for the Season
When the leaves are falling off the trees at summer homes or the snow has finally melted around the winter cabin, preparing to leave can be bittersweet.
There are many reasons to spend time closing a seasonal home properly including burst pipes, vandalism, rodents, and structural damage.
To avoid these pitfalls and make re-opening the summer home easier, here are 10 tips to help close your seasonal properties.
- Clean out the kitchen. Thoroughly clean out the refrigerator and unplug it; you don’t want mildew damaging your appliances in the spring. Also, clean the cabinets and cupboards.
- Clean out the living areas and bedrooms. Store away bedspreads and linens (use vacuum bags to store) — there is no place more comfortable for rodents to sleep than in your bedspread. Allow your cabin to breathe while you are away. Leave doors and drawers open to increase circulation.
- Block off the flues and stovepipes. Make sure you have closed the flue on your stove. Also, sealing flues and stovepipes with a metal cap should keep the birds and rodents out.
- Cover the windows. Plywood or thin sheet metal will do. Put handles on the outside of the wood (one on each side to make easy to pick up) and number the pieces to make next year’s close easier. Sealing your cottage will not only protect it from the weather but will also keep unwanted visitors away.
- Drain the pipes. Make certain that you drain and shut off your water before you leave for good. The last thing you want is for lingering water to freeze your pipes.
- Don’t forget the little things. Sometimes the little things are often overlooked. Make sure you forward your mail to your permanent address. Make sure your service contacts, like plumbers and electricians, know how to reach you away from the summer home. With my “snowbird” clients – I offer this service as part of my cleaning package.
- Consider security. If you are concerned about intruders, deadbolts are an option as well as hiring a year-round resident to keep his or her eyes out for you. You should also consider motion detector lights and security cameras to deter unwanted visitors.
- Remove fire hazards. This is as easy as removing all papers, newspapers, old rags, and chemicals, turning off all utilities and unplugging appliances.
- Secure outside furniture, equipment, and boats. Take the time to gather all outside furniture and clean it before you secure and cover it. Turn your small boats upside down and if there is a drain hole, open it up, making sure it is on the downhill side of any slope.
- Don’t Say Goodbye – Say So Long. Before you pull out of your driveway for the season, don’t be afraid to reflect on the wonderful season it has been. Think about all the new things that happened, special times you had and the long-lasting memories that still await. Reflection of time is priceless.
Peace Harmony & Happy Autumn!