The hot days of summer seem like a distant memory as snow begins to slowly creep into the weather forecast.
Whether you are a winter enthusiast, or simply responsible for maintaining a safe environment around your home, now is the time to begin swapping out your summer equipment for winter gear.
Doing so involves more than simply hauling out your shovels and dragging out the winter coats. In order to ensure a safe winter for you and your family, you need to take the time to get your snow gear ready.
Here are some tips for preparing for the colder months when it comes to your winter gear:
Prep Your Vehicle
If you live in an area that experiences high volumes of snow and ice, you’ll want to make sure your car is ready for the colder conditions.
Begin by having your winter tires installed and your all-season tires stored properly.
Inspect and change your wiper blades if necessary.
You may want to also consider having your vehicle inspected with a maintenance check up.
Preventative maintenance is important in the winter months, so have a mechanic take a look at your battery, brakes, lights and fuses, cooling and heating systems, electrical and exhaust systems as well as your belts and hoses.
Put Together a Winter Emergency Kit
Even if your vehicle is ready for the winter months, unpredictable breakdowns and other issues could leave you stranded in the cold.
You can stay ahead of emergency situations by preparing a kit to keep in your car. A basic kit should include water, food that won’t spoil (such as energy bars), blankets, extra clothes and boots, a first aid kid, a small shovel or scraper and flashlight.
Other useful items to have in your trunk should you find yourself stuck in the snow include non-clumping cat litter, sand or salt (to help with traction), antifreeze and windshield fluid, jumper cables and a tow rope.
Check Your Snow Removal Equipment
The last thing you want to do is face an unexpected storm with no way to clear out the accumulation of snow.
Do an inventory of your equipment, such as shovels and ice scrapers, to ensure that they are in good working order.
Check your snowblower to make sure it’s in good working condition. If not, considering replacing it before the snow falls. If you don’t have a snowblower, now may be a good time to make that purchase.
Sort Through Your Winter Clothes
With the temperatures beginning to fall, you’ll want to start digging through your winter clothes to make sure you have enough warm layers.
Check coats for tears and broken zippers and have them repaired or replaced before winter hits. Also inspect your hats, scarves and mittens for holes.
If you’ve lost weight, check to make sure your winter clothing fits.
If you have children, make sure their winter wear fits properly as well. Children grow like weeds, so what fit last year may not necessarily cut it this year.
To cut down on costs, especially with young children, look for gently used winter items. If you have winter wear that no longer fits them, consider donating them to families in need.
Be sure to also clear out your closet to store your coats and boots so avoid clutter around your front door.
Get Your Sports Gear Ready
If you’re into skiing or snowboarding, you’re going to want to properly prepare your equipment before you hit the slopes.
The base of your skis and snowboard can dry out during the summertime, so they may need a new application of wax.
Also check for loose screws and damaged boot buckles – having your bindings checked is important in preventing injuries.
For those with young families, take a look at your children’s sleds. Check for cracks in the plastic and replace them if they are damaged.
Organize Your Mud Room and Garage
Once your snow gear is ready to use, and gets used, you’re going to need a place to stash it while not in use.
Clearing out room in your garage for larger items will ensure that they are not left outside and exposed to the elements. Sleds, skis, snowblowers, etc., should all be stored inside and away from cold temperatures.
Likewise, you will want to make sure that coats, hats, mittens, scarves and boots are all kept inside, safe and warm. If you have a mud room, now is the time to clear out some space for winter attire.
Also keep in mind that bringing winter gear inside is going to track in snow as well, so you will want to have heavy mats available to soak up the melt.
Get Ready for Winter
They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so make sure you are ready to take on winter by having your snow gear ready!
Doing so now will save you time and headache down the road.