20 items you need for opening the cottage

Woman opening window Photo by Deliris/Shutterstock

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Opening up the cottage signals the true start of Canadian summer. Soon, you’ll be sipping coffee on your dock, grilling on your deck, and taking in those picturesque sunsets. But first, you have to tackle the daunting task of opening up the cottage. The good news? If you properly closed your cottage last fall, this task should be easy—and if you don’t forget anything, it’ll be even easier. Here’s what you need to open up your cottage, so you won’t be left high and dry.

Your documents

document folder for opening cottage
Photo by ENGPOW

Be sure that all your relevant insurance is updated and that you have copies of your policies on hand. This includes boat or vehicle insurance, operators’ licenses, and instruction manuals, too. This handy case is waterproof and fireproof so you can keep your documents organized and safe. Buy it at

Personal supplies

toiletry bag for opening cottage
Photo by MEC

Even though you’re opening the cottage, pack a weekend bag as if you’re going camping. Depending on your situation, it’s a good idea to call in advance to turn on your water and electricity and bring all the personal hygiene products you need to get by for a few days like toothpaste, soap, and face wipes, just in case. Pack work clothes you’re not afraid to get dirty in or potentially ruin, too. Buy the travel pack at



sleeping bag for opening cottage
Photo by MEC

The bedding you left at the cottage last fall could be in desperate need of a wash. Be sure to pack a sleeping bag to keep you warm if the electricity isn’t on and the temperature drops at night. Buy this one at

Portable phone charger

portable charger for opening cottage
Photo by MEC

Make sure you bring a portable charger. This one can charge most phones twice, making it a must-have item, not just for dealing with questionable cottage electricity, but for camping trips, long car rides, and hiking, too. Buy it at


sunscreen for opening cottage
Photo by Walmart

The sunscreen you left at the cottage last year has likely expired. Stock up for the season with this multipack from

Toolkits + repair items

Tool kit for opening cottage
Photo by Fuller

It’s likely that you’ll have to do some repairs when you get up the cottage. Make a list of what you’ll need to fix or replace such as filters. This lightweight kit includes all the basic tools like pliers, a hammer, a level, and a screwdriver handle with a variety of bits, so you’ll be prepared for repairs as they arise. Buy it at

Duct tape

duct tape for opening cottage
Photo by Scotch

A must for small fixes and larger patches alike. Buy it at

All-purpose cleaner

all-purpose cleaner for opening up the cottage
Photo by Dr. Bronner’s

Bringing a general cleaner with you like this one helps you tackle all kinds of tough stains or dirt since it can clean everything from floors and surfaces to laundry and dishes. Plus, it’s biodegradable, cruelty-free, and gentle on your skin. Buy it at


j cloths for opening cottage
Photo by Walmart

These reusable washcloths are perfect for whatever messes you run into during opening and throughout the summer. Buy them at


scrubbers for opening up the cottage
Photo by Scrub Daddy

From doing things like deep-cleaning to scrubbing buildup off of surfaces, these durable scrubbers go from tough in cold to soft in warm water, making them uber versatile. Buy them at

First Aid Kit

first aid kit for opening cottage
Photo by MEC

Anyone who has done handy work knows how easy it is to get injured. Be sure to bring a first aid kit up to the cottage. Buy this one at


propane for opening up cottage
Photo by Walmart

Bring propane up so that you can BBQ throughout the weekend. Buy it at

A cooler

cooler for opening the cottage
Photo by Stanley

If you’re planning to cook meat while you’re opening the cottage, bring a cooler up so that it stays cold on the way up. Throughout the season this can make for a great dockside beer holder, too. Buy this one at

Low-prep meals and snacks

opening the cottage snack trail mix
Photo by Prana

Stock up on snacks and sides that will keep you fuelled while you work and don’t require much prep or refrigeration, too. Think trail mix, energy bars, apples, bananas, and supplies to make sandwiches. Get this trail mix at


mustard relish and ketchup for opening cottage
Photo by Heinz

Restock condiments to use this weekend and throughout the summer. Buy this condiment kit at


coffee for opening up the cottage
Photo by RISE Brewing Co.

What’s a day of hard work without caffeine? This canned cold brew ensures you’ll be fuelled even if you can’t get (or boil) water yet. Buy this nitro cold brew coffee at


water bottle for opening cottage
Photo by Walmart

The last thing you want to happen when you’re opening the cottage is dehydration. Bring a supply of water up with you in whatever form you prefer (bottles, jugs). Get it at


batteries for opening cottage
Photo by Duracell

Bring batteries to replace the ones in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, remote controls, and flashlights. Buy them at

Mouse traps

no kill mouse traps for opening the cottage
Photo by Suminey

These no-kill traps allow you to catch and release any mice that have decided to become your roommates over the winter. Buy them at

Toilet paper

toilet paper for opening cottage
Photo by Walmart.

Last but not least, toilet paper. Thank us later. Buy it at

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