plastic. Keep the contents of each box consistent: skirts and pants, shirts, sweaters. Label the outside of the box so you can quickly locate the correct one if you need something. Should you fold or roll your clothes? Folding can create sharp creases that are hard to remove after months of storage. Many experts suggest rolling clothes instead to prevent those deep creases from months in storage.

(4) Bicycles

Keep the tires inflated and, if possible, hang the bike or turn it upside down and rest on the seat and handle bars to keep weight off the tires. This will prevent damage to rims and to the tires. Lubricate the cables, chain, and derailleur to protect them from the damaging effects of moisture over time. Store bikes in a climate-controlled storage unit, if possible.

(5) Patio furniture

Prior to storing any kind of outdoor patio furniture, give it a thorough cleaning. Not only will this protect your furniture, it will help keep your other stored possessions cleaner. Make sure pillows, pads, and other fabric or canvas items are clean and completely dry before storing them for the winter.

(6) Gas and charcoal grills

Clean thoroughly to remove grease and food scraps. This is important to protect and prolong the life of the grate and grill parts. If you are planning to store your grill in a storage unit, this is crucial to prevent pests and rodents from invading your unit and damaging not only your grill, but your other stored possessions. If you have a gas grill that will be stored outside, you can leave the propane tank attached but close the gas valve. If you plan to store your gas grill in a storage unit, you will need to remove the propane tank prior to storing it as most storage facilities don't allow you to store propane tanks. Cover the grill to protect it from the elements or from getting dirty. When spring comes again, you can look forward to enjoying that first grilled meal without delay!

(7) Lawn mowers and small engine equipment

Fluids: some you want, some you don’t! Run the engine out of fuel before storing it. Old fuel can damage engine parts and fuel breaks down over the winter, which can make spring starting difficult. Top off or change the oil. Old or dirty fluids are more corrosive and can damage or prematurely deteriorate hoses and gaskets. Store in a dry area protected from the elements. Consider a climate-controlled storage unit for the greatest amount of protection. Don’t forget to clean off dirt and grass clippings to keep your winter storage area clean.

Follow these guidelines for winter storage of your valuable possessions and they will weather the winter safely stored and be ready to use when the temperature gets warmer and the days get longer.

You can download our handy checklist here.

Security Public Storage is a family owned and operated self-storage company with 47 locations throughout California, Oregon, Nevada, and the DC Metro area.