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Seasonal storage solutions – how to store garden furniture over winter

Leaving your garden furniture outdoors over the winter period can cause significant damage to it, regardless of its material. Wooden and rattan furniture can quickly become waterlogged, subject to breakage in high winds or cracking due to regular winter freezes. Metal furniture can become rusty or degraded and it goes without saying that cloth-material furniture doesn’t stand much of a chance against the elements.

Particularly in our temperamental British winters, the need to properly and securely store your furniture is very important if you want it to last! In this post, we detail how to safely store your garden furniture over the winter period to ensure that when the sun comes back out, your furniture can too – and in pristine condition. 

Clean your garden furniture and treat it

Before putting your garden furniture away for the season, it’s important to give it a good clean in order to ensure any dirt or wetness doesn’t cause damage to it while in storage. 


To clean your wooden garden furniture, you can purchase a specialist wood cleaner and glide over with a soft brush and then wipe any excess away with a clean, dry cloth until the furniture is completely dry. Once clean, varnishing with a wood-treatment helps to form a protective layer that can strengthen your furniture while it’s in storage. 


Metal garden furniture can simply be cleaned with warm soap and water and a clean, soft cloth. Rinse thoroughly after cleaning and again ensure all pieces are completely dried with a clean cloth. Once cleaned, check for any rusty spots and remove these and seal with metal paint before storing. For an extra protective element, you can wax your metal furniture to create a secure layer to prevent any damages during moving and storing. 

Rattan & Wicker

It can be a little trickier to clean rattan or wicker garden furniture, due to the weaving. To ensure all spots are covered, you can vacuum your garden furniture with a crevice tool attachment and then use a soft dust cloth to remove any excess. Following this, wipe gently with a damp cloth and then dry the furniture with a soft, microfibre cloth. 


Plastic garden furniture is arguably the easiest to care for. Simply wash with warm soapy water, wipe clean and dry with a soft cloth. If your furniture is white, you can also add bleach to the mix to restore its original brightness, just ensure to rinse thoroughly to prevent erosion. This can then be painted if desired, waxed and buffed to protect it for the months during storage. 

Cover your garden furniture

Once your garden furniture is completely clean, to give it its best chance over the winter season, it’s important to cover it up with some fit-for-purpose garden furniture covers. This ensures that your garden furniture is protected from scratches, scrapes and dust build-up when being stored for long periods of time. 

If you don’t have furniture covers, you could use a dust sheet or similar, but be cautious as this may cause clicks on rattan and wicker furniture. Specialist covers are best. Putting your garden furniture into covers also helps when it comes to storing, as it makes everything a little more compact and fit together easier. 

Store your garden furniture

Now you have effectively prepped your garden furniture for storage during the cold winter months ahead, it’s time to think about where you’re going to store it. It’s important that you move your furniture indoors to a shed, garage or even a spare room if you have the space. 

However, we understand that not many people have enough space in their homes to add a whole other set of furniture and keep it there for a prolonged period of time. That’s why at Storage World, we offer immediate storage availability without tying you into a long-term contract, meaning you can store your furniture for a few months until the weather becomes a little milder. 

Our storage units vary in size, so regardless of how big your garden furniture is, or how much of it you have, we’re guaranteed to have an affordable solution for you. If you’re unsure of what size storage unit you need to store your garden furniture, then give us a call and a member of our friendly team will be able to accurately advise you. When storing with Storage World, you’re free to upsize or downsize your unit as required, so we’ll never try to sell you more space than you need. 

So, how can you store your garden furniture effectively in a storage unit?

Garden furniture 

Firstly, your furniture should be stored on a flat, dry and clean surface. This prevents warping and preserves your furniture’s original shape. Be sure to fold garden tables if possible, or if this isn’t possible, remove the legs and store the top separately. Glass table toppers should also be removed and securely covered with some padding to ensure no cracks or breaks can occur. This should then be stored upright against a wall to prevent stepping on it. 

Stacking garden chairs can help you to save space by using the full vertical space of your unit, which can help to keep costs to a minimum. If you have bar stools or a bench in your garden, these should be stored in the intended upright position to ensure shape is maintained. 

If you have any garden sofas, daybeds or hammocks, then be sure to remove the cushions and place these into a bag to store over the winter. You may wish to remove the covers and wash these first, or do this just before placing the furniture back in the garden. To save further storage space, you can vacuum seal your cushions into a bag and plump them back up when required. 

