So Long Summer: How to Store Summer Gear

Published Tuesday, September 04, 2012 10:23 PM

Back-to-school shopping signs are everywhere signaling summer's end. Before you know it, cool weather will spell retirement for boogie boards, beach umbrellas and other summer gear. Start your fall on an organized note with our tips for storing seasonal summer items.

Beachy Clean

Before storing beach chairs, umbrellas and sand toys, give each item a cold water rinse and a good scrub. Next, allow items to thoroughly dry in the sun to avoid mildew and prevent sand and salt from corroding items during the off-season.

Likewise, hose down patio furniture and clean outdoor pillows with a mixture of water and mild detergent. Scrub mildew stains with a stiff brush; allow all items to dry in the sun, then store indoors in a garage or basement.

Once the summer BBQ season is over, it's time to thrill your grill. Dismantle and clean all the gunk off, finishing up with a light coating of oil spray to repel winter moisture. Then store your grill in an indoor, protected environment such as a garage. The exception to this storage rule? Propane tanks: safety dictates well-ventilated, protected outdoor storage versus indoors.

Store More

Maximize storage with creativity. Think vertical and use your garage or basement walls to hang lightweight items. Mark off the dimensions of

beach chairs, umbrellas, and surf and boogie boards along the wall. Next, add eye-hold screws along the measurements' perimeter and use bungee cords to affix items to the wall. You can also reduce the number of bulky items to store by deflating all beach balls and inner tubes and storing like items in a plastic storage bin.


Keep in mind that not all items need to be stored for next season. Kids grow like weeds so don't waste time storing outgrown summer clothes and bikes, etc. Organize a swap with friends whose kids are older or younger to pass along outgrown items and inherit what your family can use the following year. Give all items a careful onceover; sometimes an item is past its prime and is ready to toss. That slip 'n slide that is more slip than slide? Toss. Rusty gardening tools? Toss. Inner tubes that constantly lose air? Toss. You get the idea.

Be sure to free up closet space for your fall goods by storing all beach towels and bathing suits in plastic storage bins in the garage, basement or attic.

If you still don't have a place to store all your summer items, hit the stores: storage items are traditionally on sale in the fall as stores court back-to-school shoppers looking to get organized. Evaluate your current storage needs and stock up on what you're missing.

Repair and Retire

Finally, get a jump start on next summer's warm weather fun by tackling needed repairs and restocking seasonal items now, while prices are at rock bottom. By repairing summer sports gear such as tennis racquets and swim goggles before storing, and replacing must-have items now, you'll be ready to dive back into summer fun the minute Memorial Day rolls around.


How do you store summer gear? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook and Twitter pages.


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