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Woods Cottage: Caring for a Home in the Forest

Updated on June 21, 2017
Virginia Allain profile image

Virginia enjoys her cottage in the NH woods near a lake. It's a beautiful area that attracts weekenders and summer folk.

Maintaining a Home or Vacation Cottage in the Woodlands

If you're fortunate enough to live in a wooded setting, your home maintenance chores can be quite different from the average suburban home owner. There can be issues with mold on the roof and in the interior when little sunshine makes it through the tall trees. The woodland setting can be delightful with regular viewing of wildlife, but having chipmunks in the walls is no joke. Here are tips for dealing with some of the maintenance requirements of a home in the woods.

If the home is only occupied in the summer, then additional care must be taken to properly store everything and prevent freeze damage in cold climates.

(photo by Virginia Allain)

Removing Moss from a Roof

Need some tips for getting moss off your roof? Here are some videos to show you how.

How to Remove Moss from a Roof

A Pressure Washer Can Save a Lot of Scrubbing

We have one of these and it's great for cleaning your deck of mold or power washing your siding or the roof.

This Is the Old-Fashioned Way to Remove the Moss

Getting Inspired to Clean Inside the Cottage

I'm pretty casual about cleaning during the summer when we are in our cottage. It's deep in the woods and is a marvelous retreat from the world. Towering pine trees and maple trees shade our lot and keep it delightfully cool except for the hottest days.

Those huge fir trees shed pine needles which we track into the cottage. Every so often I sweep those out and feel virtuous about cleaning the house. It's not really house cleaning though and I know it. Therefore, when a visitor is expected, I have to bestir myself and do some real honest-to-goodness house cleaning.

A friend from Missouri flies in tomorrow. This set me off on a belated spring cleaning. I doubt that he will notice that the windowsills are free of dust or that the mold spots are gone from the mini-blinds. I'll know and I'm glad I finally took care of those.

Now I can relapse into my usual slothful summer ways. I putter in the garden, read books, write on the computer and play golf. Clean the house? Not until another guest is expected.

Tell me about your cleaning habits... are you super neat or somewhat sloppy?

What Your Cleaning Style for a Cottage?

Vote in the Poll

See results

Coping with Animals in a Woodland Setting - Co-exist when possible, but sometimes stronger action is needed

Cute but can be a pest in a cottage. Check the link for my tips on coping with red squirrels.
Cute but can be a pest in a cottage. Check the link for my tips on coping with red squirrels. | Source

Cleaning Log Cabin Exterior - Pressure Washing a Log Cabin

Cleaning Mini-Blinds in a Woods Cabin - Dust and mold become a problem in a closed vacation home

Over the winter months, a closed vacation cottage in the woods becomes dusty. The humidty interacts with the dust and when the cottage is opened in the spring, there is often mold on the mini-blinds. This video shows a simple way to clean them fast. My neighbor used this method and said it worked great.

I tried cleaning with bleach and cotton rags each slat of the mini-blind while it was in place on the window. Very laborious.

Cleaning Mini-Blinds

Storing Gear Like Canoes for the Winter

Protect your canoes and kayaks
Protect your canoes and kayaks | Source

Storing Outside Items

Get a good supply of tarps in different sizes and some rope. Save these for use year-after-year. Group together deck furniture and cover it with a tarp. Tie it so the tarp won't blow off during winter storms. Use the tarps to cover canoes and kayaks. Again tie everything down securely.

Tarps and Covers - for kayaks, log racks, picnic tables and other items stored outside

Cover Everything with Tarps for the Winter


Winterizing a Woods Cabin

It's cold and snowy, so time to winterize the cabin.
It's cold and snowy, so time to winterize the cabin. | Source

© 2010 Virginia Allain

Add Your Tips for Caring for a Home in the Woods

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    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      9 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Lots of good tips for caring for about any home. Love the look of the woods and the cabins.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      9 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Useful tips. I have had raccoons in my roof and chipmunks digging under the porch. Fortunately in the UK we don't have these problems, just a fox who likes to use the space where I park my car as a toilet, so I sometimes end up with mess on my shoes which is frustrating.

    • senditondown profile image


      9 years ago from US

      Very nice tips for tender loving care of woodland dwellings. The extra work is well worth it considering the alternatives of blacktop and concrete getaways.

    • gottaloveit2 profile image


      10 years ago

      I haven't been to my WV cabin in about a year. It's on the market and the price is falling monthly. Want it? Great tips here though that I didn't know about. Appreciate the knowledge.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      These are very helpful tips for caring for your home in the woods. Not too many woody cottages here where I live. My parents used to have a cabin in Big Bear, Ca when I was child. Lots of memories there. Thank you for sharing.

    • Snakesmom profile image


      10 years ago

      What a helpful lens for all that maintenance that needs to be done on the cottage in the woods. Thanks!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      In my country, woods would actually be thick jungle. So, I always loved to watch other countries' houses such as rose cottage or lakeside cabin. The woods in autumn always seemed so lovely to me. You have a great lense.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      I grew up in the northwoods and can say that this is absolutely excellent. A musty smell is yikes! Crumbled newspaper in the refrigerator is certainly new to me. Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best.You seem to have every potential problem or situation well covered, I am impressed! I will certainly visit more of your lenses as time permits. Great pictures and videos as well!

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      The included video for cleaning mini blinds is a great idea.

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 

      11 years ago from UK

      I would love to live in a woodland cottage. In fact, that cabin right there would do me fine! :) Useful resource for those lucky enough to live in the woods.


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