How to store garden furniture: a guide to year-round storage

How to store garden furniture: a guide to year-round storage

To increase the longevity of your garden furniture, you need to protect it year-round, not just through winter. Why? Well, let’s be honest: UK summers, springs, and autumns are sometimes just as cold! 

Knowing how to properly store your garden furniture keeps it looking good and prevents the structures from deteriorating. 

If you’re not sure about the best practices for keeping your patio furniture covered or would like some storage ideas, then read on for year-round solutions. 

Why do you need to protect garden furniture from the elements? 

There are several reasons why you should properly store your garden furniture: 

It prolongs the life of your furniture

Shielding your furniture from harsh weather conditions reduces the chance of wear and tear. 

Keeps the furniture looking good

Weather like rain, sun and snow can have adverse effects on the furniture, fading colours and weakening materials. If you store them correctly, you’ll keep the furniture looking as good as possible.

Reduces the chance of mould and mildew

If you don’t store your furniture properly, you increase the risk of mould and mildew growth, thanks to wet and sometimes humid conditions. Not only can mould cause health issues, but it can degrade the materials of your patio furniture. 

Increased risk of rust 

If your metal outdoor furniture is not properly covered or stored, you can increase the chance of it rusting from wet conditions. Rust not only compromises its aesthetic but can weaken the strength of the furniture, too. 

UV damage 

If your garden furniture is left outside, you’re prolonging its exposure to sunlight, which can cause structural weakening and discolouration. You’ll find this issue is most prevalent with plastic garden furniture. 

Preparing your furniture for storage 

It might seem strange, but you’ll want to prepare your garden furniture ready for storage. 

Preparing it means that you’ll put your furniture in the best possible condition while it goes away, and you won’t need to do as much work when you get it out again as it’ll be ready to use. 

Here’s a quick guide on how to prepare different types of garden furniture ready for storage. 

Rattan garden furniture 

If you don’t show your rattan garden furniture some care, it’ll age a lot quicker than you’d like. 

Make sure you brush away any dirt and debris. You could even use a handheld vacuum to ensure everything is clean. Then, wipe your rattan furniture down with soap and a soft cloth. Make sure the furniture is completely dry before putting it away. 

Wooden garden furniture 

Use a small brush to quickly remove dirt and dust, and then wipe it all down with a cloth dampened with warm, soapy water. Once clean, give it adequate time to dry. 

You don’t want to leave your wooden furniture out throughout winter, as wood soaks up moisture and retains it. Before you store your wooden furniture, it’s best to treat the wood with oil, depending on the type of wood, or add a layer of varnish to help increase longevity. 

Plastic garden furniture 

Plastic furniture might seem pretty durable, but over time, it can become brittle. Before you store it away, check the furniture for cracks and clean it with a brush, then a cloth and soapy water. Again, make sure the furniture is completely dry before you store it. 

Metal garden furniture 

Use a small brush to get into the nooks and crannies of metal furniture to brush away dust, dirt and debris. Then, use a mixture of warm water and soap to wipe down your metal furniture. 

If you notice any chips or damage to the metal, it’s best to apply rust-proof paint to the area using a wire brush. This step will add a layer of protection to the metal furniture. 

How to store garden furniture 

Once you’ve prepared your garden furniture for storage, you’ll need to consider how you’re going to store it. 

You may only be putting it away for a few weeks or storing it for longer periods when it’s not in use. Here are some options you have: 

  • Protect it with specialist covers 
  • Store inside a shed or garage 
  • Move it to a sheltered position 

Cover your garden furniture 

Sometimes, it’s just not possible to bring your garden furniture inside, whether in a garage or a shed. There just isn’t enough space. 

If this is you, then you’ll want to invest in high-quality specialist covers to protect it from the elements. 

By purchasing quality covers, you can prolong the life of your garden furniture and make sure that you get your money’s worth! Waterproof covers will guarantee the best protection against moisture for your patio furniture. 

Although you want the furniture to be completely covered, you’ll also need to provide ventilation so that air can move around easily. This way, if moisture does happen to get in there, it’ll have a way of getting out again. 

Store in a garage or shed 

Of course, the best way to protect your outdoor furniture is to store it inside when not in use. Many pieces can be collapsed to store easily, and some items can be stacked to help minimise the space they take up. 

If you have room, store your furniture away. Or, if you have the space in your garden, spend money on a storage shed specifically to protect your furniture. 

When storing furniture in a shed, it's important to regularly check that it’s still dry and that mould or mildew is not growing. 

Move furniture to sheltered areas 

Protect outdoor furniture from wind and rain by moving it to a more sheltered location (if available). If possible, your garden furniture should not be left on the grass for prolonged periods, as moisture can seep in from the bottom. 

If you have particularly light furniture that could be blown in strong wind, consider strapping it down to help reduce this risk. 

How to store garden furniture cushions 

Probably the most bulky part of garden furniture is the cushions: even just a few seat cushions can take up a vast amount of space in your home or shed! Here are some ideas for storing the cushions from your patio furniture. 

Cushion bag 

With a cushion bag, you’ll have ample space to pack them away, and you’ll always know exactly where they are! A good trick is to put some scented dryer sheets in the bag with the cushions so they smell fresh when you get them back out. 

However, the only problem with cushion bags is that you still need to find a space to store it. As they’re all stacked together, it can be quite a big bag! 

Cushion box 

Buying a dedicated cushion box might seem a little extravagant. 

Still, if you don’t have the space inside to store your garden furniture cushions, then it’s certainly an option to consider. 

Buy a box that is sturdy enough to act as further seating options in your outdoor area, too. 


If you have a garden shed with space for your garden cushions, this can be a great option. Don’t store them on the floor, just in case there is any water seeping through the wood.

Once you get them out to use, you’ll want to check them over thoroughly before use, as bugs and spiders may find them a comfy place to rest!


If you’re short on space in your home, storing your garden cushions in your loft might be the best winter storage option. 

While you’re not using them, store them in the loft, where they’ll be kept warm and dry. The trouble is choosing the right time to put them up there. The minute you do, the sun will make an appearance the next day just to taunt you! 

Maintaining garden furniture during off-seasons 

Sometimes, it’s just not enough to store away your garden furniture during the off-season; there’s some maintenance you’ll need to carry out during this time, too. 

Here are some ideas for ensuring that you get the most out of your investment in your garden furniture and that it continues to look its best for years to come. 

  • Choose breathable covers for the furniture; this will give it an added layer of protection from scratches and dust. 
  • Collapsed foldable furniture will help you save space and prevent the joints of the furniture from being stressed when they’re not in use. 
  • Treat your wooden storage sheds where you might be storing your furniture. Treat them yearly to help prevent rot and infestations from insects. 
  • Check metal sheds for any signs of rust or leaks and get them sorted quickly. 

By regularly checking and carrying out small maintenance tweaks, you can ensure that your garden furniture will last and look good. 

A round-up of storing garden furniture 

Whether you’re covering it during a few weeks of rain in spring or storing it away for the winter, protecting your garden furniture is a must to prolong its life. Proper preparation and regular maintenance will ensure that you have functional and long-lasting garden furniture.

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  • Daniel Corlett