Making Room For You Since 1973

Elderly couple holding hands while walking on the beach.

Snowbird Storage: Preparing to Fly the Coop

October 5, 2021 | Storage Tips

Winter is just over the seasonal horizon, and snowbirds, those among us who skip out on the cold months to migrate to warmer climates for a season, are probably starting to pack their things. The excitement is mounting, and they’re looking forward to what warm winter has in store for them.

 But before that, some steps must be taken to prepare for departure, such as making sure their home is braced for the freeze, and what to do with items that need snowbird storage.

 If you’re a snowbird eagerly awaiting a Southbound flight, Metro Self Storage has put together a quick checklist to reference before you go. Your best trip is one made knowing that your affairs are in order and nothing will slip through the cracks while you’re away.

Lower Your Thermostat

Depending on the piping infrastructure of your house and the anticipated temperatures of where you live, you may either turn off your heating system completely or drop it to a very low setting. If you’re uncertain, the latter option is generally the safer of the two, but if this is your first time as a snowbird, you may want to consult a local professional for a more informed answer.

Winterize Your Plumbing

To avoid the risk of your pipes bursting when the temperature plummets, take proactive measures to empty your pipes of water. This means turning off the water to your home and then running all of your sinks and showers to use up whatever leftover water is still sitting in the pipes.

 Obviously, you’ll want to save this for one of the final things you do before leaving, since key aspects of the house won’t be functional anymore once you winterize your plumbing.

Unplug Electronics/Appliances

When it’s time for snowbirds to head south, they should check and double-check that all of the appliances and tech are unplugged. It prevents them from using even just that little bit of energy that they do when they’re plugged in, saving you money and saving them some lifespan. It also protects them against damage from power surges in the event of a particularly unfavorable storm.

 The refrigerator and freezer are especially important. Not only should they be unplugged with the doors left slightly ajar for ventilation, but they should be cleared of all food. In fact, all perishable food anywhere in your home should be either consumed or discarded before leaving to prevent spoiling. The last thing you want to come back to is a house stained with the smell of rancid meat.

Hold or Forward Your Mail

Notify your post office that for the foreseeable future they’ll need to hold or forward your mail to your temporary address. Put a hold on your newspapers if you receive them too, otherwise, you’ll have either a very cramped mailbox or a mountain of old, mulch-like paper waiting on your doorstep by the time you return.

Lock Up Your Home

Do a lap through your home on the way out to ensure all your windows are sealed tight, the doors are locked, and if you have an alarm system, it’s armed. If you have reliable neighbors or someone who lives nearby, let them know you’ll be away for the season and kindly ask if they can check the house every once in a while for suspicious behavior. This way when you snowbirds do go south, you can still feel like someone has your home’s interests in mind.

 If possible, have an emergency contact nearby who has access to your security codes and keys so they can access the home in case of an incident. Obviously, this requires a great deal of trust, so only take this precaution if you’re comfortable providing someone else with these significant details.

Storage for Snowbirds of Florida and Beyond

Metro Self Storage is excited for you and your upcoming warm winter adventures!

If you’ve followed our guide, you’re ready for a relaxing few months away, enjoying the sunshine rather than bitter winter weather. No matter if you have items that you want to put into storage at your winter home or items you need to take out of storage once you reach your balmy destination, Metro Self Storage can help you manage both! Proudly serving 14 states, we have plenty of snowbird storage options from climate control to vehicle storage. Not sure which unit will accommodate your belongings? Refer to our size guide for help or give us a call. Regardless of what you plan to store over the winter months, we’ll make room for you; rent or reserve your unit today!