From Linens to Lawn Chairs: A Step-by-Step Guide to Packing up Your Bungalow
By: Esther Pransky, Lubicom Marketing Staff
Sad, but true.
Summer is coming to an end, and it’s time to pack up your bungalow. You have a season of wonderful memories behind you, though. And you can always look forward to next summer, far off as it may be.
And the truth is, next year’s vacation starts RIGHT NOW as you close your bungalow. The time and care you take to leave your summer home organized and well-kept will pay off big time when you return in June.
Winterizing the bungalow
There are two parts to closing your bungalow:
1. Preparing your house for winter and an extended vacancy.
2. Organizing and packing your possessions.
Winterizing the house includes important points like shutting off the water, gas, and electricity. We wrote all about it last year in this article.
This year we’re focusing on the packing up and organizing.
Before we get to the specifics, here are three overall suggestions to keep in mind:
Number one: Make a master list!
In one column, write down what supplies you’re leaving in the bungalow. Divide it by category such as “linen,” “kitchen,” or “toiletries."
In the other column, mark down what you need to bring. Write yourself little notes like:
“Make sure to bring more light bulbs.”
“Have plenty of sunscreen and bug repellant.”
Even if it’s all in your head now, it won’t be next June. Without a list, you’ll arrive in the country with no light bulbs and cases of Off.
Number two: Don’t leave anything on the floor. The winter is cold, and it’s all too likely that some chilly mice could shelter in your home.
For the same reason, store items in sealed plastic bins and put out bug and rodent poison. You may also want to leave containers of baking soda around to absorb odors over the winter.
Number three: You don’t want to be ten miles from the city when you realize you left all your kiddush cups in the bungalow!
As you go through your summer house, category by category, keep an eye out for the items that need to come home with you. If you want to be SUPER organized, make a list that you can reuse next year.
With those points in mind, here’s a step-by-step plan for going through your bungalow before you leave:
Keeping your linen fresh and dry is your top priority.
- First, wash, dry, and fold everything.
- Then, layer the linen with dryer sheets to maintain a fresh smell.
- Add mothballs to keep away critters.
- Place into sealed bins.
Kitchen utensils and appliances
The first step is to clean everything in the kitchen thoroughly, making sure there’s no food left. No need to attract any company. Dry each utensil thoroughly, especially items you’re packing away. Anything wet can get moldy.
Clearly label EVERYTHING as dairy, meat, or parve. As clear as it is now, you may not remember every detail next year!
You may also want to lock expensive items (such as small appliances or the vacuum cleaner) in a closet to prevent theft. Check with a halachic authority if it’s necessary for kashrut reasons to seal items to prevent tampering.
Like the linen and kitchen utensils, you’re trying to keep away pests and mold. Plus, you want the toys to be organized and ready for play when you come back next year.
- Clean and dry all toys thoroughly
- Sort by type (baby toys, games, legos)
- Pack in sealed plastic bins
- Remove any batteries
- Cover everything in plastic sheets to keep out dust and critters.
- Stand mattresses on their sides to air out.
- Open drawers to air out.
Those steps take time, but you’ll thank yourself next year.
Outdoor toys and furniture seem to wander away. So, your first order of business may be tracking down all your outdoor possessions.
Once you’ve got them all back:
- Scrub the grill, dry it, and wrap it in a garbage bag.
- Vacuum out your stroller, fold it, and put in some mothballs.
- Bring EVERYTHING inside or put into a locked shed to protect against the winter, wildlife, and theft.
You did it! Your bungalow is all packed up. But that was the easy part.
The hard part? Saying good-bye.
At least you’ll rest easy knowing your bungalow will be waiting for you in tip-top shape next summer.