Closing down the cottage for the winter

It is late autumn at the cottage. The leaves have transformed into beautiful vibrant yellows, reds and oranges. After a few final weekends of serenity, seasonal cottage owners are preparing to shut down for the winter. No one wants to bring home with them the dreadful feeling of forgetting something, which is why we’ve designed this check list of commonly overlooked chores.

Food (and animal) control

So you’ve packed up all the items in your fridge and you’ve prepared the pantry and cold cellar. This means taking home all bottled items (when the contents freeze and expand, the glass can break). Experts also suggest taking canned-goods home. Most dry goods, such as pasta, flour, rice and sugar, can be left in tightly-sealed bug proof containers. Packaged products (such as cake mixes and dried soup) will be fine too, as long as they are sealed. Be sure to check the best before dates though and take home the items not meant to last until next spring. And don’t forget to clean toaster crumb trays, barbecue grease catch cans and dirty barbecue grills—some favourite sources of snacks for our furry friends.

Electricity and heat

Many make the mistake of simply turning off the main switch in the breaker panel and calling it a day. This can be dangerous when you reopen in the spring and everything comes back on at once, releasing a huge strain on the electric panel. Instead, be sure to unplug or switch off major electricity draws, such as water heaters, baseboard heaters, fridges and pumps, before even looking at the breaker panel. This makes the load much more gradual when re-opening.

Plumbing and water supply

After draining your tanks and lines, putting antifreeze in your traps and opening all your faucets, don’t forget to empty flexible sprayer lines in sinks and showers, supply and drain lines for washing machines, as well as garden hoses and dishwasher lines.

Tools and equipment

No one wants to return in the spring to a shed full of rusty tools and seized engines. Try spraying down tools with WD40 and wrapping them in old towels. Add fuel stabilizer to your gas and fill up all fuel tanks so condensation doesn’t collect inside.

For more tips on how to use your appliances to their fullest, visit or stop by the store at 407 Gage Avenue, Unit #4 in Kitchener. A friendly staff member would be happy to help you or take your questions at 519-743-3623.