Storing Your Winter Sports Equipment Properly in Self-Storage

We’re approaching that moment when the world flips upside down: when winter becomes summer. When this sudden transformation occurs, we need to switch up our Sunday (or hopefully daily) outdoor activities, trading snowboards and ice skates in for water skis and bicycles. And this means getting some things out, while putting some things in, your self-storage unit.

This is how best to prepare winter sports equipment and outdoor gear for a few months of life in self-storage:


Before putting your sports equipment into storage, be sure that they are completely clean and dry first.

Using a damp cloth, soaked first with soapy water and then rung out to avoid over-saturating the gear with water, gently wipe clean any wood and plastic items. This is good for hockey sticks, helmets, sleds and the like.

Use a scouring pad on synthetic or rubber items, such as ski boots. Use a soft cloth with leather cleaner for leather items, such as gloves.

Wash and disinfect any shoes or clothing that are smelly.

For protective equipment, such as hockey pads, hose them down and leave them to air dry overnight. Be sure that the equipment properly dries before putting them into self-storage.

Get in between tight areas to ensure all dirt and grime is cleaned properly. Any of this that sits for too long of a period can result in rust or discolouration.

Most important is to make sure the items do dry before putting them into self-storage. Any moisture that remains could create mildew, mould or rust. We encourage storing items in bags or bins that are ventilated to keep the air moving around them.


Always be sure to treat your equipment, bringing them up to peak condition, before putting them into self-storage.

Sharpen ice skates, ensuring any rust on blades has been removed, and that they are sharp and ready to use when they come back out in October. If skates sit for long without having been treated properly, you could find them in much worse condition after an extended period of time. Also, replace the laces now if they require it.

Sharpen the edges of your skis and snowboards to reduce the risk of rust. Taking them into the shop now is a much easier task, while the shop is slow, than waiting until December when they’ll have line ups out the door. We suggest going all out and getting the shop to do a base grind on them as well.

Once your skis and boards are retrieved from the shop, we also suggest giving the bases a hot wax to protect them from oxidation. And then leave the wax on them for their life in storage, as the wax will help protect them from rust.

Pull the liners out of your ski/snowboard boots, making sure everything is entirely dry. Buckle your boots loosely to keep their shape, and check the heels and toes for any damage, and replace if necessary. Likewise, replace the laces now, if need be.


Be sure to store your items in a way that keeps them safe from damage, and keeps other items safe from being damaged by them.

Ice skates should be stored with their guards on them. If you do not have guards, we suggest using old hockey socks, putting the blades in the end of the sock, and then wrapping the sock around them. Be sure that the blades are completely dry before guarding them.

Skis and snowboards should be placed inside ski/board bags. Lie these flat, with nothing on top of them. If you stand them up or hang them somewhere, the stress from this will, over time, bend or warp them.

We suggest also to loosen the tension on your ski binding springs to the lower end of the DIN scale, but not to the bottom. First, though, write down your DIN, so they are easy to reset next season. This will reduce stress on the springs and increase their longevity.

Decluttering and upgrading

Spring is the perfect time of the year to replace any of your winter sports gear that has reached the point of hand-me-down status. New equipment for winter sports will often be on sale at this time of year, so it’s a good opportunity to replace worn items.

Use this time to declutter your collection of equipment, putting aside any items that have seen better days. Replace only what you need, and you’ll save space getting rid of the excess.


Now that you’ve prepped your gear, moving them to a self-storage unit, out of the way of the summer activities that will take over your daily routines.

Keep these items on the top of other items in your storage, or in their own areas. Even washed and maintained, you don’t want any sports stench sticking to upholstered furniture or your winter coats. Moreover, with their odd shapes and sizes, these could leave imprints on fabrics or scratch wood, so keeping them from items of that sort is advisable.

If equipment is kept in large bags, we certainly suggest leaving those bags open enough to keep good air flow.

At Real Storage, we do our best to try to take care of every possible self-storage need. We all have different reasons for requiring storage, and if storing your winter sports equipment is one of them, then we want to be sure you store those items properly in the ideal self storage size for your needs.

Speak with your Real Storage agent today for further advice on how to keep your winter sports apparel safe while away for the summer season.