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Tips For Closing the Cottage

Closing the cottage in the fall is an important task for every cabin owner. Here is a good checklist to help you winterize the cabin.

Outside The Cabin

Winter preparations are made easier when you follow the right steps. Doing a proper job when closing the cottage for the winter season means you will have a more enjoyable weekend opening up the cabin in the spring.

Cabin Windows

Board up the gazebo and any screen windows on the cottage and guest cottage.  The extra effort is worth the trouble as you may otherwise spend even more time in the spring repairing damage and cleaning up after the animals that have broken-in.

Canoes and Kayaks

Stack the canoe and kayak on sawhorses or on a rack that is out of view from the lake or the road.  Chain them together with a good lock.

Outdoor Tables

Move the picnic table inside the cottage if you have room.  It preserves the table and gives you something to place boxes on.

BBQ and Propane Tank

Clean the BBQ and disconnect it from the propane tank. Store them in a protected place.

Garden Tools and Storage Sheds Clean out and organize the work shed and storage shed.  You will be much happier in the spring.


Tear down the dock and store it in an organized way so you can quickly re-assemble it in the spring. Re-paint the crib with rust-proof paint.

Under The Cabin

Remove all garbage that has been stored under the cottage and take it to the dump. This improves air and water flow, and removes potential homes for the critters.

Spread mothballs liberally around the support posts to deter mice and other wildlife from trying to enter the cabin. Fill all holes with steel wool.

Septic System And Outhouse

Consider having them pumped or cleaned out if they are due.

Otherwise, add some approved “good” bacteria to your septic system and outhouse to help breakdown the waste over the winter.

Inside The Cabin

Gather all the clothes, hats, shoes, pots, pans, etc. that have accumulated but never get used and donate them to charity.  This is the perfect time to reduce the clutter.

Cabin Water System

The water system must be drained properly.  Residual water in the system will freeze during the winter and may cause the water pipes to burst.

Leaving The Cabin

·        Disconnect all appliances.

·        Shut off all breakers at the electrical panel.

·        Review the checklist to make sure everything has been done.

·        Take photos of everything. In the unfortunate event of fire, theft, or weather damage, it will make the process with the insurance company go more smoothly.

·        Do a final inspection of the property.

·        Check and lock all outbuildings.

·        Lock the cottage


Once you know that you have closed the cottage properly, it is time to relax and enjoy the ride home.


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