By Polly Irion, Certified Self Storage Manager
As the last of the autumn leaves fall to the ground and the air begins to turn bitterly cold, it’s time think about winter storage. It’s that time of year when we all settle in for a long cold winter, and many of us start dreaming of an early spring.
First things first, it’s time (regrettably) to pack away the swimwear, pool equipment and lawn chairs. Start by making a list of everything you need to take from home and put into winter storage. Be sure to pack away the summer clothes, prep your lawn mower by draining the gas and oil, and gather up all the garden supplies. Let’s face it, none of those are going to see the light of day until April or May. I know I know, it can be sad to think those warm days are now six months away. But here is a reality check for all of us – winter is coming whether we like it or not!
Next you want to make a list of everything you need to bring back home from your storage unit. If we have a winter that’s anything like last year’s, that snow blower should be top of the list! Your list should include the essentials – snow blower, shovels, rock salt, snow boots. Don’t forget about all your bulky winter clothes because you will need them soon – jackets, sweaters, snow pants, extra blankets. You also need to think about your winter fun – sleds, skis and poles, ice skates and hunting gear. The last thing you want to do is hunker down in the lodge for your ski weekend and realize you forgot some of your ski gear in the back of your winter storage unit!
And don’t forget, the holiday season is right around the corner! Black Friday is the largest shopping day of the year, and it’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy with hard to resist sales. If you have children that are as inquisitive as my son is (or maybe your spouse is very curious about what will be in his or her stocking this year), your winter storage unit is a great place to stow away your holiday shopping steals. Since you’ll already be visiting your storage unit to hide your new purchases, you can pick up your holiday and winter decorations.
Now that we talked about all the packing, unpacking and stashing that will take place in and out of your storage unit, you need to remember to replace the DampRid that was most likely used up during the hot and humid summer months. This can often be overlooked in the hustle and bustle of the season. It’s also a good idea to just give everything inside your storage unit a good once-over. Check your boxes and make sure they are still in good shape, not crushing or smashing in. If they are, stop by our rental office and pick up some of our boxes which are specially designed for the storage industry. Look around and see if you accidentally knocked anything over when loading and unloading. You don’t want to unknowingly cause damage to something.
Another thing to keep in mind is your vehicles you keep in winter storage – whether inside a drive-up storage unit or in an outside parking space. A battery check is a great start, along with going over tire pressure. A short drive around the neighborhood is an excellent way to make sure all things are in tip top shape before the lull of winter. If you store your car in a drive up unit, you’ll still be able visit as frequently as you like while under protection from snow or sleet. The parking spaces are just as accessible, though I would recommend placing a cover over your car or camper for the season. Another easy alternative would be to seek out a commercial retailer that offers an industrial grade shrink wrapping service that can protect your paint job from Old Man Winter’s influences.
Preparing for winter storage can be easy, as long as you plan well and follow your checklists. Our property managers are a great resource to lean on if you need help with how or where to get started. You can stop in any of our rental offices or call our property managers during normal business hours, or fill out our quick contact us form any time and we will be sure to get back to you.