How to Properly Store All of Your Summer Toys and Equipment - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Aug 27, 2021

How to Properly Store All of Your Summer Toys and Equipment

With summer coming to an end and fall just around the corner, you may be starting to think about where and how all of your summer toys and equipment should be stored. In order to keep your belongings in the best possible condition, it’s important to know how to properly take care of and store them. Continue reading to learn more!


Summer Toys 

When it comes to children’s summer toys and gear, it’s important to thoroughly clean and dry them out before placing them in long-term storage. Many summertime toys such as high-powered water guns, bubble-making machines, and motorized pool toys require batteries. Be sure to remove all batteries prior to cleaning these items and leaving them out to dry. Neglecting to do so can allow bacteria to grow, resulting in mold and mildew. Once dry, you can store these items in clearly labeled plastic containers to keep out insects and pests, while also staying organized.


Outdoor Furniture 

Regardless of what material your patio and other outdoor furniture is made of, properly storing them for the upcoming season can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. Leaving out tables and chairs can quickly lead to rust and water damage. Additionally, when winter comes, the weight of snow can warp and damage pieces of furniture beyond repair. Storing your items in a climate controlled storage unit or in a garage with protective coverings can eliminate these issues, leaving your furniture ready to go come springtime.


Cookout Equipment 

Properly storing your cookout equipment can save you a lot of hassle come next season. Follow these tips to be sure you're prepared for the next BBQ season.


When preparing your grill for long-term storage, it’s important to clean out any leftover food residue, dust, or ash to prevent
pest damage and mold growth. Be sure to include a thorough cleaning of any grates, grease traps, or other components. Gas grills should have their propane tanks removed and stored separately. Don’t forget to turn off any valves. Once completed, you can place your protective cover over the grill and store inside a shed or garage.


Meat Smokers

If your smoker isn't located inside your home or in a sheltered area, it may be time to start thinking about storing it for the season. Just like with your grill, you’ll want to give your equipment a thorough cleaning. Be sure to remove any racks or cooking surfaces, and to wipe out the interior with a rag. Don’t forget the charcoal basket, ash pan, or any accessories that go along with it. Following that, you can place your protective cover and move your smoker into a garage or shed for safe keeping.


Fire Pits

After an extended period of being wet from rain or snow, it can be difficult to light your fire pit again. To avoid this, be sure to properly winterize your fit pit this coming fall. First, you’ll want to remove any debris so that it doesn't rust or clog up over the winter. If there is a gas or electric component to your fire pit, you’ll want to turn those off. Then, simply cover your fire pit with a fitted, weather-resistant cover.


Lawn Care Equipment

After a long summer of lawn care and maintenance, it’s almost time to pack up your tools for the year. In order to maintain the quality of your equipment, you’ll want to make sure they are stored properly.


Lawnmowers and Weedeaters

First, you’ll want to review the manufacturer’s instructions for information on long-term storage. It’s important to know that many lawn mowers will recommend that you drain the engine until it’s empty, while others might require you to add a fuel stabilizer to the tank. Once completed, you’ll want to rinse off any dirt or grass left on the equipment. Leftover grass may invite pests to assemble their winter home inside your machines. Lastly, you’ll want to place plastic, weather-proof covers over your tools for an added layer of protection and store in either a garage or shed.



If you have a sprinkler system, winterizing will be key to protecting the pipes and valves from the oncoming cold. First, turn off the water and the timer. Then, you can drain out any leftover water. Some systems have a manual draining process while others have an automatic draining process. Refer to your instruction manual for more information on your specific system. Finally, insulate the above ground components by wrapping them in foam covers or insulation tape. Pro-tip: When cleaning the backflow preventers, be sure to avoid blocking any air vents or drain outlets.



Before freezing temperatures arrive, it is important to winterize your outside garden hoses. Neglecting to do so can result in broken or burst pipes feeding water into your basement and crawl space. In order to winterize your hose system, complete the following tasks. First, remove and drain all hoses. Next, locate all the hose bib shut off valves in your home and turn them to the off position. Finally, open the outdoor hose bib to allow any trapped water to flow out. If a little bit of water comes out and then stops, you have completed winterizing your hoses.


Recreational Vehicles 


In order to properly store your ATV or UTV, you’ll want to start with a thorough cleaning. Once your recreational vehicle is clean, it’s time to make sure all components that can rust or corrode are protected. Be sure to lubricate items like the chain, drive shaft, u-joins, CV joints, suspension, throttle cable, brake cable, and clutch cable with a waterproof grease. Next, you’ll want to service your coolant. Neglecting to replace your coolant can lead to chemical build-up and corrosion. Then you can service the oil, air filters, fuel system, cylinders, carburetor, battery, and finally your tires. Once completed, it’s important to store your vehicle where it will be safe from freezing temperatures, rain, and snow. If you don’t have garage or shed space available, you may consider renting a storage unit for the season.



To keep your bike in tip-top shape for the next season, start by thoroughly cleaning and drying the entire frame of the bike and all its components. Don’t forget to clean and lubricate the chain as well. Next, in order to prevent water or humidity from degrading the material, you can wipe the frame and the chain with a layer of silicon oil. You’ll want to make sure that your bike isn’t sitting on its tires for a long time as they can start to become flat which can damage the rims if left long enough. Be sure to hang your bike inside your shed or garage in order to avoid this type of damage.


Properly storing your summer related toys and equipment will not only prolong the lifespan of your items, but it will save you time and money come next season. For more storage related tips, check out the link below!