A Guide for Storing Winter Tools and Sports Equipment in Self-Storage | BoxMeUp

A Guide for Storing Winter Tools and Sports Equipment in Self-Storage

A Guide for Storing Winter Tools and Sports Equipment in Self-Storage

A Guide for Storing Winter Tools and Sports Equipment in Self-Storage

March is always an exciting time of year, as it ushers in the transitional weather from winter to spring. It’s exciting because we know that our outdoor experiences are about to become a lot more sunny. March means that we need to start thinking about our swimwear and soccer balls, and getting out the lawnmower. It also means, first though, that we need to be thinking about how our winter sports gear and our winter tools are going to be stored for the summer.

As one of Eastern Ontario’s experts in self-storage and mobile storage containers, we collected our thoughts together to create the complete Box Me Up guide for storing winter tools and winter sports gear for the summer. And that’s exactly what we have for you here!

Clean it all first

Sports Equipment

All of your sports equipment should be properly cleaned before going into storage. Your gear can be smelly, and is often made damp with sweat. Leaving it in storage for the offseason without cleaning it will likely result in foul odours, mould growth, and/or deterioration of the material. Therefore, when cleaning your sports equipment, always allow it to be thoroughly dried before storing it.

For any wood or plastic items, such as hockey sticks, sleds, helmets, skis, etc., soak a cloth in soapy water and then ring it out to leave it damp. Wipe the equipment down, and use a towel to dry it. Always leave the gear out for a few additional hours to be sure it is completely dry.

For synthetic or rubber items, like ski boots or ice skates, use a scouring pad; and for any leather items, such as gloves, use a soft cloth and leather cleaner. Disinfect any boots, skates, jerseys, or clothes that are smelly.

For protective equipment, such as hockey pads, hose those down outside, and hang them to dry overnight (or for a few days if necessary). Any protective equipment, like any of the gear, must be completely dry before going into your storage unit or mobile container.

Be sure that when you are cleaning your equipment, you get into the tough areas, between the cracks and grooves, to make the item as clean as possible. Any of dirt or grime left on your equipment can leave it discoloured or rusted.

Finally, you should always store your winter sports equipment in ventilated containers.

Winter tools

As with your sports equipment, all of your winter tools should also be cleaned before going into storage. Items should be wiped down of dirt, grime, and especially salt, and allowed to completely dry.

A number of these items though, such as snowblowers, may come with liquids and fuels inside. With equipment like this, you should drain the item of any fuels, but refill and clean any oils. Any fuel sitting for extended periods will see contaminants settle on the tank’s bottom, and may clog your gas lines. Keeping your oil clean and full is simply wise for the life of the tool.

Provide the necessary maintenance

Before storing your winter sports equipment or your tools, you should always address any issues the equipment might have. When issues like these sit, they will only get worse. Moreover, when you take the equipment back out of storage for the winter, it’s always best to have it ready to use.

Sharpen ice skates. Ensuring they are sharp will remove any rust, preventing it from spreading. If the laces need replacing, do this now to avoid a panic to start next season.

Similarly, sharpening the edges of your skis and snowboards also to reduce the risk of rust. A further advantage of doing this at the end of the season rather than at the beginning is that any shop you take it to in March or April will not be nearly as busy as they will be in November or December. Take advantage of the slow shops now. We suggest having them complete a base grind for you as well.

You should also give your skis and snowboard bases a hot wax yourself. This layer will prevent the skis and boards from oxidizing, while also protecting them from rust.

Any boots should have their liners pulled out. Both the liner and the interior of the boot should be dried. Buckles and laces should be left loose in order to maintain the shape of the boot. Ensure the boots have not been damaged by inspecting the heels and toes especially. Make the necessary repairs or replacements, including the laces.

Inspect the wheels of any tools that have them, ensuring they hold their tire pressure, and replacing any that require it.

You should also inspect the sheer pins of your snowblower, as salt can corrode them over the winter. Sheer pins connect the rotating power shaft to the auger, and will need to be replaced if corroded. The last thing you want after next year’s first snowfall is to find out your snowblower’s sheer pins are broken and the snowblower non-functional.

Out with the Old in with the New

March and April are really the perfect times to upgrade your winter sports equipment and even your winter tool arsenal. The season is coming to a close, and businesses need to liquidate their inventories, making way for summer items. When you go through your winter sports equipment, preparing it for storage, you should also look to get rid of any items that have seen their ‘best before date’ past, and replace anything that needs it with a new ‘end of season’ priced item. And the same should be said for your winter tools: buy the new shovel in now, rather than wait for the first snowfall.

This practice will help minimize the amount of clutter, maximize your storage space, and make you more prepared for the following winter.

Keep your items protected while in storage

Now that your winter sports equipment and tools are clean and prepped, you are ready to get it all into storage. This means that you will want to store them in ways that ensures both that they are kept protected while in storage, and that anything around them is also protected from them.

Ice skates can be particularly damaging. They must always be stored with guards on them. If you do not have skate guards, then old hockey socks, by sticking the blades into the end of the sock, and then wrapping the sock around them, can work as a guard to protect the blade from damaging itself or other things. The blades should also be completely dry before covering them.

Skis and snowboards should always be stored inside of their bags. Never store these standing upright or with something on top of them, as the stress over time will warp and bend the ski or board. Skis and snowboards should always be stored lying flat, and with nothing on top.

The tension in your ski binding springs should also be loosened, as this will reduce the stress on the springs and increase their longevity. You do not want to loosen them to the bottom of the DIN scale, but definitely to the lower end of it. Before loosening them though, write down your DIN and save it in a safe place for an easy reset next winter.

Winter tools are generally easier to store, of course, and in this way are low-maintenance. That said, avoid putting additional weight on top of items with wheels, as this can cause the rubber to bubble at the bottom of the tire.

Organizing your equipment in storage

When it comes to storing your winter items, whether your unit is a traditional one or a mobile container, you’ll want to do your best to keep their smells and sharp edges separate, or as separate as possible, from any regular household items, especially upholstered furniture. Any potential stinks from your sports equipment can transfer into nearby fabrics, and the sharp edges of winter tools can leave imprints or, worse, rip or tear the upholstery. Likewise, sharp edges can scratch and damage wood furniture.

Given the nature of these items as being seasonal, they are the types of items you will want to store at the front of your storage unit or mobile container for ease of access next winter.

If you follow this guide now, in spring, then next winter your sports equipment and winter tools will be at their most ready for the season. If you follow this guide now, then you’ll also be that much closer to the sunshine of summer!

For more storage tips and tricks, check out the Box Me Up blog, or connect with us directly for any storage concerns you may have.

Published: March 14 2022

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