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Muskoka Cottage Listings Blog is created to provide you with Muskoka lifestyle and real estate related information. For Market News 2016 and older please click here.

Opening Your Muskoka Cottage For The Season

Opening After the Winter
The winter full of ice and snow leaves a mark on everything, and this includes your cottage in the beautiful Muskoka, Ontario region. You will need a few things to be sure the opening goes smoothly. These include keys to the cottage, food for at least a week, clean clothes, flashlights, a large supply of assorted batteries, a supply of bottled water, refreshments and beverages. The equipment includes large coolers full of ice, and some hand and small power tools for repairs. 

On the Road
Travel time is is a good opportunity to think of necessities one might have missed when packing at home. Perhaps it is the best time to pick-up fresh things for dinner and breakfast the next morning. Remember to arrive with some sunlight left in the day, and plenty of fuel left in the tank. It is better to be prepared just in case one needs to drive to do some opening errands. 

After you get there
The first step is to open the place, and this means you have packed the keys or enough tools to accomplish the same objective; hopefully, it was the keys. Put fresh batteries in the flashlights, smoke and fire alarms. Inspect the place thoroughly for signs of animal entry, including animal wastes, and animals. Then, look for signs of damage to wires, cables, and woodwork; look carefully for signs of damage, and particularly water damage. Make a list of all damage and this will guide the next few days of repairs.

Turn on Utilities
Electricity and water are the things that truly separate man from beast, and these are the most important things to establish at the beginning of the opening. Turn on the electricity, and then turn on the water; the next task is the water heater. The heater must fill and then begin to heat water. One should drain it partially after filling the fill again to expel loose sediment.

Fire Places and Stoves
Wood burning is a great way to ease the chill of an early summer night. It can go with or without food preparation. One must check the fireplaces and flues for damage and that they are clear and clean. They should be cleaned before use if one finds a buildup of too much soot. 

Clean Up and Organize
Once you have the water, and hot water sorted out, it is time to clean the place thoroughly. Plan in an organized way to start in the kitchen and wipe down every surface. Then to the bathrooms, and finally the bedrooms and common areas. The bedding needs a turn and fresh linen. Outside cleanup is just as important. You must clear pathways, sweep away debris, and collect fallen limbs. These can make an excellent kindling pile for later use.

Safety Checks
Fire extinguishers are important pieces of safety equipment along with smoke alarms and CO detectors. They should all be checked carefully to see if they are in good condition and replenished with batteries where needed. 

Finally All Done
Time to consider that summer is short and is a long anticipated season. One should find a cold beverage and a country style chair and rejoice that it is both summer and a day on the beautiful Muskoka waterfront. This is a time to unpack the fresh food and light the grill; after a cold winter, the first cottage cookout of summer is sure to delight everyone.