Closing Up Your Summer House: To Do List

All summers eventually come to an end, and with that come different responsibilities. One of them is closing your summer house and preparing it for the winter. The task might seem difficult and time-consuming, and it can be unless you have an organized plan in place. Do not leave it until the last minute, start preparing the house a week or so before your trip back home. If you do not know where to start, we had the AFS General Contracting company help us set a to-do list you should follow when closing your summer house:

  1. Start with cleaning every room as you go, starting from the rooms you use the least and ending with the one you use the most.
  2. Clean all mattresses, pillows and beddings, wrap them in plastic to store them. The plastic will protect them from bugs.
  3. Cover all furniture with plastic covers to secure them from dust.
  4. Leave a bucket of water in every room to help add humidity to the atmosphere and prevent furniture from drying out.
  5. Take a look around the house and inspect to see if anything needs immediate fixing.
  6. Remove any leftover food from the freezer, refrigerator, and cupboards.
  7. Rodent-proof the house by filling any holes, closing any access points and setting traps around the rooms.
  8. Drain water from water lines and appliances to save them from freezing and exploding due to cold temperatures. Drain all outdoor hoses as well.
  9. Turn off the water from the main supply point.
  10. Also, turn off the gas supply if the house has one.
  11. Pour non-toxic antifreeze into your toilets, sinks, showers, tubs, and drains.
  12. Do not forget to turn off the water heater, if you have used it.
  13. Unplug all appliances and electronics to protect them from power surges.
  14. Keep the doors of the dryer, the washer, the dishwasher and any other appliances slightly ajar to avoid bad smell when you return.
  15. Notify your cable, internet provider and telephone companies to put your services on hold.
  16. Arrange for mail or any other deliveries to be forwarded to your other house.
  17. Close all blinds and curtains.
  18. Store outdoor furniture, grill, decor, bikes and your boat in safe indoor storage.
  19. Take any valuable items with you back home.
  20. If you are leaving a car behind, disconnect its battery and cover it to protect it from dust.
  21. Make a list of everything in the house by creating a home inventory.
  22. Put any candles or plastic items in cool dark corners so they would not damage because of high temperatures.
  23. Install an alarm system, if you do not have one already.
  24. Turn off electric circuits, except the ones feeding the security system.
  25. Make sure to empty all garbage cans and to take them out.
  26. Lock everything, doors, windows, sheds, garage and outdoor cabinets.
  27. Ask a neighbor you trust to check the house regularly.
  28. If you live in an area that has Homeowners Association, notify them of your departure date and when you will come back.
  29. If the house has a pool and a garden, consider getting a pool maintenance service and a yard care service, respectively. Make sure to vet the services beforehand.
  30. Leave the house in a condition you would be happy to find when you return next summer.
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