Cottage Inventory

First world problems – did I leave the iphone charger at the cottage or did I bring it home?  When you have a second home, it’s hard to keep track of what is located where.  The easiest solution is to buy two of everything but that can be pretty pricey and certainly not within my pay scale.  For some items it absolutely makes sense.  You’re not going to haul a set of dishes back and forth.  But do you really need two pressure washers?

Each trip to the cottage, I end up making a list on my iphone of items that would be handy to have and what we’re running low on.  I always think that I can remember without the list but after three kids and the consequent sleep deprivation, my memory is shot.  When home, I keep a large Rubbermaid bin in the garage where I add items from the list over time so that it’s ready to go for the next trip.  Some I buy and some I just borrow from home.  You’d think that after 12 years of cottage ownership, we’d already have everything we need but not so.  On a recent trip, I went to do some spring clean up outside.  While I had a set of clippers, I didn’t have pruners, although I was convinced that I did.  They ended up being worth having a second set at the cottage as I’ll use them frequently so they went on the list.

If you’ve read “The life-changing magic of tidying up“, you’ll know that you only keep items that give you “joy”.  Well all the stuff that was no longer good for our city home that I moved to the cottage was definitely not in that category.  I treated myself recently by buying new glasses after letting go of the Petro Canada glasses left by the old owner in our old cottage which I had then moved to the new cottage.  The new cottage has glass fronted cupboards in the kitchen so they had to go!

ikea kitchen grimslov
Our new kitchen in our new cottage prior to backsplash, dishwasher and floor installation. With glass fronted cabinets, the Petro Canada glasses had to go!

It’s amazing what we can put up with at the cottage.  We had one large pot, one small pot, two fry pans and that was it as we had limited storage space in the old cottage.  With the new cottage with all its cupboards and drawers, I was able to buy a new stock pot and this one with a lid that actually fit – living the high life now.  Didn’t have to put a plate on the top.  Luxury!  We had one cutting board which made it hard when someone wanted to help with meal prep so I broke down and bought a second.  For many years we didn’t have a microwave as there was no room for one.  But when we did a kitchen reno at home we ended up with two so the second went to the cottage and was placed on top of the fridge.  Which worked for everyone but me as I’m vertically challenged.

With space at a premium, the microwave was on top of the fridge at our old cottage.

My husband kept hauling his gigantic tool box back and forth between home and the cottage.  Our home renovations are finished whereas there are always projects at the cottage.  We now have a small supply of tools at home and leave the majority of them behind at the cottage.  In the city, if we do find we’re missing a tool for a job, I just call up my brother who lives close by and borrow it.

We also realized that we don’t play board games at home as it’s become a cottage tradition.  So we just keep them all there rather than having duplicates.  Don’t know if you’ve ever played “Cards Against Humanity” but oh my.  Definitely only suitable for the older crowd.  I sneaked a few of the cards (the ones that made me blush) out of the pack and threw them away.  Don’t tell anyone.  Scattergories is more my speed now.  Gone are the days when we’d play Sorry or Connect 4 as the boys have outgrown them.

It is handy to have a list of what is at the cottage so you save yourself mental energy trying to remember.  And it’s not just items but also clothing.  I keep a set of pj’s, a robe, slippers, reading glasses (sadly), bathing suit, rain coat, rubber boots and running shoes there so that I don’t have to pack them each time. I also keep two sets of sheets for each bed. That’s the beauty of owning your own place – you get to leave stuff there!  Having a washer/dryer means that you don’t have to bring towels and sheets home to wash them each time.  I throw a load in the morning that we’re leaving and they’re done by the time we’re ready to hit the road.

The medicine chest is one area where you do want to keep a fully stocked inventory – Advil, Tylenol, sun screen, bug dope (repellent), allergy medication, sun burn lotion, bandaids and polysporin are the basics.

One trip disaster struck – I had forgotten my makeup!  Oh the horror – the look of everyone else’s faces when they saw me without it.  Yikes.  I now keep a second set there along with deodorant, makeup remover, face cream, comb, brush, hairdryer, toothbrush…

It’s helpful to keep an inventory so you can remember from visit to visit, what’s there and what you need to bring with you.  Also, should disaster strike, (knock on wood), you’ll have a full inventory list for your insurance claim.  And on a more positive note, if you are having guests stay at the cottage, they’ll know what to expect.


  • Microwave
  • Toaster
  • Kettle
  • Dish rack
  • Dish cloths
  • Garbage bin
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Dishes, plates and bowls for 12
  • Mugs for 12
  • Large and small glasses
  • Wine glasses
  • Knives, spoons, teaspoons, forks, table spoons for 12
  • Cutting knives
  • Baking sheet
  • Oven roasting tray
  • Saucepans – large, medium and small frying pan
  • Chopping boards
  • Sugar dispenser
  • Teapot
  • Coffee maker
  • Beverage dispenser
  • Casserole dish
  • Kitchen scissors
  • Colander
  • Tea towels
  • Oven mitts
  • Paper towel holder
  • Measuring spoons
  • Measuring cups
  • Tongs
  • Mixing bowl large and small
  • Potato peeler
  • Cheese slicer
  • Garlic press
  • Basting brush
  • Tupperware
  • Spatulas
  • Wooden spoons
  • Hand held electric mixer
  • Corkscrew and bottle opener
  • Can opener
  • Grater
  • Ice cube tray
  • Trivet
  • Whisk
  • Ladle
  • Large serving spoons
  • Tray
  • Aluminum foil, cling wrap, parchment paper

Nice to haves:

  • Single serve coffee maker
  • Rice cooker
  • Crock pot
  • Blender
  • Food processor
  • Stand mixer


  • Tooth brush holder
  • Soap dispenser
  • Waste basket
  • Bath mat
  • Toilet brush
  • Shampoo, conditioner, body wash
  • Sunscreen
  • Medicine cabinet – fully stocked
  • Hand towels, bath towels
  • Squeegee for shower
  • Hairdryer
  • Toiletries
  • Tweezers, nail clippers
  • Makeup
  • First aid kit

Living room:

  • Firewood holder
  • matches
  • Books
  • Reference books – birds and mammals
  • Board games
  • Furniture
  • side tables
  • table lamps

Nice to haves:

  • Bluetooth speaker (handy for dance offs)


  • Door mat
  • vacuum cleaner
  • Floor mop (I use a Swiffer wet)
  • Clothes pegs
  • Spare light bulbs
  • Broom and dustpan
  • Bucket
  • Scented candles
  • Windex, Lysol wipes
  • Garbage bags
  • Duster (Swiffer)
  • Rubber gloves
  • Plunger


  • Dog bed
  • Food
  • Treats
  • Toys


  • Binoculars
  • Batteries
  • Lightbulbs


  • Weed wacker
  • clippers
  • pruner


  • Deck furniture
  • Barbecue


  • Kayak
  • Runabout
  • Canoe
  • PDFs

What else should be added to the list?  Let me know by commenting below.