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Closing Down the Cottage

michigancottageWell, it is that time that many of us dread. There is a chill in the air, the leaves have fallen and now it is time to close down the cottage. But, with careful planning and a good checklist, you can rest comfortably this winter knowing your cottage is safe from the winter snow and wind.

Our checklist of closing down the cottage:

Drain water heater, shut off the gas valve if it is a gas water heater, or turn off electric to the water heater if it is electric. Always be sure to leave water valve open.

Open all faucets in the cottage, don’t forget the tub or shower. Flush all toilets, drain water lines from the lowest point or use air compresseor to blow out the waterlines.

Pour antifreeze into the sinks and all drains, as well as the toilet bowl and tank.

Make sure the breaker for the water pump is turned off.

Take one last look through all kitchen and bathroom cabinets and remove all jars, cans of food or anything else that could freeze. Empty the refrigerator, defrost it and leave the door ajar. My wife always places a box of baking soda in the refrigerator. I always unplug it.

Empty all wastebaskets and trash recepitcals and take trash home with you.

Vacuum the cottage one last time.

Check all windows to make sure storm windows are properly in place and screens are stored and windows locked. Pull curtains shut and lower the blinds so no one can look in and be tempted by what they may see.

Make sure all things of value are removed or at least well hidden.

Make sure all outdoor equipment, furniture and tools are stored away and properly secured.

Check to make sure fireplace damper is closed.

Make sure you lock the door to the cottage and the outbuildings.

Notify a neighbor you are gone for the season.

Written by Dave.