Whether you’re a bowhunter, a medieval reenactor, or someone who shoots for a hobby, you’ve probably got quite a bit of archery equipment in your home. Instead of tripping over your bows or knocking over quiver after quiver of arrows, here are some tips to help you efficiently store your archery equipment.

Prep Your Gear for Storage

The first step with any archery equipment when you’re putting it away for the season is to prepare it for storage. That will look different depending on the type of bows you use.

For example, if you use a traditional crossbow, it should be unstrung at the end of the season to allow the limbs to relax. Longbows should be unstrung if they’re going to be set aside for more than two weeks. Compound bows or compound crossbows, on the other hand, can and should be stored with their string and accessories — such as the sight or arrow rest — still attached.

Organize Your Garage

Next, you’re going to want to have room to store your equipment. For most people, that means making space in the garage — and no, we don’t mean by just shoving some boxes out of the way. For most of us, the garage has become a catch-all for the things that won’t fit in the rest of the house.

Instead of using it for junk storage, take the time to clean and organize your space so you can make the most of it. Sort through your junk, sell or throw away anything you don’t need anymore, and invest in some organizational tools to help make sense of what’s left.

Make a Storage Space

The exact details of your storage space will vary depending on your particular needs. In general, you’re going to want:

  • Racks for hanging bows or supporting them horizontally if they are unstrung. Don’t store a bow — even an unstrung one — on one of its tips.
  • Quiver hangers or storage boxes for arrows to keep them from spilling all over the floor.
  • Drawers or something similar to store arrowheads, treated bowstrings, and other small to medium-sized accessories.

These storage spaces don’t have to be complex or expensive. They’re also infinitely customizable. If you’ve got a particular bow that you want to showcase above everything else, tweak your design to give it a place of honor. Shift and change it as necessary to meet your current needs.

Cases vs. Racks

It’s nice to be able to store your bow in a place where you can appreciate it, even during the off-season, but it’s important to remember that these types of equipment — especially if you’re using traditional bows or crossbows — can be extremely susceptible to humidity and changes in temperature. A good rule of thumb is if your storage space isn’t climate controlled, you need to use a hard case for your bow instead of a rack.

You don’t have to hide your cases away in the corner. Hang them up on the wall. Make an entire shrine to your archery equipment if it tickles your fancy. Just make sure you’re protecting your equipment from things like humidity and heat.

Don’t Forget to Wax

The body of your bow isn’t the only thing that needs attention before you store it for the winter. Make sure to wax your bowstrings before you put them away. Not only will this help them store better, but it will also prevent them from drying out and cracking. You may not need to unstring your compound bows, but waxing them is just as important to protect the cables while the bow is unused for long periods.

Make Sure You’re Ready for Next Season

Don’t stick your archery equipment in the closet or the corner of your cluttered garage when you’re done hunting or shooting for the season. Take the time to create a storage space for your archery equipment, whether that means hanging a case on the wall or showcasing your favorite bow on a well-organized rack when it’s not in use.