How to Store Lawn and Garden Tools for Winter

Garden Tools for Winter
Image by Pexels from Pixabay

As October rolls around, I find myself having to accept the reality that winter is coming. While there may be a day or two of mild temperatures remaining, the trend is definitely away from gardening season. If you have a yard or garden, you might also be facing the need to clear out, clean up, and otherwise prepare for the cold months ahead. The natural question, therefore, is how to store lawn and garden tools for winter?

The answer to this question will vary a bit based on your particular circumstances. For instance:

  • How big is your outdoor area?
  • Do you have a garage and/or shed?
  • Do you have a garden?
  • Do you take care of a lawn?
  • Do you arrange flowers?
  • How many supplies do you have?

To get the job done, I suggest you take the following four steps:

1. COMPLETE OUTDOOR TASKS

Now is the time to complete any outdoor tasks with your tools before you start packing your them away. Tear out and, if possible, compost any plants that won’t survive the winter months. Seed, treat, and trim your lawn and shrubs. Harvest remaining crops. Plant spring bulbs. Consider this your chance to use your tools “one last time,” and then you will be ready to put them to bed for the winter.

2. SORT YOUR SUPPLIES

Sort your tools into categories:

  • Machines (e.g., lawnmowers, weed whackers, trimmers, tillers, leaf blowers, etc.)
  • Large tools (e.g., rakes, shovels, brooms, ladders, mattoks, seed spreaders, picks, etc.)
  • Hand tools (trowels, shovels, bulb planters, pruning shears, etc.)
  • Pots and containers
  • Bulk supplies (e.g., fertilizer, grass seed, potting soil, etc.)
  • Hoses & nozzles
  • “Garments” (e.g., gloves, goggles, aprons, knee pads, etc.)
  • Fuels (e.g., gas, oil, etc.)
  • Garden structures (e.g., stakes, fencing, cages, trellises, etc.)
  • Décor (e.g., pillows, lanterns, garden decorations, etc.)

Grouping items together is very helpful because items within a category often have similar storage needs. We don’t want to store tiny items in the same place as large ones.

3. CLEAN BEFORE STORING

The next step is to give a quick clean to anything that is dirty. Shake off dust, brush off stuck on dirt, wipe off and screw lids tightly onto containers, rinse out pots and containers, and perhaps oil small tools. By doing this bit of work now, you are making it more pleasant to get started next spring. Additionally, it is simply easier to store things that are not dirty.

4. SELECT AND LOAD STORAGE LOCATIONS

Consider what storage options are available to you and decide which category of items you will store where. Some items require indoor storage, while others may be able to be stored outside. For instance:

  • Hang tall but relatively flat items along a wall
  • Nest and stack containers on a shelf or in a cabinet
  • Tuck small items into clear, lidded, labeled storage containers
  • Place loose bulk supplies into large buckets with lids
  • Hang gloves, garments, and small items from hooks on a pegboard
  • Set hand tools upside down in a bucket of sand
  • “Park” machines in a corner of a garage or in a shed
  • Hang hoses and extension cords on a wall
  • Secure garden structures to a fence with bungee cords
  • Cover outdoor garden features and furniture with water-repellant covers
  • Put temperature insensitive items in a weather-resistant outdoor bin

Here are a few products that might come in handy if you lack structure for storing supplies:

Plastic Shelving

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Rolling Wire Shelving

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Pegboard & Hooks

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Plastic Buckets with Lids

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Wall-mounted Tool Organizer

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Outdoor Storage Box

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If you want to try a more DIY approach, here are a few photos to inspire you.

www.TheSeanaMethod.com

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Source: Fix Lovely

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www.TheSeanaMethod.com

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www.TheSeanaMethod.com

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www.TheSeanaMethod.com

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www.TheSeanaMethod.com

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Want some more ideas for organizing your garage and/or shed? Head over to my Pinterest page.

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Do you “winterize” your lawn and gardening supplies? What’s your best storage trick?

