This summer was the shortest summer I’ve experienced in 41 years on this earth. Look at that, I’m already using the past-tense to refer to summer.
Ah well, facing forward and moving on.
Properly preparing your yard, and storage areas for winter can make things a lot easier for you in the spring.
Shop the end-of-season sales
Need a new pool, outdoor play toys, swim suits, or more for the kids? How about a new barbecue, patio set, or decorations for the yard? Check out the seasonal sections in your local stores for end of season deals and store them over the winter. If it is an item you would be buying in the spring anyway, chances are that you will save money buying it now.
Try to hit the sales before you begin putting everything in storage so that you don’t end up just stuffing it on top of your neatly organized areas.
What Will I Need (WWIN)?
There will always be items you will need both during the winter, and/or again in the spring before everything else comes out. Before putting everything away, look in your garage and storage areas and consider what is sitting on the shelves already. Does anything need to be placed in an area that is easily accessible once the snow flies? Bring those items out so they are not buried in everything else.
You will also want to bring anything out that will not survive the winter in an unheated area. Items such as plant fertilizer, grass/vegetable seeds, etc.
Clean everything before storing
The urge to just stuff everything into storage is always big at the end of the season, but remember how you felt pulling out all of those dirty items in the spring. Cleaning your furniture and toys now will pay off after a long winter when you can finally pull everything out and set it up.
OxiCleanTM Versatile Stain Remover Powder has over 101 uses on multiple surfaces like patio furniture, unfinished decks, carpet, upholstery, kitchen and bath surfaces, and even works outdoors on gutters. For metal surfaces, make sure to rinse well, immediately.
Prepare your yard and plants
Now is a good time to know which plants in your yard need special care. You have the option to bring annuals in for the winter months, and dig up any that have bulb that require inside storage away from the cold.
Remove your leaves as best as you can and cut your grass. Extra leaves and long grass in the yard provide a great home for mice in the winter and you will welcome the spring with mice tracks all over the yard.
Tip: If you bring a potted plant in from a summer outside, consider purchasing a bug trap (or tape) to set near your plant. Any small bugs that moved in over the summer will be easily caught before they find another place to live, in your home.
Keep, donate, sell, toss
Don’t store items you have no plans on using. Lighten your load now. Inspect outdoor toys closely. Are they breaking down? Toys used in the backyard suffer damage quicker than those used inside because of the type of use and the added elements. Any toys that are too worn should be tossed. Winters are long and tossing them now will give kids a longer time to forget about them.
Kids also grow out of toys before they are damaged. If an item is no longer age-appropriate, consider donating or selling those at this time too. Make sure you clean up those toys you are planning on sending on to another loving home.
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Disclosure: I am an ambassador with Church & Dwight and this post was inspired by their products ARM & HAMMER, and OxiClean. I receive monetary compensation and/or products as part of my affiliation. The article, and personal opinions are not influenced.