How to Prepare Common Seasonal Winter Items for Storage

Now that spring has arrived, you should relocate household items that you only use during the winter months to a storage unit. By keeping seasonal items in storage when they are not needed, you can reduce clutter in your house, yard, and garage, so you have more room to enjoy your family’s favorite spring and summer activities. 

While you can place some winter items in your storage unit with little-to-no preparation, you need to properly prepare other items for storage to keep them in good shape while not in use. 

Read on to learn how to prepare a few common seasonal winter items for storage. 

Gas-Powered Snowblowers

While winter snow shovels and extra bags of ice melt can be placed directly in your storage unit with no special preparation, you need to prepare your snowblower carefully before storage to keep it in good shape during the off-season. 

First, remove all gasoline from your snowblower gas tank with a siphon or chemical pump. If you do not remove this fuel before you place your snow blower in storage, it can degrade and clog or damage the fuel line, carburetor, fuel injector, and many other important snowblower components.

Next, remove the engine spark plug, and place a drop of engine oil in the combustion chamber. Then, pull the pull cord several times to lubricate engine components, replace the spark plug, and pull the cord several more times. This process seals the combustion chamber to prevent moisture entry that could cause corrosion. 

Finally, wipe down the snowblower exterior with a damp cloth and allow it to dry before you encase your snow blower in a breathable cover and place it in your storage unit. 

Skis and Snowmobiles

You can keep winter sports equipment in great shape longer when you prepare them for storage properly at winter’s end. 

Before storing skis, use a copper or steel brush to remove large dirt and debris particles from them. Further clean them with a glide wax cleaner and a soft cloth or nylon brush. Finally, apply a thick coating of glide wax to ski bases and edges to prevent the formation of rust on these ski parts while in storage. Before storing bindings, set their vertical and lateral release values to the lowest number setting possible. 

To prepare a snowmobile for storage, first wash its exterior with soapy water to remove all salt and debris. Do not drain the gasoline out of your snowmobile before storage, because most snowmobiles are equipped with fuel-injection engines that rely on gasoline for lubrication during the off-season.

Instead, add a fuel stabilizer to the fuel tank to prevent gasoline degradation, then run the snowmobile engine for a few minutes to distribute newly stabilized gasoline throughout the engine system. Also, be sure to coat the inside of the engine with fogging oil and lubricate suspension joints to further prevent rust and corrosion. 

Finally, top your snowmobile with its cover and place it in your storage unit. If possible, elevate the rear bumper and front end of the chassis while your snowmobile is in storage to alleviate track and suspension tension. By reducing this tension, you can potentially prolong the life of these important snowmobile components. 

Holiday Decorations

No one wants to remove their holiday decorations from storage to find that their Christmas lights are a tangled mess and their heirloom glass ornaments are broken. Thankfully, you can avoid holiday décor storage disasters when you prepare your holiday decorations for storage properly. 

Before you place a strand of holiday lights in their outer storage box, first take a rectangular piece of cardboard and cut two small slits in it. Slide one end of the light strand through one slit, then wrap the strand neatly around the cardboard piece. Finally, slide the other end of the strand through the second slit to help secure the entire light strand to the cardboard. This technique will help keep holiday lights tangle-free while in storage. 

Place holiday ornaments that are not fragile directly in an ornament organizer or box that has many small compartments designed to separate and protect these ornaments. However, be sure to wrap fragile ornaments, such as glass ones, in plenty of archival tissue paper or coffee filters before putting them in their compartments. Avoid wrapping them in traditional newsprint, because the newspaper ink can potentially transfer onto the ornaments. 

Package artificial holiday trees in their storage bags or original boxes and wrap other holiday décor in tissue paper and pack them in traditional cardboard boxes before relocating them to your storage unit. 

Now that spring has arrived, reduce home clutter by placing off-season winter items in storage. Follow these tips to help keep your winter items in great shape while they’re in storage all summer long. Contact the staff at North Star Mini Storage for all of your storage unit needs today.