Whether you spend the summer at a beach cottage or you have a cozy chalet tucked away in the mountains you retreat to throughout the year, there are some chores you need to handle before winter. Use this guide to make sure you don’t forget anything.

Deal with the Water Supply

It is important to shut the water supply off and drain the pipes, if your cottage is somewhere at risk for freezing temperatures. This will eliminate the chance of your pipes freezing and bursting. You should drain the hot water tank, too. Some recommend pouring antifreeze in to the toilet bowl to protect the lines. If you do this make sure you use an environmentally-friendly variety.

Deal with the Water Supply

It is important to shut the water supply off and drain the pipes, if your cottage is somewhere at risk for freezing temperatures. This will eliminate the chance of your pipes freezing and bursting. You should drain the hot water tank, too. Some recommend pouring antifreeze in to the toilet bowl to protect the lines. If you do this make sure you use an environmentally-friendly variety.

Unplug Everything

Walk through every room and make sure appliances, electronics, lamps, etc., are all unplugged. Even when turned off these things all draw energy. Double check the coffeemaker, too. It is often the one thing that gets overlooked, especially if it is being used at the time you do the walkthrough.

Fireplace Maintenance

If you have a wood-burning fireplace, it needs to be cleaned, and you have to make sure the damper flue is closed. It is a good idea to install a chimney cover, too, to prevent furry critters from making a home in there.

Secure Outdoor Items

You already added fountain covers to your water elements, but don’t forget the furniture, grill, bicycles, flower planters, etc. If you have a garage or shed, use it to store as much as you can. Otherwise, there are covers available for most of these things, as well. Move what you can against the cottage to reduce the risk of things taking flight during high winds.

Remove Perishables

Make sure any perishable food gets taken with you or thrown away. Maybe you have a neighbor at the cottage who will happily take everything in your freezer off your hands.

Take Photos

You never know when your cottage will be the victim for burglary or natural disaster. Take photos of the cottage to prove the condition of it when you left. You will be able to use these pictures should something happen, and you need to file a claim with your insurance company.