Look outside – ready or not, winter is here

Red Deer designer offers tips on making sure your home is winter ready

Nov. 1st hits and we have full fledged winter unleashed! It’s almost like nature was waiting for the calendar to change so it could show us what it is made of and to remind us that we have had a beautiful fall and now it’s time for us to bow to the howling winds and blowing snow. I’ve heard people today holding every opinion from wanting to go out and make snow angels to the grumblers (me) who wish they could have stayed home in their jammies and slippers today.

Anyone not yet get winter tires put on their vehicle? Guilty. Distracted and charmed by the warm weather I thought I had time, I banked on winter being a gradual introduction instead of a full-on assault. So now I’m waiting in line with all the other procrastinators as my tires get changed. Preparedness is the key to saving time and money when it comes to the facts of life and there is no truer representation than in the area of home maintenance.

Most people wait until the furnace dies on a cold night before they must call an emergency heating guy (usually on a weekend). This makes for panic, cold and expensive after-hours emergency wages where a maintenance call in fall for the furnace guy to come and check, clean and examine your furnace would be a much calmer, less expensive appointment to make. It’s something we never think of while our furnace is not running and yet it is very important to have our HVAC systems in running order before we have to rely on them every day.

Anything that may need to come out of or off the ground should be done by now! This includes decorative hangers, trellis panels, fire pit covers, garden hoses, rakes and brooms. I’m sure we have all done this at least once and then had to replace the frozen item that we couldn’t free from it’s icy prison. The worst part of selling real estate is getting the darn signs in and out of the ground in winter time and we have all had that item stuck fast in our yard that we have forgotten to put away.

There have been so many years that I have scrambled for gloves and boots and my snowbrush on that first big snowfall that I now keep them in an emergency kit in my car. Boots, coat, gloves, socks and extra gear for the time that I may be stranded and may need to walk. My work footware is never conducive to walking a very long distance – I’m more of a style girl. The snowbrush dilemma is age old and we have all had those times when we just can’t find it or someone has borrowed it because they can’t find theirs! Frustrating and unnecessary, keep an extra one hidden that you alone know where it is because you will be the poor person having to scrape windshields when no one else is around.

So buckle in Alberta, here we go! It’s the most wonderful time of the year, they tell me (insert eye roll emoji here) and it is a winter wonderland. Ok, be that way, if you need me I’ll be curled up in front of something warm dreaming of a trip to the Caribbean.

Kim Wyse is a Central Alberta freelance designer. Find her on facebook at ‘Ask a Realtor/Ask a Designer’.

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