Many of us love when seasons come and go, especially when the warm weather comes and bright colors begin to become a staple instead of blacks and browns. This also means that summer toys come out, from rollerblades to bikes to hiking shoes, and paddleboards. All of these things are typically stored in a garage or some type of storage locker if you live in a climate with winter, such as Canada!
When you uncover all your fun warm weather items, you may get excited, but be realistic about whether or not you actually will get use out of them. Now is the best time to sell or donate these items. Typically, people start looking for specific sporting items at the beginning of the warm season and will typically pay more for an item than at the end of the season. Once you have assessed what you will actually use, store it efficiently.
Now is also a great time to declutter your winter items. Often, I get so excited to use my new stuff for the current season that I forget to do this. I am assuming a few of you also have this habit. However, this is the most important step! —Jane Stoller
Tip For Storing Your Winter Gear This Summer
- Evaluate before you store. Did you use those skis this season? Did you wear that parka? If you didn’t wear, use, or need it this fall or winter, why are you storing it? Donate or discard it fast before you change your mind.
- Protect your equipment. For skis and snowboards, put a thick coat of wax on them before you store them so that next season you can scrape it off and be ready to go. Plus, wax helps protect your gear from drying out. Sharpen skates, clean hockey equipment, polish helmets, and make sure nothing is damaged before you store it. Whatever items you used in the winter and are keeping, you should clean, protect and store.
- Deep-clean. On the same page as protecting your items, this is a great time to deep-clean your outerwear. You can use special wash for Gore-Tex or water- proof outerwear, and consider taking your cashmere and special jackets to the dry cleaners. For your base layers, this is a great time to give them one last hot wash before they are stored.
- Determine appropriate storage. Storage should always be clean and dry, and your sporting items are not excluded from this. You don’t want your items to smell musty or be ruined when you need them again. Make sure you find a good spot for storage that’s not too difficult to reach, so next year it won’t be a pain to grab your items. Use some fresh cedar to prevent moths in your storage spaces.
- Compress. Use vacuum compression bags to compress puffy items if space is an issue. This is great for heavy winter blankets and linens.
- Replace what isn’t fit to store. If some of your items are really worn down and need to be fixed or replaced, do this now. If you replace your items at the end of the season, they’ll likely be on sale versus having to purchase them at a high price at the start of next season. Plus, you’ll be ready to go instead of scrambling to get your gear prepared.
Jane Stoller aka Organized Jane is a keynote speaker and the author of Decluttering for Dummies.