Time to Prepare for Winter

prepare for winter rainy dayWe were lulled into a false sense of security with milder temperatures lasting well into November, but the run of good weather is finally over. We’ve had some strange weather this week, with temperatures going up and down like a yoyo, gale force winds and it doesn’t seem to have stopped raining for days. We can’t put it off any longer, we need to prepare for winter!

Garden furniture, tools and toys were left lying in the garden while we enjoyed the milder weather. You are probably listening to the howling wind or looking at the rain outside thinking you’ll wait a little longer, maybe hang on for a dry or less windy day. Then, one weekend will turn into the next and before you know it, we’ll be approaching spring time again. If you don’t want to have to replace everything next spring or summer, you need to get everything cleaned, treated and packed away for winter.

garden furniture covered in leavesGarden Furniture – Clean off any residue, wash it down, dry it all off and put it away. If you have no room to store it in your garage or shed and are leaving outside with covers on, make sure they fit and are secured well. Stackable chairs should be stacked if possible – that way they’re less likely to get blown around. If possible, move things off the grass and try and store it somewhere it will be least hit by the winter elements. With some of the wind speeds you are likely to lose those covers if they are not secured tightly.

picture of lawnmower

Garden Tools & Equipment – Clean off dirt, mud or grass cuttings. If needed, give things a wash in soapy water and completely dry everything off. You may need to give some things a squirt of oil before finally putting them away to stop mechanical parts seizing.

Garden Toys – Clean everything off, wash with soapy water (if appropriate) and dry them. Plastic paddling pools and sand pits should be emptied and stored. Remember, some plastics do not react well to extreme temperatures and can crack so it’s best to store them somewhere indoors. Plastic boxes are great for collecting all those sand box toys, bats and balls etc. as they can be stacked.

You may well collect everything together and discover there’s not enough room in the shed or garage for everything, especially if you’ve bought additional bits of furniture or some giant garden games. You now have a decision to make. Try and store it all outside and hope for the best or explore the costs of a self storage unit until next spring. The value of your belongings will be a big factor in this decision. Can you afford to replace everything next season? If not, then can you afford not to use self storage in the short term?

So that’s the furniture, tools and toys from the garden sorted. Now let’s move on to something no-one really wants to think about and that’s flooding. If you live in a flood area or have suffered flood damage before, I’m sure you’re already keeping an eye on the weather and flood warning notices and sites. If there’s any chance of water getting in to your home, consider moving some of your furniture and precious belongings to a safer place. For some that may simply be moving some things upstairs, but when it comes to heavy furniture or bungalows then consider finding ways to raise things off the floor or even moving some things out completely to a safer place.

sand bags in a doorwayRealistically you are probably not going to move heavy items of furniture away, unless they are hugely valuable, either financially or sentimentally, so raising them up is the way to go. It’s the things inside and on top of those cupboards that will be easier to put away. If you’ve got drawers, cupboards or shelves full of photographs, books or old film, that if water damaged are likely to be beyond repair, consider boxing them up and putting them upstairs or moving them out temporarily. China collections are also at risk if the cupboards they are sitting in start to move because of water damage to floors. You can ask friends who don’t suffer from flooding to look after the boxes for you or you can consider a small self storage unit. For as little as £4.50 per week you can make sure your precious and sentimental items are not at risk of loss. You can also come and go as you please to add things or take things out without disrupting anyone.

If you’re in Stroud, Bristol or Gloucestershire and are at risk of flooding, get in touch about storing your precious things temporarily until the worst of the winter season is over. Our prices are guaranteed for 12 months from the day you take a unit, so there will be no price hikes if the weather gets worse and demand rises.

Have you been flooded before? Maybe you can share your tips about how and when to move things around to prevent as much flood damage as possible.

Main Image courtesy of: Pavel Badrtdinov