Snow and cold don’t need to come with a frown. Why not enjoy this Winter by being prepared?
Just like Spring, Winter brings its own time-related challenges. In other words, it doesn’t wait for us to be ready. Mother nature is going to come when she is ready and not when we have our house and yard ready.
Making a list and schedule to accomplish the task of Winterizing your house and yard might seem like overkill to some, but not to me. It never fails, if we don’t schedule in things like cutting the daylilies down, rolling up hoses, or bringing out the winter clothes more times than not, it doesn’t get done!
Just think of it as a sports schedule. Each year of football, basketball, volleyball, etc., start at the same time. You schedule to take your kids to practices/games or watch your favorite team play on tv. It’s not a chore because you’re prepared ahead of time. Winter can actually be a lot of fun when you’re ready. If you prepare ahead of time, when game time/Winter hits, you are not surprised and can relax when the first snow falls. The mental aspect of it is something totally different and we will get into that.
So, what kind of Winter list are we talking about? Although each person and family have different ways they need to prepare, there are general things to do which we will go over. That covers the list. What about scheduling? We will also go through ways to incorporate that into your busy day and life. Are you ready?
Making a List
You know the lyrics, “He’s making a list and checking it twice; gonna find out Who’s naughty and nice. Santa Claus is coming to town.” Although, this is a list and song about Santa it is the same idea of what we are going to do for Winter. “Making a list and checking it twice; gonna find out Who’s ready or not. Winter time is coming to town.” With that here is our top ten list.
- COVER THE AIR CONDITIONER- To protect your unit get a tarp, cover your air conditioner and use bungee straps to wrap around and secure it.
- PREP YOUR VEHICLES- Add antifreeze if it’s low, windshield wiper fluid and check your oil. Learn how much pressure your tires need and keep them properly inflated. Have an emergency kit in every vehicle.
- CUT DOWN PLANTS, SHRUBS, AND FLOWERS- To keep the nutrients in plants, trim them down according to climate and plant type. This will also help with snow drifts if you live in the country.
- ROLL UP HOSES – Drain your hoses, roll them loosely and hang them in a garage or store them in a shed.
- ROTATE FROM SUMMER CLOTHES TO WINTER CLOTHES- Store your Summer clothes in a container or extra closet; pull out your Winter clothes.
- MAKE SURE YOUR COATS, HATS, GLOVES, AND SNOW BOOTS FIT- Try on your Winter gear so you can get your shopping done before the snow falls.
- CLEAN YOUR GUTTERS- Leaves and other materials can get trapped in your gutters during the year. Be sure to clean them out, allowing for clear passage.
- CHECK YOUR FURNACE, CUT & STACK FIREWOOD- Make sure your air ducts and the furnace is working properly. Also, change your filters on a regular basis. If you have a stove, cut and stack your firewood. Also, make sure your stove pipes have been cleaned.
- CHECK WINDOWS AND SCREENS- Clean out the debris in window sills and remove screens if necessary.
- STORE PICNIC TABLES, OR OUTSIDE YARD FURNITURE- To prevent drifts and unnecessary wear on your furniture, be sure to store furniture in a dry place.
You can add more to this list or take some away, but at least you have a starter list you can print and hang on your fridge.
When you really want to do something, it becomes a priority. When you don’t, it usually becomes something you do last minute if at all. Regardless of how you feel about Winter, it comes every year. Preparing and scheduling will not only allow you to get everything done, but it will also help you be stress-free.
When should I start scheduling? That all depends on your area. Where I live Winter has started in October, so our state will start earlier. Here is a suggested schedule based on places that have snow.
- A month before your first normal cold snap or snowfall.
- One task at a time. For instance, rolling all the hoses.
- When you have an hour at least for a time block.
- Pick a time morning, afternoon, or evening and be consistent until your Winter Prep is complete. If you do it whenever you are more likely to forget something or not get it done in time. If you’re retired this schedule might seem extreme and that’s okay. You may not need to pick a certain time of day, but I would still suggest a block of time every day.
- Schedule to do the most vital Winter prep first. Example being, make sure your winter gear fits and your warm clothes are in your closet and drawers; check your car to make sure it is winterized.
If you follow the schedule or A schedule, you will have a better chance of being prepared. This also helps with the mental aspect of Winter. Who is ever ready for Winter and snow? Unless you’re a kid, the idea of Winter can send a chill through your spine, no pun intended. We never quite feel ready and then when it hits, boom a little mental breakdown comes. The long list of things yet to do flash through our mind and we become stressed immediately. That is unless we already have our Winter prep completed.
If you suffer from depression during the Winter months, don’t worry. There are things that can help you and make it, so this year is your best year. For more information visit Winter Blues.