To store garden sofas or daybeds, these should again remain in the intended upright position, or placed vertically against a wall. A hammock can be disassembled and stored upright or suspended in the air with a padded rack. 

Outdoor cooking & heating

Barbeques, fire pits and chimineas should be fully cleaned of any soot, dirt and coal before storing. These items should again be stored on a flat surface. Some small chimineas or fire pits may be able to be placed on a sturdy shelf. 

Standing garden and patio heaters should be disassembled, placed into a protective bag and then stored either flat along the floor of your storage unit, or upright against a wall. It’s worth noting that you cannot store gas canisters in a storage unit due to the health and safety risks involved. 

Garden tools

If using your garden shed for extra storage this winter, then you may need some extra space to keep your tools secure. We recommend installing a pinboard to your storage unit and securely hanging these items from the wall. This ensures they won’t get damaged and gives you easy access to them when needed. 

Outdoor toys

Trampolines, sand pits and swings should all be moved indoors during the winter months to prevent damage. Of course, these large items must be disassembled before storing and placed in appropriate storage bags. This ensures that when it comes to summertime, they’re ready to fix up and put to use immediately. 

Garden shades and Gazebos

Parasols should be disassembled and placed into a protective cover. This can then be stored flat along the ground of your storage unit, or to save further space we would recommend storing this upright or suspended in the air with a specialist rack. 

Gazebos should also be disassembled and placed into a protective cover. Usually when dismantled, a gazebo becomes quite long and thin, so storing flat along the floor against a wall to prevent stepping on it is usually the best way. 


Any ornaments or statues that you have that you would like to keep in storage to protect over the long winter months should be bubble wrapped and placed in a protective bag. These can then be stored on a shelf within your storage unit if not too heavy, or on the flat surface of the floor. Planters and pots can also be stored in a similar fashion if not being used during the winter. If you have any unusual items such as a blow-up hot tub, be sure to deflate this fully and vacuum-pack into a protective casing. This can then stored within your unit on a shelf or rack. 

At Storage World, we have 24/7 security and CCTV to ensure that your items are protected. All of our storage units are housed internally, so your garden furniture is protected from the elements.,You can rest assured that is stored safely until you need it next. With three great storage facilities located across the North West, access is easy and granted whenever you require it.

We have storage facilities in central Manchester, Middleton and Hale & Wilmslow and so we’re sure to have a solution that is conveniently located close to your home. 

Ready to free up some space and move your garden furniture into a unit, or simply wish to know more?


Secure Storage Solutions

Clean, safe and secure storage solution at an affordable price, highly recommend this place, very close to the heart of manchester, easy access in and out. Big thanks to Tricia and her team for sorting out my storage needs, very knowledgeable, professional and more importantly friendly.
Highly recommended.

Marcus Wong

A Quick and Easy Process

Quick and easy to reserve and simple sign up process when I arrived. I had under estimated my load size and needed more space which the guys on site quickly arranged for me. Very helpful and friendly staff. A recommended company

Alex Jones

Same Day Move In

Fantastic experience. Needed storage quickly and the staff were on hand to help get everything sorted as fast as possible – was in the same day. They even helped to make sure I got the right size unit so I didn’t over pay – they could have sold me a far bigger one but wanted to make sure I got the best deal and was happy – that doesn’t happen very often! Well Done!

Ed Green-Moore

Extremely Helpful Staff

Extremely helpful staff, talked me through everything, gave me a tour of the facility, the sign up process was very straight forward, and most important excellent value for money.

John O'neill

Trolleys and Good Lighting

Great storage with lots of trolleys and good lighting. Lots of parking bays so it is easy to park close to the storage unit entrance. A friendly and helpful team (Anthony and Nick) that get back to you quickly by email or phone.

Tanya Grenade

100% Recommended

100% recommend Storage World. The storage lockers are well priced, secure and very clean. The facility is well set up to make loading and unloading very straight forward. Jeni on the desk was so increddibly helpful and went out of her way to make sure we were well set up and happy. Thanks very much to all at Storage World and particularly Jeni!

Tom Daubney

Business Self Storage

Can’t praise the guys enough, Tricia initially found me a unit over year ago and patiently kept me up to date on availability as I was unable to move my business as quickly as I’d hoped. All the staff are friendly and helpful. A safe and clean place to work.

Joanne Beswick