Winter is such a great time for cozy clothes, warm fires, and hot cocoa. The season tends to sneak up on us so fast that we often forget to prep our garage for the chilliest time of year. Before you know it, frigid temps and extreme conditions come right to your doorstep. It’s crucial to pay close attention to your garage during the winter season.

Stock Up

• There’s nothing fun about running out of something you need and making a trip to the store in brutal winter conditions. Even worse, what if what you’re looking for is sold out?! Make sure your garage is stocked full of everything you need before the winter hits. Ice melt, sand, and windshield washer fluid are a few items you should make sure you’re stocked up on until spring comes around. Avoid the slushy, icy trips and be prepared ahead of time.

Clean & Organize

• Many of us believe that spring is the perfect time for cleaning, but prepping your garage for the winter months can be just as important. Giving the floors a nice sweep, vacuuming where needed, and having your gutters cleaned can make a world of difference. You should also take this time to properly store away materials you won’t need during the winter (ie. bicycles, weed eaters, portable sprinklers). Having your garage tidy and organized before the cold temps hit will keep you from making your winter clean up from being a bone-chilling experience.

Rodent Protection

• That well stocked, clean garage helps keep your car dry and mostly warm. However, this combination often creates an invitation to rodents. Do your best to cover up any gaps where a rodent could come into your garage. An exhaust pipe or an air intake are common gateways that the little pests enter from. Sealing everything you possibly can doesn’t always do the trick. Rat poison and mousetraps are more aggressive methods, but they are ultimately quite effective.

Battery Storage

• A variety of vehicles can be successfully stored in your garage during the winter months. Before you toss your tarp on the stored vehicle, you should consider how you’ll maintain the battery. Batteries are prone to lose their charge when they’ve been idle, and you could be stuck with a worthless battery when you’re ready to take the vehicle out of storage. Charging every six to seven weeks is about as long as you want to wait in order to keep your battery healthy. Make sure you monitor battery voltage, or you might be looking for a new battery to begin spring.

Emergency Kit

• Your garage is the perfect base to create and keep an emergency kit prior to road trips. Assembling an emergency kit for any out-of-town trips has been a life saver for many over time. A few materials that should be in your kit include: first-aid kit, shovel, blankets, salt, flashlight, plenty of water, and canned food. Keeping this kit in your garage and bringing it on every extended trip is essential during this time of year.

Completing these five items on your garage winter checklist will give you peace of mind while you cozy up with that delightful cup of hot cocoa.