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How to Properly Store Winter Tools

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After a particularly brutal winter, you've probably noticed that you've brought out seasonal tools you didn't even remember purchasing. Now that you probably don't have to worry about de-icing, salting or preparing for snow until next winter, you're going to have to put these pieces back in storage for the next several months.  

Before putting away your tools in the shed or garage for the long haul, there are a few steps you need to follow to ensure your tools remain properly stored and in working condition throughout the seasons. 

"It's best to throw out and replace gear as soon as possible."

Check Your Gear Before You Wreck Your Gear
Prior to placing each of these items in your garage, you'll need to do a serious inspection. Examine each winter tool and assess its condition. Does your shovel need a good wash before being stored for eight to 10 months, or has the tool seen better days? It's best to throw out and replace old gear now, during the off season, as opposed to next year, when people will be scrambling for snow tools in a dash. 

Keep a small notebook in your shed where you can document each of your tools and the condition they're in before you store.

Clean Out the Storage Space Beforehand
Moving around heavy gear like snow blowers and heavy shovels can cause you to injure your back and shoulders, especially if you're pushing around other gear to make room for them. To prevent this from happening, you'll want to clean out your garage before pushing in new gear. Arrange the space so you won't have to strain to reach equipment next season, but at the same time, you'll want to bring your spring and summer tools toward the front. 

Tackle that cluttered garage to make room for your gear.Tackle that cluttered garage to make room for your gear.

If you find that after a long day of lugging and lodging tools your muscles have begun to ache, you'll definitely want to rest for a few hours with a heating pad equipped with tension relief technology.

Pick Up That Snazzy Label Maker
Enjoy organizing items? This is the perfect time to bring out your favorite office tools that will aid in your storage efforts. That label maker (or pen, paper and tape for the old-fashioned) can help you distinguish between boxes of ice skates and gardening rakes. The notebook you've picked up will also be instrumental at this time, as you can keep a running list of the tools you've stored and gear you'll need to replace.