Here’s to Storing Summer Furniture and Dining ‘Self-Fresco’

Autumn weather temperatures have been well above average so far. Heady days as high as 18 degrees at the end of October. If the long-range forecast for November is accurate, then we’re likely to see things much closer to the monthly average – between 8 and 12º C.  So if you’ve been making the most of that sunshine on your outdoor furniture, your attention might be turning to what to do with it all as temperatures drop.

So, as we continue our quest to be the world’s most helpful self storage company, it’s time to examine the options. So here come the What’s, Why’s and Wherefores of how to keep summer furniture in tip-top condition through a typically erratic 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 clean. A rub down with a stiff brush to ensure any cobwebs, creepy crawlies and insects inhabitants are sensitively moved on. If your furniture is wood, then consider treating it with whatever preparation is recommended by the manufacturer. Finally, if you’re feeling particularly fastidious, you might also want to wipe it down with some hot soapy water.

So you’ve got it looking spick and span? Here are the options for what to do with it next..

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.  You might also want to invest in a decent set of covers, but it is still surprising just how many insects and molluscs you might find living under it when you unpack in spring.

Plus, there’s all that winter debris to think about too. Leaves, dirt, those 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 Garage, Shed or Outhouse

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 your storage space is rodent proof.  As cute as they are, discovering Mr & Mrs Dormouse have nibbled open your comfy patio cushions and created a mousey penthouse suite to rival the Battersea development, won’t be welcome.

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 create the spare space, which is unlikely for most London dwellers, given that most apartments don’t have room to swing a cat. 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 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 usable 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 and away from wee beasties. Of course – if you have a large enough unit you could even arrange the furniture as a secret winter den away from home. Bring a picnic and you could dine in the comfort of your patio furniture in the middle of winter. We call it “Self-fresco”.

If you need storage for garden furniture – or indeed anything else – anything this winter, then a storage unit at one of our London stores is great value and super flexible. Find out more and see how much you could actually fit in your unit.


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