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Storing garden furniture

Storing garden furniture
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Keep your garden furniture in top condition by getting it ready for winter

Around bonfire night I start thinking it’s time to set the garden furniture up for winter. We’re not having a bonfire party this year, as there’s a great organised display not far from where we live. So I’m getting round to the task a bit early.

We decided to invest in a hardwood dining set and that we would let it weather naturally to an attractive silver-grey colour. So we don’t bring it indoors each year. I do stack the chairs in a sheltered spot and put a cover over them. The table takes four people to move it, so I leave it where it is. It often ends up decorated with winter-flowering what-nots in quirky pots.

But other types of garden furniture, whether wrought iron, synthetic rattan, plastic or soft wood, need a bit more protection from the elements, and, perhaps, from theft. And of course there are other accessories that need particular care, too.

Put away the parasol

A parasol can take a bit of a punishing in even quite light winds, so when it’s not in use, store it away. Give it a once-over with a damp cloth and dry thoroughly before wrapping it up for storage.

Store the cushions

In the summer, when the patio furniture is in constant use, I don’t mind the cushions being stacked up in the corner of the kitchen. But by mid-October, I’m starting to resent them. So we wash all the covers, dry them thoroughly and pack them off to the storage unit, where they can stay until summer.

Clean your furniture before storing

It’s worth cleaning your furniture before you put it away because then you don’t have to do this task in the spring. It’s a good opportunity to check the furniture over, too, to ensure problems don’t get worse. Cleaning furniture before storing it reduces the chances of introducing pests and mould into your storage space. Each type of garden furniture requires a different cleaning technique. Homebase has a guide to tell you how to clean your outdoor dining set.

Bring furniture under cover

Many types of furniture, particularly plastic and aluminium, can undergo changes when left exposed to the elements. So consider whether you can move your outdoor chairs and table into a shed or garage, or even just to a less exposed spot in your garden. You may also want to invest in covers or a tarpaulin.

Insure your stored furniture

You may be wondering how much it will cost to insure your furniture while it is in storage. The cost of insurance depends on the value of the furniture, and on the type of insurance you need. Furniture stored at home may be covered by your household insurance – but always check this, particularly if you have spent a lot of money on your outdoor dining set.

When it comes to insuring garden furniture in your storage unit, it’s worth getting quotations from several different insurance providers to ensure you get the best deal. Remember that a Store and Insure policy covers your furniture while you are moving it between your home and the storage unit.

Taking good care of your garden furniture will mean that it lasts longer, which will mean you have to replace it less often, putting less pressure on resources, both yours and the planet’s.