Bye Bye Summer, Hello Fall, Winter,Cold Weather!
Owning a cottage can be a wonderful experience, but it’s not all about relaxing and enjoying your summer home year-round. Sadly, there comes a time every year when it is necessary to prepare your cottage for the winter. Even if you plan to make visits to your cottage during the winter season, there are many preparation steps that you must take in order to ensure that your holiday home remains in optimal condition during the cold, harsh months. While it may seem like a tedious process, proper preparation will save you a lot of extra work when spring rolls around again the next year. We’ve even come up with some guidelines to help you through the process to ensure it goes as seamlessly as possible.
Putting Away Patio and Garden Furniture
Your outdoor furniture will need to be put away during the winter months to keep them safe from snow and freezing-water damage. Similarly, any boats, canoes, sailboats, and other outdoor-activity items will also have to be stored in a dry boathouse or some sort of indoor facility during this time. Depending on how much storage space you have at your cottage and the amount of furniture and other belongings you need to store, you may want to temporarily keep your possessions in a short-term storage facility. Be sure that you plan and coordinate this ahead of time – especially if you are using a moving crew – given that the move will likely be a considerable distance.cottage closing
Prepping the Inside of Your Home
First and foremost, be sure that all perishables in your fridge and pantry are packed and taken with you. At the same time, clean out the fridge completely so that it will remain fresh and clean when you return the following spring. You will also want to do a final sweep and clean of the entire home before you leave to ensure that everything is in pristine condition during your absence. Don’t forget that there may also be toiletries, like lotions and skincare products, that you may also want to take with you.
Winterizing Your Plumbing
Once you have finished with a thorough cleaning and packed all necessary belongings from inside of your home, your cottage is ready to be closed up for the year. The next step is to winterize the plumbing. Be sure that you turn off the water pump and hot water tank before you commence any draining. Leave all the valves and taps open during the winter so that any residual water can escape and not be trapped inside closed taps. Don’t forget to also empty the water from appliances such as from the hoses of washing machines and dishwashers. Winterizing the plumbing can be a complicated process, so you may want to consult a more comprehensive guide to ensure you execute this properly [hyperlink?].
Planning for Winter Visits
If you plan to pay your cottage a visit during the winter, don’t forget to pre-chop wood for your wood stove and keep your snow shovels and ladders in a place that is easily accessible should you need it. It is also recommended that you invest in an electric blanket for those brutally cold nights, since the winter temperatures can be really harsh. While you are still prepping your cottage for the winter, be sure to also take proper steps to guard against mice so that you’re not greeted by unwanted visitors when you return. It is important to thoroughly seal any entry points into the cottage that the mice can get through – and keep in mind that these critters can squeeze through an opening as small as the size of a nickel!
When you properly plan out a checklist of the things you need to do to prep your cottage for the winter, the process is not nearly as overwhelming as it may seem. By taking these essential steps before you close up your home for the winter, you will be able to enjoy the place that much more quickly when you return the following year. And let’s face it – these relatively minor tasks are well worth the effort in order to fully enjoy your summer cottage experience!