Here's the last of the (yearly) seasonal storage ideas, just in time for October and the fall, compliments of ShopSmart:
• Beach towels, picnic blankets, outdoor linens, and tableware are best stored in jumbo plastic tubs wherever space is available. (I must admit my family keeps beach towels in our linen closet year-round as we use them throughout the year for various reasons.)
• Garden tools and pots can be stored in an outdoor storage bench or a two-door cabinet with shelves. To find the items easier come spring, group similar ones together. Another idea is to utilize tote bags to load with hand tools; park the tote on a garage shelf or in an outdoor shed. Thoroughly rinse empty flower pots. Stack them in tiers and layer between each with newspapers to prevent cracks and scratches.
• With respect to other summer yard essentials, such as hoses, sprinklers, and so forth, use bungee cords stretched between the garage walls' studs for easy storage.
• Sandals and flip flops store best and together inside breathable canvas or clear plastic under-the-bed storage bins. Be sure to wash and dry the shoes before stowing them.
• String or solar lights are stored best in two ways: either in shallow containers to prevent overload breakage or around cardboard so tangling doesn't occur.
• Summer clothes can be stored a variety of methods. The most ideal choice is in a closet if you have the room. Many of us, however, must plan other avenues, such as a covered garment rack. Store the rack in a dry area after cleaning the clothes (even if they appear to be spot-free). However, always discard the plastic cleaner's bags before storage of any kind as they can cause yellowing, staining, and leaking of fibers. Another quick idea is to remove folded clothing from drawers, such as shorts and fees, and switch them over to covered plastic bins that slide under the bed. Be sure to include a dryer sheet in each bin to keep clothes smelling fresh. If you're not a fan of plastic, take a drawer from a chest or a wooden box and attach casters. Slide under the bed.
Ellen Phillips is a retired English teacher who has written two consumer-oriented books. Her Consumer Watch column appears every Saturday. Email her at consumer firstname.lastname@example.org.