If you’ve looked outside recently, you’ve probably noticed that spring is in full bloom and your neighbors are outside mowing their lawns. Heck, it’s almost summer! The swimming pools are open. Wal-Mart and Costco are selling Popsicles by the case. Out in the yard, the trees have leafed out. The rains have been plentiful, turning everything rosy and pink and wonderful in the garden. And the dandelions are simply popping up everywhere. If you haven’t already tackled the changeover from winter to spring at your home, it’s a fair bet that your garage is still full of winter weather snow and ice assault gear that needs to be tidied up, detailed, and put away. And if you’re a collector of tools and equipment, like us, you’re probably catching a lot of heat from the spouse about organizing the garage and finding a temporary home for all that off-season equipment—at least until late autumn when the weather begins to cool down a bit. But, until that time, you gotta get the garage in shape for the rest of the summer.

When planning your winter to summer garage changeover, it’s best to approach the project in a way that will allow you to get the best use of your available garage space during the summer and autumn months, as well as make an easier change back to your winter garage setup next November or December.

Your winter weather gear may include any or all of the following:

  • Cold weather work clothing
  • Holiday décor and lighting
  • Snow blower
  • Snow melt, salt or sand
  • Snow shovels
  • Snow sports equipment
  • Snow tires

All of this is bulky and of relatively little use during the warm weather months, so there’s no reason to have any of this equipment and gear cluttering up your garage from April to October. So, the best way to reclaim your garage space from Old Man Winter and make room for the inflatable pool, the water wings, and everything you need to keep the lawn and garden in top condition, is to start pulling your winter weather equipment and related gear out into the daylight (literally, just move it out into the driveway) and organizing it all into piles.

The organizational experts you see on HGTV and similar DIY channels on the TV always suggest starting a home organization project with a plan. And even though we’re talking about the garage here, the advice is still sound. Your winter gear shouldn’t be tossed willy-nilly into piles in the basement until next winter. No, you need to make good use of your available space and take good care of your equipment at the same time. Don’t have a lot of space in the basement or attic, you say? You might want to take another tip from the home organization pros and rent a self-storage unit for your off-season garage equipment. Self-storage units are one of the most-often turned to resources for off-season storage—especially for those fine folks who take to decorating for the holiday season with great enthusiasm (seriously, where else are you going to store a full-sized plastic Santa, his sleigh, and reindeer during spring, summer, and autumn?). Granted, there are those who make full use of their garage space—those who have gone to great lengths to build storage shelves and compartments along every wall and all across the ceiling. You know the guy. He’s the one who has a particular peg for every shovel, rake, and hoe. He even has gone so far as to draw an outline of each implement on the wall so he can see at a glance what peg accepts which item.

But is all that extreme garage modification worth the effort? You can rent a self-storage unit for your off-season garage equipment with relative ease. In most cases—as with Storage ‘R’ Us in Moore, Duncan, Lawton, and Chickasha, Oklahoma—you can even borrow a truck to help move your seasonal equipment and gear into your new self-storage unit. Suddenly, your garage-cleaning weekend doesn’t look like such a terrible chore. With self-storage for garage equipment as a resource, you can finally get around to tuning up the lawn mower.