Seasonal Storage Tips for Garage Tools

seasonal-garage-storageThe garage may not be the central location of your home, but it’s much more than just the place the car gets parked. For many people, the garage is where most home projects take place and where the tools for those projects are stored. If you’ve ever set out on the epic quest of finding the right kind of drill bit or the right size wrench then it may be time to reorganize your tools and garage. Storing tools properly can do more than just save time, it can also extend the life of your tools.

Cold Weather Prep

Spring cleaning is pretty common across the nation, but its sister season, fall cleaning, can do just as much good. In late fall before storing away lawn tools, take the time to clean them up. Whip away grass, dirt and any other debris that could be stuck on them. This will keep metal from rusting and make pulling them back out next year a breeze.

I like to also sharpen the lawn mower blade at this time along with any pruning shears. You’ll be amazed how dull a blade is after a season’s worth of mowing. sharpen-mower-bladeIt takes about 15 minutes total to take the lawnmower blade off, sharpen using a bench grinder, and put it back on. Spend the time to actually do some research and read some bench grinder reviews if you’re looking to get one. I’ve found too many of the cheap brands don’t last more than a year. Stick with a major brand such as DeWalt or Porter Cable.

Organize with Shelving and Hooks

Shelves and hooks make a perfect addition to any garage storage plan. Many handheld gardening tools, such as shears and watering cans, can end up piled in the corner.

By adding shelves or hooks you can keep creepy crawlers from making a home among the handles and you’ll have an easier time of keeping them dry.

While it’s a fantastic goal to always keep your shelves organized throughout the year, the reality is that you’ll need to do a major reorganization at least once a year.

I like to keep a couple dedicated “seasonal” shelves as well. When December comes, I can find a fresh set of windshield wipers that are good for the snow along with ice scrapers, winter driving gloves, and anything else I may need during the cold months.

Store the Grill

Grilling out is a big summer past time and there are few things better, but the grill needs to be properly stored away during the colder months when it’s not being used. Give the grill a good cleaning and scrap out any gunk or grease that may be left behind. If your grill uses propane then remove the tank and store it in a safe area. Cover the grill with a tarp or blanket and put it somewhere out of the way in the garage. While custom fit fabric grill covers may look great when new, I’ve found they deteriorate too quickly during the freezing month and prefer to use a good old tarp.

Car Tools

IF you’re a car person, there’s a good chance you keep all kinds of car tools in your garage. What better place? These tools should be available year round. If you don’t already have a tool chest go ahead and get one. You can also set up a spot just for your car tools. That way they’ll be separated from seasonal tools and won’t get lost in the jumble. Since things like floor jacks probably won’t get much use during the winter, it’s a good idea to remove the handle and store the jack somewhere out of the way, like under your workbench.