With more and more emphasis on outdoor living, Madison area residents are looking for winter storage spaces for their valuable patio furnishings, grills and summer toys. When it’s time to find a safe place for summer’s outdoor things there are ideal self-storage options strategically placed around the area. Making the right choice protects possessions and frees up valuable garage and closet space.
Candidates for Short-term Winter Storage
The common candidates for one of the many self-storage options available for seasonal uses fall into four broad categories – items related to outdoor activities, seasonal clothing, seasonal furnishings and holiday decorations.
Items for Outdoor Activities include:
- Bikes, scooters and skateboards
- Kayaks, canoes and other water craft – there are self-storage options for all but the biggest boats
- Tents, camping gear, car-top carriers
- Season sporting goods – bats, tennis and golf equipment
Seasonal Furnishings include:
- Upholstered or wooden patio furniture that can be damaged by winter wind, snow and ice
- Grills and outdoor cooking accessories
- Umbrellas, hammocks and decorations
Holiday Decorations include:
- Halloween decorations – large display items, lights, etc.
- Easter holiday entertaining pieces
- Items for holidays of special interest like birthdays, St. Patrick’s Day and Ground Hog Day (especially appropriate for Sun Prairie!)
Clothing items include:
- Swim wear and beach accessories
- Rain gear
- Lightweight clothing
Prepare Before Choosing Self-storage Options
Advanced planning will make selecting the right sized storage unit much easier and helps with the packing and pre-storage prep. It is best to follow a checklist of preparation steps before putting valuables into storage even for a short time. When planning for winter storage, consider:
- Make sure all hardware items – bikes, boats, tables, chairs, etc. – are clean and dry
- Be prepared to protect surfaces with dust covers
- Plan to provide the means to keep stored items off the concrete floor as best you can
- Consider using climate controlled units for sensitive items
- Be certain all clothing is cleaned before going into the storage unit
- Use specially-designed wardrobe boxes to hang clothing
- Use plastic tubs with tight lids rather than cardboard boxes
Consider Location for Seasonal Storage
Saying Madison’s winter weather is unpredictable is an understatement. There are often warm periods where lightweight clothing is appropriate even though winter storms are on the horizon. Spring thaws make using the patio or taking a bike ride possible. Selecting a winter storage unit that’s readily accessible – and placing items in it that you may want mid-winter within reach – makes sense. And, if space at home is a premium, keeping snow skiing gear in storage that’s easy-on, easy-off the main highway adds versatility. When it’s time for the mid-winter vacation to a warm, sunny beach you don’t want to dig around for swim and beach accessories.
Safety Considerations For Self-storage Options
Tucking bikes and baseballs in a simple storage unit comes with very little concern but there are items that should not be stored in these spaces. And, there are more precious items that deserve more than a garage-like setting. Before opting for a winter storage unit, consider a few items better kept elsewhere, including:
- Extra fuel supplies – gasoline cans, propane tanks and gas canisters for camping gear are highly flammable and represent a risk from spills or leaks. If fuel must be stored, be certain it is in a leak- and spill-proof container and away from any source of spark.
- Paint and cleaning supplies – these, too are potential fire sources. Many liquids do not react well to freezing temperatures – latex paint freezes at the same temperature as water – so storage in a climate controlled space is a better choice.
- Wooden furnishings – wood is a fragile material that is harshly affected by moisture and temperature changes. Wooden pieces warp, mildew and are inviting to pests. Select a climate controlled environment and protect each piece – from chairs and tables to wooden picture frames and accessories.
- Clothing – in a garage-like space cloth absorbs moisture and is subject to mildew and mold. It also absorbs odors from nearby sources. Best to store in sealed containers within climate controlled storage units.
- Anything Fragile – important documents, art work, electronics, decorations and photos should be stored in climate controlled spaces whether for short-term storage this winter or an extended period. If these pieces are precious enough for you to keep they’re valuable enough to keep safe.
Winter Storage Choices Aplenty
Call A+ Storage at 608-837-5113 in Sun Prairie or 608-442-7339 in Madison or email us to visit our strategically-placed secure self-storage options and create a winter storage plan for anywhere in the Madison area.