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30 thoughts on “How to Store Lawn and Garden Tools for Winter”

  1. One of the things I love about living in Atlanta is that I can garden all year. Yes, there’s more to do in the Spring, Summer, and Fall seasons but the camelias are just about to pop and next week I plan to plant pansies and cabbages in some of my planters.
    Having said all this, I remember well preparing my garden for winter when I lived in Connecticut. My son has recently moved his family back to Connecticut from Seattle and I will pass these great tips along to him.
    Diane N Quintana recently posted…5 Tips To Staying On Task When Working From HomeMy Profile

    1. I’m “waving” at your son from my corner of CT (not sure where he is!). We are enjoying a warmer week this week, but the writing is on the wall. I’m pulling my cherry tomatoes out this week. Gardening all year sounds so nice!!

    1. Yes, adding a bit of oil to the sand is a great idea! I haven’t ever done that, but I’ve read the suggestion to spray a bit on top before you put the tools in.

  2. Thanks for the great tips, particularly the breakdown on how to select and load storage locations.
    I use the mineral oil and course sand in a bucket method to sharpen, clean and store hand tools.

  3. We have different storage areas, like the old garage that is just for storage, the new garage that is for storage AND two cars, and a shed as well. I think we’d like even more, like a barn or she-shed one day! For now, though, my husband bought the rolling wire shelving for pantry items and kid items and we love it so we got it for the outdoor stuff too. SO GOOD.
    Tamara recently posted…How to Choose the Right Coffee Beans For YouMy Profile

    1. The rolling wire shelving is so versatile and practical. Sounds like you guys have a lot of storage – that is awesome. So many people have almost none.

  4. Fortunately, my husband is the tool organizer and storer, which reside in our garage (the tools, not Steve.) Long before I did any gardening, he used to do all of it. So when I need tools, I know where to get and return them to.

    While I love all of your suggestions about organizing tools and preparing the yard for the winter, your first sentence really resonated with me- “As October rolls around, I find myself having to accept the reality that winter is coming.” I’ve been enjoying the fall colors so much, but am fully aware of what will be coming. The bare landscape, colder weather, snow, and ice. I’ve found myself lighting candles more frequently and drinking lots of hot beverages. So like our gardens, I’m preparing myself for the change of seasons.

    1. Lucky you having Steve do all of the tool organizing. That isn’t necessarily the case. My husband has organized most of our tools, but I’m the gardener, so I am in charge of those supplies.

      I love that you pointed out our need to prepare ourselves, as well as our stuff, for the change of seasons. We need that mindset shift so we can welcome the new season and enjoy the special things that it has to offer. Winter is always the hardest season for me, but there are bright spots. Haven’t yet lit a fire in our fireplace, but that is one of them!

    1. It takes us at least three weeks, sometimes longer. Like you, I do it in shifts. I work on little projects each weekend until it is all finished. This year, all that remains is ripping out the cherry tomatoes from the garden.

    1. There’s something to be said for a balcony. Very low maintenance. My daughter hung a hammock from one end to the other of her balcony and she adores it!

  5. The latest news I am hearing about cleaning up your garden before winter is to leave it. Many insects winter in the leaves and natural debris in the garden. I really like this idea because I only have to clean up the gardens in the spring. Where I leave snow will cover most of the natural compost and the garden looks lovely all white. So a lot of my tools can get packed away soon in my shed. If you have a heavy mat of leaves on your lawn you may need to clean those up. I always find it takes a bit of planning to put away the things you don’t need but make sure you can get at the things you need at the last minute, rakes, or leave blower. Now you need to know how to store your batteries over the winter. Do they need to be charged occasionally or not at all until spring? Great article with so many options.

  6. These are great tips, Seana. I have that black rolling wire shelving unit in my garage and a peg board on the walls, those definitely help to contain lawn and garden tools and other items.

  7. I’m an indoor kinda ‘gardener’ so I have all of my supplies–one bag of soil and a few extra pots from IKEA on one shelf in our garage. I’ve never seen or heard of gardening tools stored in a pot of sand. And everyone in the comments says to add oil–I’m intrigued. If I ever get any gardening tools, at least now I’ll know how to store them!

  8. Thanks so much for sharing your real life tips. Garden items can be so difficult to store, since they are so oddly shaped.
    I appreciate all your great ideas.

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