It seems the bubble has just burst on the balmy late summer weather we’ve been enjoying. And if you’ve been making the most of that sunshine your Garden furniture, you might now be thinking it’s time to get it stored away for the winter.
With that in mind, we thought we’d look at the options at your disposal. The What’s, Why’s and Wherefore’s of how to keep summer furniture in tip-top condition through a typical British winter. Before we start on the storage options – there are a couple of things you might do before storing your summer furniture for the winter. First off – give it a good rub down with a stiff brush. Ensure any early autumn the cobwebs, creepy crawlies and insects are gone. If it’s wood, then consider treating it with whatever preparation is recommended by the manufacturer.
Keep it Outside
If you’ve got an outdoor area with summer furniture, you might decide it’s just fine where it is. A sturdy cover will keep it safe – right?
If it is part of the new breed of synthetic furniture (it looks like woven wicker – but is in fact plastic) it might just about see the distance. But if it’s anything else – wood, cast iron, aluminium, you might want to think again. Decent garden furniture isn’t cheap, and leaving it at the mercy of everything a British autumn & winter has to throw at it – rain, cold, damp, frost, snow – will see it deteriorate much more quickly.
If you are storing it outside then try and move it to level hardstanding area. If it is on uneven grass for the cold winter months, it’ll retain that shape come summer – so you might end up with wonky furniture that’s distorted to fit the patch of ground it lived on all winter.
Plus, there’s all that winter debris to think about too. Leaves, dirt, that annoying green algae that seems to grow on everything in shady areas. And bird poo. You’ll have to clear all that off – along with the spiders webs and other creepy crawlies next spring – before you can use it.
Store it in the Shed or Garage
If you’ve got a shed or garage then moving it in there from October to late March is a reasonably safe bet. If you’re keeping the soft furnishings (cushions, covers etc.) though – make sure the space is rodent proof. You’ll be annoyed, come spring, at finding Mr & Mrs Dormouse have moved in to your comfy patio cushions and created a penthouse suite that in mousey terms would rival the Battersea development.
The biggest problem for most people – especially here in London – is that they don’t have a spare shed or garage lying around waiting to be used as winter storage space.
Store it in the House
You could move it all inside – undercover in the hall, or add to the seating in the kitchen/diner. But that would mean you’d have to have the spare space, which is unlikely for most London dwellers. So it would seem that this option is unlikely for anyone other than the lucky souls who’ve got a London mansion, or a substantial subterranean extension.
Move it in to Storage
If you’re one of the ten’s of thousand’s of savvy Londoner’s who use self storage facilities, you could add your summer furniture to your storage inventory. As we often point out – it’s surprising how much you can fit into a unit, because it doesn’t have to be useable space in the same way that a domestic room does. You can stack the chairs on the table and pack any cushions underneath.
The best bit is that a self storage unit is clean, dry, safe and secure – so your furniture will be well out of those harsh British winter elements. Of course – if you have a big enough unit (and you don’t have much else in it) you could even set the furniture up – a secret winter den away from home. Bring your Sandwiches with you to your self storage unit and you could have your lunch in the comfort of your patio furniture “Self-fresco”.