When the snow stops and spring begins to emerge, you know it's now time to store all your winter gear...and there's a lot of it. From big items such as skis and sleds to smaller things like gloves and hockey pucks, everything needs a place to stay protected and out of the way until next winter. Here are some handy garage storage tips to get (and keep) all of your winter gear organized and out of the way for the next nine months.
Ski and Snowboard Storage Tips
Taking your skis and snowboards in for a tune-up is the easiest way to prepare them for storage. A professional will clean them, remove rust, take off the old wax, and apply new wax. They'll also inspect your bindings for weakened areas or breaks. Most experts will release the binding tension by backing them off to the lowest setting. After a tune-up, there isn't a lot to know about how to store skis and snowboards. All you need to do for either ski storage or snowboard storage is to hang them out of the way on sturdy wall hooks.
Winter Clothes Storage Tips
Before storing winter clothes in drawers or lidded plastic bins, hand or machine wash all of it (per the manufacturer's instructions) and be sure everything is very dry. This includes coats, ski bibs, snow pants, long underwear, beanies, gloves, and wool socks.
- Boots: Remove the liners and air out before re-inserting them for storage. Inspect for cracks, broken buckles, torn straps, and fraying laces. Store on a wire shelf hung on the wall or inside a cabinet.
- Goggles: Wipe the outer lens with a soft cloth but do not touch or wipe the inside lens. If absolutely necessary, gently blot it with a lens cloth. Store goggles in a soft protective pouch and hang on a hook inside a cabinet.
- Helmets: Check for loose padding and worn buckles and hang on wall hooks.
Winter Sports Gear Storage Tips
For all the winter gear, it's important to hand wash and dry it before storage. This removes corrosive salt and dirt which can cause dulling and rusting.
- Shovels and Snowblower: Cover bare metal parts with rust preventative. Store shovels off the ground with a stable wall hook. Follow the instruction manual for guidance on how to properly store your snowblower.
- Sleds and Tubes: Remove all air and fold the snow tubes. Store in a box or large bin away from any exhaust, chemicals, and fumes.
- Snow Toys: Throw away anything that has lost pieces or is broken. Organize toys into medium-sized hanging bins.
- Snowshoes and Poles: Inspect your snowshoes for loose screws, holes, abrasions, and that the binding and pivot systems work properly. Hanging them on a hook inside a cabinet is ideal. Strap your poles together and hang them near your snowshoes.
- Ice Skates: Loosen the laces and pull the tongue forward. Insert a Silicone Protectant into each boot to prevent moisture buildup. Put the skates in soakers (not hard guards) while they are stored in your bag. Let them safely rest on a high shelf.
- Hockey Sticks, Pucks, and Pads: Hang hockey sticks and pads on hooks and put pucks inside a small bin. Consider keeping it all organized inside a large cabinet.
Resist the urge to just stack all of your winter stuff in the corner of your garage. If you neglect your gear by improperly storing it when not in use, not only do you risk your safety by causing a hazard, but you risk having to repair or replace much of it right when you're ready to head for a fun snow day. Save your gear from carelessness by using these proper winter gear garage storage tips, and it will all be there ready and waiting for you at first snowfall.