Winter is coming. These words may belong to Game of Thrones’ protagonists House Stark but that makes them no less true. However rather than giant ice spiders and hordes of frozen undead zombies, winter in Wales brings different challenges – chiefly: awful weather.
Cold temperatures, heavy rain, strong winds and – on occasion – snow… There are plenty of reasons to store your items away safely each winter. But what sort of items should you store away, and what’s the best way to store them? Let’s take a look.
As the weather changes, so too does our wardrobe. Banished are the three-quarters and the beach shorts. Expelled are the vest tops and skirts. Goodbye flip-flops and t-shirts, hello boots and woolly jumpers. But how should you store your clothes so that they look just as spick-and-span next year?
Your first point of order should be to clean all the clothes thoroughly to ensure that there are no stains or bacteria that could grow during the months that they are stored away. Next, remove any plastic from your clothing; this may be if you have had something dry cleaned or even new items you haven’t quite worn yet. The plastic can cause the clothing fibres to dry out, leading to discolouration.
Fold (don’t hang) items. Leaving clothes – particularly jumpers and coats – hanging for long periods of time can lead to them becoming misshapen. Whilst the items do need to breathe, gently folding them and storing them in a cardboard box will help them retain shape. Be sure to store the boxes somewhere clean, dry and at room temperature.
The majority of bits and pieces that you’re going to want to store away for winter are your strictly-summer items. Lawn equipment, summer sports items (some bikes, skateboards, surfing equipment, etc.) and of course the BBQ.
Firstly you are going to want to ensure that all your items are clean and dry as any residual water or dirt can eat away at that old lawnmower or lawn chair, causing it to rust or perish during the storage period. It’s also vital that you choose a storage location that is temperature managed; ensuring items are kept at a regular, cool temperature.
Next it’s important to ensure that items are stored in appropriate containers or packaging and that any necessary repairs are made. The old adage “a stitch in time saves nine” is appropriate – you don’t want to get that lawn mower out and find the fault has now rusted further and become unusable. Avoid any packaging that could lock in moisture, particularly certain ‘air lock’ plastics. You want your items to be able to breathe.
More sensibility than necessity, putting your classic car or bike into storage during the winter months can save it from the harsh cold, wind and rain, preserving it for the warmer months. However just like many other delicate items that are set for a few months on the shelf, preparation is key to successful storage.
Make sure that the fuel tank is drained and give the oil and coolant fluids a change prior to storage. This is to prevent old fuel from clogging up the carburettor and will help to ensure that the system is kept in peak condition.
Be sure to charge or disconnect the battery – this one is pretty self-explanatory, although if you are going to be storing the car for more than four months, it’s probably best to remove the battery entirely. Just be sure you know the radio security code if you have one.
If you’re storing a classic car, you can read our dedicated guide on the subject here.
*Bonus* – Christmas presents
With the new Star Wars film around the corner, there will undoubtedly be many little Jedi running around seeking out their Christmas gifts, and just like Luke and Darth Vader – you cannot hide your presents…
Bad pop-culture jokes aside, why not store your Christmas gifts away in safe, secure and insured storage facilities until they are ready to go under the tree on Christmas Eve? Not even the most practiced child detective will be able to spoil the Christmas morning surprise if you keep the gifts safely hidden away.