Getting ready for winter

Trent Ernst, Editor


Labour Day has come and gone, and, no matter how hard you try and wish it away, winter is coming soon.

Last year, I got caught flat-footed by an early snowfall that never actually melted, and it wasn’t until spring that I finally was able to find some of the kid’s toys.

This year, that’s not going to happen. While we still have some time before the snow flies (please?), here are some things that can be done to get ready for winter:

Mow your grass one last time: I always put the lawnmower away too early, which means that in spring, the lawn is a brown, thatchy mess.

Look up: make sure there are no missing shingles on your roof, and clean out the gutters while you’re up there.

Turn off outdoor faucets, drain your hoses and put them away. Two years I forgot to do this. Then, one day in the middle of January, I heard water running. I looked out my window to discover that the faucet had sprung open and was spraying all over the back yard, turning the trampoline into an ice sculpture.

Clean the chimney: If you don’t use wood heat, this one isn’t that important, but for the rest of us… There were a number of chimney fires last year, many of which could have been prevented by a clean chimney.

Check the outdoor lights: I leave my Christmas lights up all year, because hanging lights in December just doesn’t appeal to me. Now’s the time to plug in the lights in and change bulbs.

Dig out the shovels: While it’s not that big a deal, trudging out to the shed to get the shovel after the first snowfall does not engender feelings of goodwill towards winter. If you own a snowblower, now is the time to dust it off and make sure that it is in working condition for the coming snow.

Clean up the yard: it’s amazing how much stuff gathers over the course of summer. Kid’s toys, tools, patio chairs…all these things need to be put away. You don’t want to put things away too soon, but at the same time, you don’t want to find a discover that last night’s snow has caused your patio shelter to collapse.

Any other tips for getting ready for winter? Send us your ideas at