What to do with it all when you aren’t using it

In the northern hemisphere, extreme variations between seasons are pretty common – warm, sunny summers and long, freezing winters. The result is that most people spend several months storing stuff that they aren’t going to use for quite some time. All through summer, winter boots, skis, hockey gear and ice skates clog up basements and closets.

If you or your family are big into winter sports, you’ll know that a lot of them require some pretty bulky gear. Skiing and snowboarding will need skis and boards, as well as safety gear like helmets, goggles, and perhaps a pair of crutches for when things go a little awry. If you’re lucky you might even have a snowmobile sitting in your garage. Hockey kit takes up more than a little cupboard space – especially if your kid plays goalie.

So what can you actually do with all that stuff for the months you’re not using it? Here are a few ideas.

Hire it, borrow it, buy it and sell it when you’re done.

If it’s your first time on the slopes, you probably shouldn’t go all out with the gear; you might not be back next year. So borrow from a friend who’s not using their skis right now. Or hire some. Most ski resorts rent out equipment.

The same applies to your kids’ ice hockey kit. If they’re fairly young, chances are they will have outgrown most of it by next season anyway, so try to find out about hiring kit before they sign up. If your only option is to buy though, you can usually fetch a decent second-hand price if they’ve looked after it

Cheap self-storage

The advantages of this are that your belongings are safe, as most places have pretty tight security; they are looking after other peoples things after all. It’s usually quite easy to find decent self-storage: say you live in Calgary – open up your browser, punch in storage units Calgary, and see what your options are.

When winter swings back around, you’ve got ready access to your things and can grab your skis and head up to the slopes of the Rockies.

Basements and attics

Whether it’s yours or a friend’s, you can make good use of the dead space at the top and bottom of the house. Most people don’t use attics or basements as part of their day to day living space. They often aren’t as well insulated as the rest of the house and probably not as pretty.

Make sure you pack your things properly to protect them from water damage in the basement, termites, etc. Cling wrap and moth balls are your friend here. Label it so you’re not digging through a dozen boxes in 6 months time and make sure you can still access the plumbing and circuit board.

 

In essence, unless you’re happy to have everything you’re not using fall out of the closet, find a simpler solution for keeping it out the way until it comes time to use it again.

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