Winter is Coming
Preparing for the gusts and drifts
There is no avoiding it. The red and yellow leaves are falling off of the trees. The air is growing colder. The pumpkins at our doorsteps have a thin layer of frost in the mornings. Winter is coming. And we know exactly what that means: Expect the unexpected.
Even in warmer climates, winter has a way of reminding us of mother nature’s immense power. Snow, ice, rain, and wind beat at our doorsteps from November to March, and the only thing we can predict is that the results will be unpredictable.
How you prepare for winter matters. Thoughtful preparation keeps money in your pocket. It keeps the house warm. It helps you navigate the unavoidable obstacles winter will toss in your path. As the fall season closes, it’s time to consider how you can set yourself up for a safe, warm, efficient winter. Wouldn’t it be nice to relax and enjoy the holidays, rather than to worry or fret over what damage winter will do to your home, office, or yard?
By remembering to do three things to three different facets of your life, you can stave off stress and anxiety, and you can boost your chances of easily handling whatever winter brings. The three facets of your life that we’ll discuss are your home life, your work life, and your outdoor life. Beating winter means having your yard, workplace, and house prepared.
A Warm and Cozy Home
Spend just seconds walking around in the throes of a winter storm and you’ll find yourself pining for a roaring fire and a steaming cup of coffee. Your home is your sanctuary in the coldest of seasons. This is the time of year to prepare your nest, so that you can hibernate away the worst of days, while making the most of the season.
Clean and Store
You cannot take another step until your place is clean. While the days are still a touch longer and the weather a bit more amenable, you need to get rid of all the junk and unwanted stuff. Then, clean each and every room from top to bottom.
Part of cleaning is storing things you don’t need. Get your summer clothes and the baseball gloves and skateboards put away. If you have an attic, shed, or spare space in the garage, it is helpful to get this unneeded clutter boxed-up and out of the way for the remainder of the year.
Insulate and Seal
Take a walk around your home at night when the lights are on inside. Look for small gaps around doors, windows, or where the foundation meets the ground. In addition to sealing the door jambs extra tight to keep winter out, you should try to patch up any holes or cracks that are letting cold air into or under the house.
If you have any exposed pipes, you should wrap them in proper insulation. A burst pipe over the holidays is a sure way to extinguish your winter glow. Remember to use foam caps on any outdoor faucets. And shut the faucet lines off at the source if possible.
Celebrate the winter and whatever holidays you embrace. Keep yourself feeling cozy and comfortable by surrounding yourself with festive decor. And use a ton of blankets and pillows. When you snuggle under a warm blanket to read away a snowy Sunday, you’ll be glad you spent a few bucks getting the place to look and feel cozy.
A Safe and Productive Office
We spend our days away from the home, but the winter doesn’t let up for our commute or our lunch break, so be sure to prepare for the season at the office too.
Ever notice how hard it is to motivate yourself to head outside in the cold? Keep soups and other healthy, storable food at the office so you don’t miss a meal when the weather keeps you inside.
Give yourself a few helpful reminders to keep you safe and prompt throughout the winter. First, download a dependable weather app for your area and set winter alerts. This way, if a storm is headed your way, your phone will let you know, and you can head home early.
Give yourself extra time too. Set your calendar alerts to notify you even earlier than you do now. So if you get a reminder of meetings 15 ahead of time, change it to 30 minutes for the winter. This gives you time if you have to drive in bad weather, or if you need to scrape the ice and snow from the car.
Keep a few extra items at the office. Store extra salt or snowmelt in case you have trouble in the parking lot. Also store an extra ice scraper. Everyone forgets theirs at home at least once a winter. Basically, if it’s handy in winter, you might want an extra one at the office. That goes for gloves, hats, snow shovels, flashlights, jumper cables, and more.
A Healthy and Safe Yard
Ice storms are much less scary if you have trimmed-back the large branches hanging over your roof. And when spring arrives, your yard will be a lot greener if you rake the leaves now. Maintaining a healthy yard is important, and it’s nearly impossible if you’re not prepared for winter.
Yard Debris Removal
You have to put in the work this fall to get all the leaves raked and the trees trimmed back. Or hire good help. Either way, get all the yard waste removal done while you can still get around your lawn without slipping on ice. Your lawn will thank you in the spring, and your yard will look healthier and greener all winter long.
Mark and Salt
Mark the boundaries of your yard with reflectors, especially the driveway. That way, once the snow covers the ground, you can tell the yard from the street or driveway. It also makes things much easier when you’re shoveling the drive or walkway.
And buy salt now. It’s affordable, and until the first flakes fall, stores will have salt available. Wait too long though, and your local store will run out of salt, shovels, and scrapers after all the non-prepared shoppers clear them out.
Tools of the Trade
Lastly, organize and prepare your tools. You don’t want to have to trudge through a few feet of snow to find your snow shovel. Get your winter boots, gloves, and tools ready by placing them where they’ll be needed and where they’ll be easy to access.
It is the Season of Giving
Whether it’s giving thanks or giving gifts, winter is the season of giving and sharing. So help a neighbor in need prepare for the challenges of winter by prepping their yard, home, and workspace for them.
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