Tips to stay on top of the snowfall this winter
If you are a busy mom like me working in the daytime and spending time with the kids in the evening, finding time to shovel snow in winter can be a challenge. Getting help such as finding a snow removal service in your area can be one way to deal with the snow. In fact, I don’t recommend shovelling for expectant mothers and mothers with really young kids. I mean don’t get me wrong. If you really like to be outside and get that fresh winter air, shovelling for a few minutes will only do good for you. But fully relying on yourself to shovel all of the snow if you live in the stand-alone house with the backyard, front yard and driveway can be really stressful and if you have young children it’s actually unrealistic. Hiring a snow shovelling company would be a way better option in this case.
If you choose to take care of snow shovelling this winter by yourself or with the help of family, here are some tips on how to make it happen without feeling overwhelmed or letting the snow pile up to the point when it’s not safe or too hard to shovel.
- Shovel when you just get home. If you are not dead tired and just got home from work, it might be a good idea to grab a shovel and get busy for 5-10 minutes. That will take care of the porch and some of the sidewalk. So, rather than waiting for a perfect moment like after supper or when kids go to bed, leverage some time while you are outside before getting home, that only works of course if weather permits. The rest of the shovelling can be done later that day or the next.
- Don’t leave it for longer than 2 days. The snow gets compacted and much harder to shovel than fresh snow. It will take 5 times more time and effort to clear compacted snow. The worst-case scenario is when the weather gets warm enough for the snow to melt and then the water freezes and forms ice.
- Get your kids to help you! I personally keep a couple of small shovels in my yard, so the kids can join if they like. Have them dressed warmly and come outside with you and they can either play in the yard while you are shovelling or help you with the shovelling or a combination of both things.
- Dress warmly. Wear a few layers, so you can take some off when you get too warm from shovelling – it is quite a workout after all. Use winter boots with a good grip to avoid falling and injuries. Use Balaklava if it’s really windy or cold. Wear mittens even if your hands don’t feel cold at first. One time I was shovelling without any mittens and somehow hit my hand to the point that it was bleeding. I couldn’t feel it when it happened because my hands were numb from being too cold. I felt the pain later when I warmed up inside and it wasn’t fun.
- Use salt for de-icing. It’s important to have some salt on hand in case of sudden weather changes that cause the ice to form on the sidewalks. Even a small amount of salt applied to the ice will make a big difference, making the path less slippery. If you don’t want to use salt because of pets or possible damage to the lawn, you can use sand instead.
- Buddy up with neighbours. If you know that you will be away or really busy, consider creating a buddy system with neighbours, where you shovel each other’s yards when one family is away. This doesn’t cost any extra money, but you will have to shovel double when your neighbours are away, so this type of setup only works if you have the time for it. I had my neighbours shovel the snow in my yard because earlier I shovelled their snow. So, even though we didn’t have an agreement, just out of courtesy, we helped each other out and it actually made a lot of difference for me.
- Use light and ergonomic shovel to make it easier on your back. Ergonomically designed shovels also help reduce back pain, fatigue, and injury. Metal shovels are less safe and much heavier than plastic, so it’s better to avoid them.
- Take your time, don’t rush, and take breaks when you get tired. Go inside and have a cup of hot chocolate or tea and wait till your hands/legs warm up. If you get back pain, it’s best to stop and go inside, especially if you had back injuries before. It’s especially important to be careful and watch out for muscle or back pains for older people and people with heart problems are better to avoid vigorous workouts such as snow removal.
Here are some tips to help you stay on top of the snowfall this winter. Use these guidelines if you are planning to shovel snow yourself or hire a snow removal service to help you take care of this tedious task.