Best Ways to Store Your Seasonal Items During Winter

March 07, 2023 by: Ira Tricia Ramos

Whether you’re considering renting your home out and living elsewhere for a time or simply want a home that is free of clutter, it’s wise to make storing seasonal items an intentional process. Items that are haphazardly thrown into storage can be damaged or impossible to organize when you pull them back out again, leaving with you a mountainous task. 

On the other hand, having a clear storage system for seasonal items actually makes living in your home a pleasure, keeping the main areas free of clutter while still making sure you know where everything is if you happen to need it out of season. Even better, if you eventually go to sell your home, it’s so much nicer to be able to find and place excellent decorations with ease rather than adding more organization to the already large task of selling and moving. Here are some of our top tips for storing your belongings well for preservation and easy access.

Evaluate the Spaces Available to You for Storage

The first step to choosing your storage system is to look at your home. Ask yourself questions like:

  • Do I have closet space for storing seasonal items?

  • Do I have a basement, attic, or garage for storing seasonal items?

  • Do I have covered outside areas for storing weather-resistant items like tools and a lawnmower?

While some homes have all of the above, most do not. Recognizing what is available in your home will help you to evaluate when it makes sense to invest in external storage. Self-storage can offer climate-controlled or non-climate controlled options for keeping seasonal items out of the way while still conveniently close by. 

Storing Summer Garden and Landscaping Items

If you live in a home that includes any kind of lawn or patio areas, you’re likely possessing a whole suite of clippers, lawnmowers, gardening tools, and maintenance items. Items like fertilizer and leftover garden soil, for instance, will benefit from being stored in air-tight containers or other ways to keep them useful for next year. Gas-powered lawnmowers and weed-eaters will need to be winterized, with the gasoline completely removed.

To start the process, we recommend at three-pronged approach. First, evaluate small items that can be stored in plastic totes. For each tote, write a summertime description and a wintertime one. For instance, you might store miscellaneous pots and garden implements in the tote during the winter, and winter-themed decorations in the tote during the summer. This helps the tote have a use at all times. 

The second set of storage items are implements that can be added to a pegboard in your garage, basement, or attic. Pegboards are perfect for storing tools that don’t take up a lot of space but are easiest to access when they are visible. Finally, you’ll need an area for large items like the lawnmower itself. Consider protecting any areas that are exposed to some weather, like a carport, by adding tarps over and under your summer implements. 

Storing Summer Decorations

Summer decor tends to look quite a bit different from your winter looks, with totally different color palettes and some items, like outdoor furniture throw pillows, that simply aren’t used during the winter at all. For patios and decks, consider getting a water-tight cushion storage chest to keep any porous cushions and pillows in. 

For interior decorations, the key is to have the right size of plastic totes to store the items you have. Large, flat items like wall hangings may need a spot where they can be stored upright, perhaps behind a shelving unit where they can be kept safe. Take the time to label totes correctly and to store soft decor items between each breakable or hard item to minimize damage if you end up moving the totes around. 

Storing Summer Clothing

Another major area of storage need is one’s summer clothing. Each member of your family likely had a stack of items that only get used in very warm or very cool weather, and if children are involved, they may outgrow items by the time they come out of storage. Here’s one way to keep summer clothing intact without losing track or wasting space.

First, start with more boxes and bags than you think you need. For clothes that you don’t mind getting wrinkled (such as socks, but also any clothes that will release wrinkles easily when hung out), consider space bags that have a one-way valve in the plastic, since this allows you to press all the air out of the bag and store a larger amount of clothes in the same space. Begin evaluating your clothing and determine if it is an “all-year-round” clothing item or a summer-specific item. 

Pack your summer wardrobe away, and plan a time when you’ll pull it back out at the end of the winter. As a family, designate a morning to take all summer clothes out and determine whether it still fits and whether you no longer want to keep them, and then pack away winter clothes. This clothing rotation can happen four times a year if you have very distinct wardrobes for fall and spring.

This is an excellent time to make a note of everything you’ve chosen to discard or donate. This can create a useful shopping list to get you back to the number of items you want. Even if you do the shopping over time by shopping sales or keeping an eye out for styles you like, the list you make at season’s change will help you ensure you have the items you need without just accidentally losing them in the shuffle of disorganized storage.

One last note on winter storage of clothing: there may be unusually warm days during the winter when you’ll want an “easy access” warm-weather outfit. Consider packing away a small box of transitional clothing with a note that this could be your first outfit as the seasons change. This will let you grab that one box even if you don’t have time to do your whole seasonal wardrobe change right then.