Summer in New York is officially over. And it may seem tempting to just throw everything in the garage and be done with it until the warmer season rolls around again. But taking the time to put your summer gear away properly will ensure that it doesn't get damaged during the winter season, and make it that much easier to jump right into warm weather recreation and activities when things heat up again.
The one, two, three of summer clean up:
Whether you're talking about swimsuits and beach gear, furniture or water skis, there are a few basic steps you can take to store just about anything:
Clean it: Clean the item properly and thoroughly. Be sure to follow manufacturer instructions.
Repair it: Take care of any problems before storing the item. When summer comes around again, it will feel great to be able to just take things out and use them.
Store it: Store the item properly in a way that minimizes the potential for damage.
More tips & tricks for storing specific items:
Outdoor furniture: Thoroughly wash and dry all outdoor furniture and equipment before storing it for the season. This includes cushions, covers, hammocks and umbrellas (some of these can be thrown in the washing machine; be sure to read labels and follow instructions). Use detergent and/or a mild bleach solution (again, depending on the material) to get rid of dirt and prevent mildew. Store your outdoor furniture in a cool, dry place, preferably inside a garage or shed, and up off of the floor.
Clothing and textiles: Fall is a good time to go through not just clothing, but linens, towels, and other textiles. Get rid of anything that's too worn or damaged; and donate anything you didn't wear or haven't used in a long time. Launder everything and repair rips and stains before putting away. Store summer clothing, beach towels, hats, swimsuits, etc. in fabric bags or plastic containers, protected from moisture and light.
Recreational equipment: The most challenging thing about putting away bikes, camping equipment, sports gear, blow up pools and the like is just that where to put them! But storing things well will make it less likely they'll be damaged by cold temperatures, moisture, insects or rodents and other winter hazards. So don't just throw everything in a big pile in the garage: take time to install a few hooks and shelves; purchase sturdy, waterproof containers, and find a home for each item or type of gear.
Watercraft: To avoid damage, it's extremely important to winterize your boat properly before storing it for the season. Explore options for indoor and outdoor storage to find something that works with your budget. Regardless of where you store your watercraft for the season, make sure to use a well-fitting, high quality cover to keep your prized purchase safe from the elements.
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