Brace yourself. Winter is coming. Whether you love the snow or hate the cold, some steps need to be taken to prepare yourself for the changing season. Here are eight priorities to put on your calendar before the first snow flies.
If you’re unsure of where to begin, this guide has you covered. Just prioritize these 8 tasks in your online calendar in the coming weeks, and you’ll be set:
1. Pack Things Away
Not everything can endure the cold and snow as well as you’d like. Patio furniture, lawn equipment, and children’s toys should be brought inside, covered up, or put into storage. This will help preserve them better than leaving them out in the elements would.
You can take this time to pack away other items around your home as well. Summer clothes, fall decorations, and outdoor equipment can all be put in their proper place. Use your online calendar to organize your efforts and avoid procrastination.
2. Check Your Closet
About a year has passed since last winter. You likely haven’t checked your wardrobe since the snow last melted. Some of your sweaters and coats might be too small or worn out. Revisiting your winter closet before the snow comes gives you ample time to prepare for the cold.
If you find you need some new winter gear, schedule a shopping trip in your online calendar. Getting this done before the snow falls will have you feeling as comfortable as possible. Put it off until too late, and you’ll regret that chilly mistake.
3. Turn Up the Heat
Snow means cold. You’re going to have to take some measures to combat that cold at home. Looking at heating your home effectively before winter comes will do you a lot of good.
There are many ways you can heat your home, all of which need preparation. The fireplace will need a large supply of wood to last through the winter. The heating system in your home could use an inspection to make sure it’s ready to go. Whatever you use, choose a date in your online calendar to ensure everything is set before the first snowflake falls.
4. Clean the Gutters
Snow comes and goes all winter. Sunnier days will cause some of it to melt and drain away. However, if your gutters aren’t cleaned out, that draining will get backed up and give your home some trouble.
Set a day in your online calendar and get those gutters cleaned. Grab a ladder and a trash bag, and be prepared to get your hands dirty. While not the most pleasant of activities, this small task will help you and your home in the long run. This is also a great time to check your sprinklers.
5. Sprinkler System
If you have a sprinkler system built into your lawn, it needs to be winterized. This involves blowing pressurized air through the pipes to blow out all the water. If you leave the water in over the winter, it will freeze and expand, which could burst your pipes. Fail to do this, and you’ll have a lot bigger problems come spring.
With a reliable compressor, you can do this yourself. Otherwise, your safest bet is to hire a professional. Make an appointment in your online calendar to have a lawn care professional come out and take care of your sprinkler system before it starts to freeze.
If you don’t hire a professional, you’ll have to add all outdoor-related water tasks to your checklist. Ensure the exterior water is turned off, and faucets are left open to drain, so no freezing occurs and damages your property.
6. Critter-Proof the House
When winter hits, all sorts of critters will be looking for places to keep warm. Unfortunately, that often means burrowing into corners of your home. No one enjoys hearing or seeing a mouse skitter about, so be sure to critter-proof your home before they try to get in.
There are many different types of traps and barriers you can purchase, depending on how you want to guard your home. When you schedule your next shopping trip, make sure you add one of them to your list. You’ll want to use it as a preventative measure, not a band-aid solution.
7. Get Snow Removal Equipment
Unless you live in an apartment or condominium, you’ll have a driveway and sidewalk to clear each time it snows. Some people hire someone else to do that work for them, but generally, it’s less expensive and easier just to do it yourself. If that’s your plan, make sure your equipment is up to par.
The minimum requirement is a simple snow shovel. Hard winters can really wear these tools out, so be sure to check out their quality. A snow blower is much faster and more effective but requires more maintenance. Inspect before you get snow, so you know it’s ready to go. Last but not least, stock up on some ice melt to prevent slipping and sliding.
8. Service Your Vehicle
Your vehicle will be one of the most important things to take care of for winter. 17% of all car crashes are caused due to winter conditions. Getting your car set up for winter will help you and your passengers stay safe in risky driving conditions.
Schedule an appointment to get your vehicle tuned up. Perhaps most important will be making sure your tires can handle snowy roads. Look at purchasing some new ones if the winter forecast seems especially dismal.
Preparing for the snow allows you to enjoy winter to its fullest. Before dreaming of ski trips and hot cocoa, make sure you dedicate the time to complete this checklist.