Most of us are guilty of neglecting our patio furniture during the winter months. Even if you live in an area where the weather is warm all year long, you should still consider properly storing your patio furniture before the temperature drops and the rain begins to fall. Your furniture will be safe and ready to use next spring when it’s time to fire up your grill and host all those backyard barbecues you’ve been dreaming about! Use these six tips to learn how to store your patio furniture this winter so you can enjoy it all summer long.
1. Cover It
Covering the furniture will protect it from water and dirt. You can use sheets, tarps, or any other cloth material you have. Roll up the cover and secure it with a tight knot or tie. Keep in mind that when putting out your cover in spring, you’ll need to open it up so that it’s flat again before putting it back on. For large items like tables, lay down a tarp under the furniture. Tie one side of the tarp around each leg of the table and then fold over one side of the tarp to cover both sides of the table. For example, if you want to bring your cushions inside, put them into pillowcases and seal them shut. Use a wire hanger or coat rack as storage for umbrellas and lawn chairs.
2. Get It Off the Ground
Getting your furniture off the ground can prevent dirt, leaves, and other debris from accumulating. For this purpose, you can use a shed or a garage, but if neither of those options is available then look into purchasing something like a tarp or even a plastic tablecloth. You could also lay down cardboard sheets and cover them with outdoor carpeting. As long as you keep all that stuff away from water sources and don’t put anything wet or potentially flammable on top of it, you should be good to go. In any case, it’s a great idea to have someone help you carry these items indoors so you don’t hurt yourself trying to carry everything at once. Be sure not to forget about getting all the cushions out too!
3. Store It (Up)right
Storing them upright is important because it prevents warping, which can happen when you store them flat. Additionally, it prevents any water from leaking through the cushions and ruining the wood. And lastly, it makes getting ready for next year a whole lot easier. Remember, When doing this, keep the cushions off of the chairs or loveseats so they don’t get wet. We recommend storing chairs, loveseats and couches upside down if possible to avoid any warping. You also want to remove all cushions before placing them inside an enclosed space like a shed or garage. Finally, be sure that there are no leaks near the storage space in case rain or snow occurs during the storage period.
4. Clean It Up
Cleaning it up will help keep it looking better during storage. A quick and easy way is to use a wet cloth or spray cleaner and wipe down any dirt, grime, mould, or mildew. If you have stubborn stains you can scrub them with a little bit of dish soap or degreaser. When finished, use a dry cloth or towel to dry off the surface and apply a light coat of oil to prevent rust from forming on metal surfaces. It’s also important to do a thorough cleaning before storing your cushions indoors so they don’t take in moisture and develop mildew.
5. Find the Proper Place
If you store it in an unheated garage or shed, cover it with a tarp and place a few cinder blocks or bricks underneath it. For more comprehensive protection, place each piece in its own breathable cotton storage bag and wrap the whole thing in plastic. If you have outdoor items that are too large for bags, such as a lounge chair, use blankets or tarps instead. If there’s space available inside, but not enough room for the entire set of furniture, you can stack the chairs together by stacking two chairs against a wall (one facing outwards and one facing inwards) and then place another one next to them.
Take Care of Your Patio Furniture
Don’t forget, even though your patio furniture is more exposed to the elements and harsher weather conditions than a year-round indoor piece of furnishing would be, it’s not ruined when you put it away. Just find a safe and dry spot to keep them. A covered porch or garage are both good options. Bring all cushions indoors in the off-season too, don’t leave them out in the cold where they could freeze and crack.