Read these 5 Winter Storage Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Home Organization tips and hundreds of other topics.
The process of winterization or winterizing your house can be a tough one. First, when should you winterize? You don't want to do it too early and suffer through a hot and stuffy Indian summer, but you also don't want to do it too late and risk high utility bills and the pain of putting up storm windows, weather stripping and other winterization products on a cold and blustery day.
The best bet, follow your instincts. If it seems like September is going to be relatively mild, aim for October. October still has a few hold out days of warmth but they are few and far between. Choose a sunny and mild day when you can take your time and complete the winterization process the right way. Take the opportunity to switch out your winter/summer wardrobes as well. If you have time, top off the weekend with a trip to a local orchard and jump into fall with both feet!
If you live in a climate that varies, winter storage of your outdoor furniture, barbecue and other summer stuff can present a problem - especially if you don't have a garage or you like to use your garage for your car. The simplest suggestion is usually a storage shed. It needs to be structurally sound (to keep the critters out) but it can be simple and it clearly does not need to be heated! You need to consider what you want to store in your shed before you buy since there are varied sizes and shapes available. Hopefully your shed comes with built in storage - if not, consider shelving made of some sort of composite material or heavy duty plastic (avoid metal - it may rust). Don't forget to use wall space for mounted shelving, hooks or wallboard! One you have the developed the infrastructure for your shed, move on in. Now you just have to overcome the biggest challenge of all - not filling up all that space you just made with *stuff*!
One of the keys to space saving in your home is making sure that it is operating at maximum efficiency. We all can't run out and purchase new windows or re-insulate our homes though, but you don't have to end up with those giant sheets of plastic over your windows that eliminate space for plants, knick knacks and holiday decoration display space! If we're talking about your garage or basement, where you want to keep out the cold to ensure a viable storage space, you don't have to spend money on a new garage door or on costly and inefficient insulation. Consider weather stripping or a threshold weather strip instead. With the right product you will seal out the cold winds and snow and maintain not only the aesthetic appeal of your window sills, but also their usefulness. For a garage door, you can seal out dirt and water as well as the cold! Arguably the most important thing, you will save on your energy bills - and what is more efficient and organized than that?
One great space saving technique when it comes to clothes is swapping out your fall/winter and spring/summer wardrobes in accordance with the seasons. Now, this does require the requisite closet, storage bins or clothing rack, but it is worth the space! When spring hits, use Spring cleaning as an excuse and fold up all of your bulky sweaters, long pants and jeans and store them away. If you are storing wool sweaters, make sure you keep them in a cedar lined or cedar wood chest or put moth balls in with your woolens to keep the bugs away. Once the fall arrives, pull your sweaters out - let them air out the odor from the moth balls - and replace your sweaters with your shorts, t shirts, bathing suits and other summer clothes. By rotating out little used clothing, you save space in your every day use dresser or closet. Additionally, you will better protect your wool sweaters, suits, pants and jackets by storing them properly for the summer months.
If you have high quality outdoor furniture, especially the heavy kind, rather than storing it over the winter, you may want to consider outdoor furniture covers. There are several options out on the market but you want something that is heavy duty and will fit snugly over your patio furniture. After all, you don't want to have to run out in the midst of a winter storm to tie down your furniture covers - you just want to be able to trust them to do their job!
You may think you can just use a simple plastic tarp, but if you do you run the risk of collecting pockets of water which can then cause damage to the finish or the structure of your outdoor furniture. At the end of the season, you want to make sure you take care of your outdoor furniture covers by washing or maintaining them according to the manufacturer's recommendations.