7 Tips for Converting Your Garage into Your Winter Storage Unit
While the weather here in Markham continues to be summer-like well into September, the winter will no doubt return. When it does, your garage becomes the place to store a number of things that may have been kept elsewhere for the summer. From your patio furniture to your classic car, those things have spent most or all of the summer outside, but they need to be stored and protected from the snow, ice and colder temperatures of winter.
It means that at some point between now and when the first snow flies, you’ll need to get all that stuff into your garage. It’s not usually a chore you look forward to, but by doing some planning and starting sooner (even now when temperatures are still warm) you can make it an easier job.
1. Do a “Needs Assessment”
In other words, before you begin to set-up the garage for storage, it helps to know exactly what you’ll be putting away. It might seem like a no-brainer, but when you actually make a list, you’ll be surprised at what you hadn’t thought of, and you’ll get a better idea of where to put things and maximize your space.
2. Put Together a Storage Plan
Once you have a good idea of what needs to go in, you can start planning where and how to store them. Make note of your shelving and overhead storage options and possibilities. Having lots of both will help you use more of the space in your garage (versus throwing everything on the floor). Visit your local hardware store or garage door dealer and ask about storage options. There’s always some new storage idea or products, especially for garages, that can really make a difference.
3. A Place for Everything
As part of your planning, try to find practical places for everything. You’re going to need your snow blower and shovels, so put them close to the door. Garden furniture that you won’t need until next spring can go deeper in the garage and even be used as ‘shelving’ for other items.
4. Plan for Safe Access
Even the best plans have their flaws and at some point over the winter, you’re going to need something that’s ‘buried’ somewhere in your garage. The danger lies in stretching over or around other items and in the potential of something from overhead falling on you or your belongings. Make sure shelves are secured to walls and try to store heavier items closer to the ground or otherwise in ways that they cannot fall. Try also to layout your storage so you can have relatively easy access to all your stored items.
5. Keep Your Garage Door Clear
While it’s tempting, packing items against the back of a garage door can end up damaging the items and/or the door. With some types of doors, support cables need room to travel and any items that are too close can be damaged by the cables, or the operation of the door can be affected. Also, the photo eyes that control the door might be blocked or bumped by things you store nearby, which can affect how your garage door operates.
6. Clean and Organize
One of the best ways to get as much storage space out of your garage a possible is to get rid of and/or organize all the stuff you’ve accumulated since spring cleaning. Whether it’s used paint cans or new toys, plan to put them in the right spots. Once you’ve opened up as much space as possible, giving your garage a thorough cleaning, including oil spots on the floor, will make it easier to pack the garage and have it feel less cluttered.
7. Prepare Your Stuff for Storage
From getting vehicles ready for a long period of inactivity, to having covers and/or boxes ready for furniture and other items, the more you do to properly prepare your belongings for storage, the better they’ll be when it comes time to bring them out again next spring.
It might not seem to make sense to add to your list of things-to-do when it comes time to store stuff in your garage for winter, but the payoff in added space, more protection for your things and a safer garage is more than worth it.
Protect your garage door from the effects of cold winter weather and temperatures with our professional inspection, maintenance, and winterizing services. To ensure that your garage door provides the functionality, protection, and energy efficiency that you want and need throughout the winter, call the specialists at Markham Garage Doors today at (905) 472-9178 or (416) 570-3667 to book your service visit as soon as possible.