What makes the May long weekend the most exciting weekend of the year? It’s time open the cottage! But before you dust off the Muskoka chairs and roll out the welcome mat, you must get the cottage ready for the summer.
The good news? Opening your cottage does not have to be a chore. Here are eight tips to help you get cottage season off to a great start.
Wait! Don’t hit the road just yet. Decide what you need to do before you embark on the trip up to the cottage. This will ensure you pack everything you need. Use a cottage-opening checklist if you are not sure where to start.
Check for Critters
What should you do when you first arrive at your cottage? Mike Holmes recommends checking your cottage for unwanted visitors. Take a walk around the exterior and check for torn window screens, holes in the roof or siding, or other potential entry points. If you notice signs of an animal intruder, use caution when you first step through the door.
Though mice and squirrels are rarely a threat, the waste they leave behind can be hazardous to your health. You may want to contact a pest control expert if your cottage hosted critters over the winter months.
Let in Some Air
Once you know it is safe to enter, open all the windows in your cottage to let it breathe. This tip will help to vent out the stale air and helps to dry out anything that got damp over the winter. If your cottage still smells musty after you have aired it out, your cottage may have mould or mildew caused by water damage. Consider getting an indoor air quality test.
Inspect Your Utilities
You may be eager to start up your water pump and switch on the lights, but you should do a safety check first. Check for chewed-up cords and inspect your water system before you flip the switch.
If you use a shallow well for your water, you should have the well cleaned and the water analyzed at least twice a year. Do not turn on the tap until you know the water is safe to drink.
Roll up your sleeves and disinfect your counters, dishes, stovetop, and any other exposed surface. Even spots that do not look dirty can host harmful bacteria, especially if you have a pest problem.
Inspect your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, replacing the batteries if needed. You should also make sure your fire extinguisher is properly charged.
Prep Your Meal
You are sure to work up an appetite while opening your cottage, but it can be hard time find time to cook. Roam New Roads has a smart tip. Prep your ingredients at home, and then toss them into a slow cooker after you arrive at the cottage. Your food will be ready for you at the end of the day!
Make a List
Throughout the weekend, write down all the work you need to do and the supplies you need to buy at the store. Making a list will save you from having to run back and forth to the store. After all, you want to finish these tasks as quickly as you can so you start enjoying cottage season!
Once you finish the work, you can finally unpack and settle in for another relaxing summer.