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Opening Up the Cottage for the Summer

April 17, 2019

Spring is here, and it’s time to start thinking about opening up your cottage or summer home to enjoy another wonderful season with family and friends! If your property isn’t winterized, or you just don’t use it during the winter, you will have closed it down sometime in the fall. It’s time to reverse the process and get it ready for summer!

Be ready for cottage season now so that there will be no surprises during your summer stays.

Do a walk-through

Once you arrive at the cottage to open it, unlock the door and do a visual inspection of the place. This should include around the outside of the home and inside all garages, sheds and outbuildings. Doing this will alert you to any obvious problems. Once you’ve done that, inspect the utilities and turn the power back on once it’s deemed safe and operational. You should also replace the batteries on all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.


Summer cottages that stay dormant during the winter months can get musty. Even if it’s a bit cool, open up all the windows during the day while you clean and organize so that you can air out the place. Sweep the floors, vacuum the rugs, wipe down the counters, and dust all surfaces.

Dust away cobwebs, pull sheets off furniture (if you kept them covered), and make the beds with fresh, clean linens.

Repair and prepare

If your cottage is located in a place that gets harsh winters and a lot of snow, you will need to inspect everything outside to make sure it survived. Check the railings to make sure they’re not loose. Are the boards on the deck okay, or do you need to replace some? Same goes for the dock. Are any boards rotting away? Don’t risk an injury – have these things repaired right away. You will also want to check all the pipes to ensure none cracked during the freeze and thaw this winter. Once they’re good to go, you can turn the water on.

Prepare the septic tank and have a scheduled pump-out or maintenance call before summer.


If you plan to split your time between the cottage and home this summer, you will want some items to be at the cottage for the season. This means bringing up a good supply of toilet paper, paper towels, hand soap, dish soap, a first aid kit with lots of bandages, and plenty of insect repellant and sunscreen. If you keep a supply of essentials at the cottage, you won’t have to re-pack it each time. If you share the cottage with other family members, you can take turns restocking the cleaning supplies, toiletries and personal care items.

Once the cottage is open, clean, safe and fully stocked, you can start planning your summer of fun with family and friends!

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