We've got the best tips and solutions to keep your summer gear safe and sound. This year, pack up your summer gear like a pro.
Before you store your inflatable toys, make sure they're completely devoid of air and moisture. Always dry pool toys thoroughly before storing. Any additional moisture can lead to mildew and rotting. Some toys with basic valves can be deflated using a drinking straw to prop open the valve mechanism. For bigger or more complicated inflatable toys, consider purchasing an electric inflator/deflator. (Amazon, $33)
Don't just pack your gear. Label it accurately, so you to know exactly what you have in stock next summer. When you know what you already have, you'll be less tempted to impulse shop for new toys and backyard gear when it warms up again next year. Labels are especially handy if you're using storage boxes that aren't see-through. Invest in a handheld label maker to quickly label your bins and boxes. (Office Depot, $20)
If you don't have room in the garage or shed, use outdoor storage bins that blend seamlessly with your decor. As the weather cools off, hide sports gear, gardening tools and pool equipment in large storage bins. Look for bins with decorative details that set them apart from unsightly garbage bins. Use smaller, airtight storage bins within the larger bin for smaller items like sidewalk chalk and toys. (Bed, Bath & Beyond, $160)
From your lawnmower to your grill, your summer gear should be kept carefully under cover during the fall and winter months. A weatherproof cover keeps the elements and vermin away from your important investments. Next summer, your gear will be ready to use right away if you've taken the time to cover it well. Use well-fitted covers on outdoor furniture, backyard grills, equipment and sports gear. (Home Depot, $40)
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