Just as people cover up in winter, so too does outdoor furniture need to be covered and protected from the elements.
One tough season outdoors may be enough to cause metal to rust, wicker unravel, wood split, and plastics crack, because they were unprotected.
The best thing to do is bring it indoors, and store it until the weather warms back up, although if you have no storage room then maybe invest in outdoor furniture covers. Some of the
fabric-style chair cushions come with built-in storage bags.
Stacking furniture out of sight, and covering with a tarpaulin is a cheap, yet effective, way of protecting it from wind, rain, frost, snow, and winter sun. Look for heavy-duty plastic tarps, which
come in a variety of sizes, and often have grommet holes so they can be tied down.
Leave some ventilation underneath the furniture to prevent mould and mildew. Another option is to store the cushions inside, and leave the frame covered up outside.
When storing cushions (and frames), give them a thorough clean before doing so. Check out the recommended cleaning suggestions on the labels.
When your cushions are completely dry, then pack them in boxes or plastic bags.
Wicker and plastic furniture should also be looked after if you want it to last. A scrub with warm, soapy water, and making sure it is dry before packing away or covering up will help it stay fresh and mildew-free.
If you do leave your furniture outside year-round, unprotected, be prepared to spend time cleaning, removing rust, resealing and/or repainting before you can use it again when the weather warms up.