When summer draws to a close and the weather gets chilly, it's time to close your pool and prepare for the change of seasons. You may dread having to crowd pool toys and lounge chairs in your garage to keep them safe over the winter, so consider renting a self-storage unit. Here are five tips for storing swimming pool equipment and toys.

1. Wash and Dry Pool Equipment First

Rinse your inflatable toys, lounge chairs, and other equipment, and then let them dry thoroughly. You may want to wash them with soapy water if they're dirty or stained.

However, the most important step is to make sure everything is completely dry before taking your equipment to the storage unit. Also, let inflatable toys dry out before you let the air out of them.

2. Use Bags and Totes to Hold Supplies

If you have kids who use the pool frequently, you probably have a lot of pool toys. Store items so they aren't crushed or damaged, and use plastic storage bags to keep things like diving sticks and masks together so they're easy to find.

Place small toys and rolled-up floats in plastic storage totes that snap shut. You may want to dust inflatables with powder before rolling them to keep the plastic from sticking together.

3. Check Pool Furniture for Mildew

If you have upholstered outdoor furniture on your pool deck or an umbrella, make sure the fabrics are free of mildew before putting the furniture in storage or the mildew might spread to other equipment.

In addition, you may want to apply wax to wood or metal furniture before putting it in storage for protection from cold temperatures and humidity. You may want to rent a climate-controlled self-storage unit so your furniture and other supplies have the best protection over the winter.

4. Store Cleaning Equipment Properly

If you have a pool vacuum or automatic cleaner, consult the operating manual for storing instructions. You may need to take the equipment apart and service it before storing for the winter. Pool cleaners often need to stay in a safe temperature range, and that may require you to rent a climate-controlled unit.

The vacuum hose may need to be stored straight, so you may need to put shelves in your storage unit since it's best to keep everything off the floor if possible.

5. Get Advice on Storing Chemicals

If summer runs out before your pool chemicals do, you may want to store the chemicals over the winter. However, it's best to talk with the storage facility manager first. Some chemicals may not be allowed, and others may not be allowed to be stored next to each other.

You'll probably need a climate-controlled unit for storing pool chemicals, but since chemicals don't take up a lot of room, you may prefer to keep them at home. 

For more information on self-storage, contact a local storage facility.