When the long days of summer turn into shorter days of fall, this can only mean one thing: winter will soon be here! For these few months, you probably won’t need your lawn mower, shovels, hoses or your grill. However, before you bring out the sleds, ski equipment, snow blowers and snowshoes, you’ll need to put away your summer tools.

 

 

Getting ready for winter is about more than just storing your tools, though. Before you start organizing everything, you’re also going to want to give them a thorough cleaning. Prior to putting everything away for the season, here are a few things to think about:

  • Ensure your tools are free of any leftover grass clippings, dirt or other debris. Wipe, rinse and dry all outdoor tools and toys. Be sure to check shovels, rakes, the lawn mower, trowels and patio furniture.
  • Drain the gas from lawn equipment since letting it sit for more than three months will lead to ethanol breakdown. Lawn mowers, weed whackers and leaf blowers fall into this category.
  • Lubricate any parts that move. From the blades of the lawn mower to the rotary cultivator, dabbing a little oil at the joints will help keep them fresh once springtime rolls around.

When you’ve gotten all your tools clean and ready, it’s finally time to store them. Here are four tips to help you do so:

 
1. Grills

During the winter, your grill should be stored under a tarp in your garage. Since you won’t need it for a while, be sure to put it in a spot that won’t be in the way as you’re trekking through your garage to locate your skis.

 
2. Lawn mowers

In the summer, you store your snow blower in the far corner of your garage in order to make room for your lawn mower. In the winter, it’s time to do the opposite. The easiest way to store your mower for the season is to swap places with your snow blower for a few months. That means designating it to an out-of-the-way corner of your garage so it doesn’t get in the way during its off-season.

 
3. Gardening tools

There’s no need to fret about where to store your gardening tools in the winter if you have the proper shelving units to hold them for the season. Long-handled tools, such as rakes, can be placed in a tall garage cabinet along with larger tools, like loppers and grass shears. Smaller tools – think trowels and handheld tillers – can be organized in containers on shelves.

 
4. Outdoor furniture

Your patio furniture might have been designed to weather the elements, but that doesn’t mean you should leave it outside all winter. It should be stored in an area that stays dry, ideally in your garage. If you have to leave your outdoor furniture outside, be sure to cover it securely with a tarp, place it in a relatively dry area, and raise it up off the ground to keep it from getting wet.

By using these tips, not only will you keep your summer tools clean and ready for use, but you’ll also have a more organized garage!