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As the days grow shorter and the temperature starts to drop, we all have to face the sad reality that another summer has come and gone.

And with the passing of summer comes the inevitable chores that everyone has to do – the coats come back out of the closet, the kids have to get back on their school schedule, and there’s a lot of things that need to be put away around the house.

Chief among these are deck chairs and patio furniture. We’ve all got our favorite places to sit outside, but for most of the country (particularly here in Michigan where The Shelving Store is located) the deck is only an option for those few months of the year where we get sunshine and warmth. For the rest of the year, all your deck furniture needs to find a new home elsewhere – but where should you put it, and how can you get it there?

 

The first step is to figure out exactly what can stay outside, and what should be brought back in. Certain ‘weatherproof’ materials, like composite plastics and certain woods (although you’ll want to double-check with the manufacturer to make sure), can safely stay outside in all but the most extreme weather circumstances, like those polar vortexes that rear their ugly heads from time to time. Material like stone, steel, and wicker should all be brought indoors to prevent damage, as these materials aren’t going to be able to withstand the moisture and exposure quite as well. It’s important to remember that the stuff you do leave outside shouldn’t be covered up – while that may sound backwards, leaving your furniture exposed can actually help prevent the build-up of moisture (from getting trapped under the tarp) and can lessen the risk of damage, particularly to wooden furniture.

 

Step 2 is to make sure everything is clean. You wouldn’t want to leave unwashed Tupperware inside your fridge for six months, and nor should you drag in some patio furniture that might still be covered in dirt, grime, and crumbs from your last cookout. Inspect your furniture for signs of rust or stripping, gently brush away any corrosion, and brush off any dirt or grime before it gets put up.

 

Okay, so you’ve figured out what you have to bring inside, and you’ve gotten it all scrubbed down and ready to go. By now you’re probably asking yourself “Just where am I supposed to put all this stuff?” Good question!

As opposed to most kinds of indoor home furniture, outdoor furniture is designed to hold up to a little rough weather, so you can pretty safely store these in a basement or garage without a lot of hassle. One of the best ways to get everything organized and reduce clutter is to use garage wall storage such as hooks and rails to help hang up things like umbrellas and chair cushions. Larger items could be stacked up vertically in a corner to take up less floor space, or if you’re worried about moisture damage from humidity changes you can use wire shelves to keep them off the floor and prevent rust. If you are storing cushions but don’t have access to a wall hook, try to store them in something like a garage storage bin with a lid to prevent moisture from getting in. Finally, if you’re organizing everything in a stack or on a shelf, make sure to face everything right-side-up to help moisture drain out and prevent rust and mold from accumulating.

 

Whatever you do, just make sure they’re safe and dry, so when the sun finally peeks its head back up, you have a nice place to sit and enjoy the weather for as long as it lasts!

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