It’s time to think about storing your garden furniture for winter

garden furniture covered in leavesWe are enjoying a bit of late summer sunshine and warmth, but there’s no doubt about it, Autumn is on the way. Leaves have started dropping from the trees and the mornings and evenings are noticeably cooler. It won’t be too long before you’ll need to think about storing your garden furniture away until next year.

If you want to keep your furniture in tip top condition for next season, you’ll need to clean it, treat it, and if it can’t be left outside, store it away somewhere dry. In most cases that’s likely to be the shed or garage, but if you don’t have room, you may need to consider a self storage unit (especially if you’ve added new furniture this season).

Wherever you’re storing your garden furniture, it needs to come back out next season in good condition and ready to be used. Here are a few tips to help.

If you’re leaving your furniture outside you’ll need to get some good covers. Make sure they’re the right size and have some means of securing them so they don’t blow away when windy. If possible cover the furniture in such a way that you won’t get water pooling in one place. Try and store furniture on gravel or hardstanding. Leaving it on grass will mean the feet are permanently wet and be more susceptible to rotting. If you have to leave your furniture on grass treat the legs and feet with a good preservative.

Wooden Furniture
Different types of wood will need different treatments, e.g. oak is more resilient than teak and generally doesn’t need oiling, but they will all need cleaning. Clean the wood using a brush and soapy water, removing all food remnants, dirt and bird poop. Whilst teak can survive without oiling, if you want to maintain the original colour of the wood you will need to apply a teak protector. Make sure the wood is dry before you apply any protective coating. Soft woods like pine do need to be treated with a preservative regularly.

Plastic Garden furniture
Wash it with warm soapy water and dry it thoroughly

Metal furniture
Clean it down. Paint or plastic coverings may have begun to peel and need some attention. Remove any loose material or flakes of paint. You may need to give it a quick brush down with a wire brush to remove any rust that has formed. Treat the areas with a rust preventing paint or covering. If there are moving joints, they will need to be oiled.

Rattan Furniture
Increasingly popular the best way to store rattan furniture is indoors. If you can’t then you need to make sure it is cleaned and dried thoroughly and covered (it’s easy for food remnants etc. to accumulate in the ridges).

Cushions
All cushions will need to be stored indoors as garages and sheds may be damp which will cause mildew and mould. You will need to wash cushions and covers if possible and completely dry them before storage. If cushions don’t have removable covers and can’t be washed then consider dipping them into a bowl of soapy water and drying them or giving them a good rub over with a cloth.

Storage
It goes without saying that you need to store your furniture carefully. Plastic chairs will normally stack nicely, but many wooden ones don’t. If leaving your furniture outdoors, each table or stack of chairs should have it’s own cover. If storing indoors, don’t just pile everything on top of your table to save space. You don’t want to get it out next season to find that it’s covered in scratches, scrapes and damage from the feet of chairs etc.

If using a self storage unit, they will be used to people storing their garden furniture and will be able to advise you on the best way to store to avoid damage, but make sure you check the minimum contract term. Here at Space Centre Self Storage we don’t tie people in to long term contracts and are happy to provide short term temporary storage for things like garden furniture. It may not be the same at every centre. We also have drive up access, ideal for getting that furniture in and out!

Have you got any neat tricks for getting stubborn stains off garden furniture without having to sand the life out of it? Why not share them?