Hibernation Preparation: Get Your Outdoors in Order

Hibernation Preparation: Get Your Outdoors in Order

Get your outdoors in order so your tools and toys are stowed until spring.


For those of us less fond of the long winter months, the first frost of fall calls for packing it up, shutting it down and going into hibernation for the next season and a half.

If only it were that simple.

While we can’t do anything about the tilt of the Earth’s axis, we do have a few recommendations about how to get your outdoors in order before the harsh winter weather really hits.

Finding a place to put all that summer and fall stuff – bikes, wagons, garden tools, patio furniture and grills – until springtime is daunting. Fortunately, we’ve got a few ideas to help you keep your outdoor décor stored, organized and prepared for next spring.

Make the Most out of Your Space
The garage and backyard shed don’t have to become cartoon closets piled to the ceiling with an unstable heap of stuff. Just like with any space in your home, a few small tricks to keep it organized will go a long way.

1. Do an Inventory. Assess what you actually want to keep for next year. There’s no sense in storing something that you don’t actually need and will just throw away when spring comes. Pitch old seeds, broken flowerpots and other just-in-case items. Donate unused furniture or decorations to make room for the things that are truly important to you.

2. Cleanup Time. Now’s the perfect time to clean off your overused outdoor items before storing them away! Try Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to scrub tough dirt and grime off your patio furniture and grill. And watch how the cleaning power of Dawn can make your gardening tools looking like new!

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3. Organize What You Have. Now that you’re left with only the things you’re keeping for spring, let’s get them organized. Store similar items (tools, accessories and seeds) near each other. Make sure the items you use frequently are in a convenient, easy-to-grab spot. Pegboards can be great for turning a blank wall into storage. You can also buy a two-by-four and drill evenly spaced holes down the length of the board. Fill the holes with dowels and you can easily hang rakes, shovels, gloves or other equipment.

Tip: Seasonal items that can be stored for several months at a time – like sleds, skis or snow shovels – can be placed in overhead racks or attics to keep them out of the way.

4. Adding Some Storage. If you don’t own a shed or are tight on garage space, check out smaller storage options like deck boxes and benches. They’re perfect for small yards and decks, and they also double as an extra seating option.

Maximize Your Space for Storage
Here are some other ways to organize your backyard or other outdoor space for limited clutter. We all need to be able to find our gardening tools in spring!

  • Store mulch or potting soil in a new, covered garbage can.
  • Utilize space underneath a deck with rolling weatherproof storage containers.
  • Hang the family bikes and wagons indoors or inside the garage. Wall mounts make it easy to stow them out of the way, but they’re still highly visible for the following year.

Tip: If you have high or vaulted ceilings, consider hanging a bike or two from your wall or ceiling. They will give the room an added flair for adventure – and they’ll be easy to access when you need them.

What are your storage tips for when the cold weather hits?

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