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Prepare Your Florida Winter Home for the Summer

When the warm winter fun ends and it’s time to head back north, prepare your Florida home for summer so it’s ready for your visit next winter.

Those who live further north and no longer see winter as charming, often become “snowbirds,” staying north in the warm months and escaping to tropical areas like Florida in the winter. It’s the perfect way to remain in beautiful weather all year. When it’s time to leave the luxury of a winter home behind, follow these tips to prepare your Florida winter home for the summer. This way, you can easily return without concerns the following year.

Remove All Food

With the busyness of preparing to leave, you can sometimes forget the little things, like emptying your refrigerator.

Don’t come back to horrible, moldy surprises. Empty and wipe down the refrigerator and also unplug it and disconnect any water attachments.

The pantry may contain foods that don’t spoil as quickly. However, you should clean out all the items that you keep in the pantry as well. Not only will this prevent you from coming back to stale crackers, but with no open boxes available, pests won’t have as much reason to come inside your house. The only exception to this advice is canned goods.

Discontinue Services

There’s no need to pay for services you won’t be using while you’re away for several months. Make the necessary calls and let service providers know your return date if possible. Here are a few things to remember to pause:

  • Mail delivery (don’t forget to change the forwarding to your summer home)
  • Waste and recycling
  • Cable
  • Internet
  • Newspaper

However, when discontinuing services, don’t discontinue pest control. In Florida, bugs can get out of control quickly while you’re away.

Set the A/C

Central air is a beautiful thing in Florida. Keep it running so that the humidity doesn’t take over, but set it higher than usual. Keeping it at around 80 degrees should be sufficient. Doing so prevents mold and moisture buildup in the home.

Guard the Exterior

Tropical storms are unpredictable and strong. Prepare your Florida winter home for the summer with some Bahama shutters on windows, which will reinforce them against wind, rain, and debris. Furthermore, remove items in your yard that could blow into them. Objects like potted plants, lanai tables, and chairs can cause damage when strong winds sweep them into the air.

Likewise, put lawn and pool furniture away and have your pool service take care of your home’s end-of-season pool needs.

Check for cracks in the house’s stucco exterior and repair where necessary so that water doesn’t get in when storms arrive.

Enlist a Friend

If you have a friend or neighbor who doesn’t leave for the summer, ask them to check on things in your house periodically. A trusted friend with whom you can share a house key will be very helpful in emergencies. They’ll also aid you with small chores, such as airing out the house every few weeks so that it doesn’t feel or smell stale when you return.

In conclusion, the goal of preparing your Florida summer home for winter is to avoid paying for services you aren’t using, protect the home while you’re away, and have it clean and ready for you when you return.


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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food. 

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