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Winterize your patio

Melissa is the assignment editor and contributing writer for SheKnows Home and Living. While other little girls were playing dress up with Barbie, Melissa was busy remodeling Barbie's house. She now lives out her dream covering design an...

Old Man Winter is officially coming to town. If you haven't already, clear off your patio and get it ready for the cold months. Here's what to do:

Old Man Winter is officially coming to town. If you haven't already, clear off your patio and get it ready for the cold months. Here's what to do:

Outdoor furniture in winter


Old Man Winter is officially coming to town. If you haven't already, clear off your patio and get it ready for the cold months. Here's what to do:

Scrub-a-dub

Spring isn't the only time to do some cleaning. Before storing all of your patio goods, make sure to give everything a good wash so it doesn't harbor any unwanted critters over winter.

Furniture


Take off cushions and wipe off any dirt and grime that has accumulated over the warmer months. Many times this can be done by simply dusting the furniture with a damp rag, but sometimes the furniture needs a good thorough spray with the hose. Once furniture has dried, cover with patio furniture covers or store indoors.


Cushions


If cushions are only just a little bit dusty, a good shake sometimes is enough to do the job. If there is caked on dirt and debris (and you are afraid of any critters that might be lurking in-between the cushions), recruit the help of a broom to do the job. For tougher dirt stains, a sponge and some soapy water can help clean up the fabric. Let cushions dry for a few days before putting them in a cardboard box or trash bag and storing them someplace dry for winter.


Patio umbrella


Take down umbrellas.Shake off debris and give it a wash if needed. Let them dry completely before storing them so they don't become a breeding ground for mildew.


Grill, baby, grill

Spray down your grill and give the metal racks a good scrub with a wire brush. Store in the garage for winter or if planning to still occasionally use, purchase a grill cover to keep the elements off of the metal and help prevent rusting.

Protect the garden gnomes

If your yard gets hit with heavy snow, consider storing some of your decorative garden accessories so they are out of harms way when you need to break out the snow shovel. Make sure the garden hose is drained and wrap it up. Clean and store all yard tools that you won't be using for a few months. Empty and store planters for the season. If pots are too big to move indoors, turn them over so they don't fill up with snow or rain water.

Decked out

Pick up any remaining fallen leaves so they don't sit and decompose on the deck. If mildew spots are present or it's caked with dirt, give the deck a power wash or spray with a hose and nozzle attachment and use a deck brush to clean up tough spots.

Some people choose to repair broken pieces or give furniture a fresh coat of paint over the winter, but this task could also wait until the first warm weekend of early spring.

More on how to store your outdoor furniture for the winter.
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