Monday, September 16, 2013

Preparations and Organizing for Winter

I hope it wasn't difficult getting going this morning,.... did you get to bed at a good time last night?  Did you have your morning coffee?  The weather was nice where I am, although I am hearing the crispy leaves fall to the ground now one by one.  We are steadily approaching fall weather.

I have actually been getting together my to do lists this past weekend, doing chores, getting at harvesting the garden and overall organizing for colder weather.  I did some painting for crafts to sell, as I will need to get that completed in time for any winter market, craft or online sales.  I still will be needing a little fall cheer such as a pumpkin or a couple of gords.

So, how do you get ready for the snow to fly?  Is it vehicle preparations, home repairs and chimney cleaning, garden harvesting, yard work or canning.  It might be a little early to start getting your warm clothing ready, but I thought today we could go over the list!

It's still September but that can go by really fast.  We find that no one is willing to drive to garage sales in snow storms, so some people are still promoting their garage sales for fall.  I am doing the same on  Also, if you are moving or thinking of moving, it's nice to do that  prior to bad weather.  So perhaps, purging is perfect to do now and seeing what extra money you can acquire is going to be beneficial.

Money management would be another post, but if you are saving or reinvesting in areas where you will make money, instead of spending it foolishly going into winter that is recommended.  At least in Canada as we have long winters.

All through the year, I am watching what I am spending and what it is I am being charged but even so, it's a good time to review receipts or statements to do an overview of what you spent. For example, pay attention to fine print and make sure not to get yourself into a contract, that you cannot back out of.  I am noticing my service provider said they had a price increase, and they didn't notify me.  I reviewed the billing history and I believe I caught them charging me an overage of $12 in total.  If the price increase was as of recent, the total in adjustments - although that doesn't seem to be apparent but once calculated seems the price was increasing over the past months.   That money could be used towards something else.

 Then you can try to save some when it comes to holiday shopping, and perhaps if you have not done so you can save money in areas by bundling your services or taking advantage of promotions.  Then if you don't like how the services turned out you can cancel in springtime.  It's nice to save during the long winter months when bills and groceries are generally higher prices.  I also try to buy some pantry items when on sale in the fall.  Then I have most everything and don't need to pay higher prices near Christmas.  These things could be even as simple as a can of cranberry sauce or spices that you need for holiday dinners.

So today, I am not going to cover so much of the indoor preparedness list, but mainly the vehicle and outdoor winter preparing list.  There may be limited time you find to complete your outdoor tasks, and before it gets uncomfortably cold or there is little to no stock in the stores for the items you need it's good to get that out of the way.  I am not saying you have to purchase everything, but some items will save you time later on.

 Perhaps, you are stocking some firewood so that you be comfortable when it's very cold, and you can enjoy your indoor hobbies.  I like to obtain my dry firewood, and put it to the side. In my downtime, I should be finishing knitting projects of years past, as well as taking up writing an e-book this winter, but right now time is of the essence and we proceed to "button up the hatches" as they say.

Some plans can sure get altered in times of emergency, such as the flooding that happened here in Alberta.  I was prepared, and hence didn't have to rush around looking for supplies, or pay top dollar for anything. I barely made a move during the disaster, and toiled away at my upgrading courses.
I noticed even I could have been a bit more prepared for such instances, such as more firewood.  It's time to replenish some items you may have had to use, like batteries or candles. Water containers, drinking water and water filters are essential and should be kept ready all the time.  Again, I would recommend you do a Google search for a more in depth list for your home preparedness kit.

 In winter emergency situations, winter can call for perhaps more emergency items, so it's best to be prepared.  You might need heat, and if there is no electricity or fireplace, then it's best to have candles lit and stay in a smaller room to keep it warm enough.  I have done this before when an apartment building I was living at had every last heater freeze as it was that cold.   It's best to sort through your emergency items and take inventory.  Don't forget the pets, they also require food, medications and items for emergency!

Cleaning up the yard, doing your garden work and cultivating your garden are all part of fall preparation chores to do.  These are things to definitely finish off now, if not already and also tidying your garage, pack up the yard and overall de-cluttering the outdoors.  I also purchase canning jars, freezer bags, and items needed if you haven't already.  I have a case on hand, a canner and now I will  look out for good prices on produce from the market and get to storing food in the evenings.  This way you make use of your outdoor daylight hours, and then work on the food prepping little by little in the evening.  If you have a freezer to fill, and a family to feed then purchasing vegetables by the case would be ideal, such as green peppers for spaghetti or tomatoes for all kinds of meals. The whole family can help and you'll be done in not time.

So, here are some things you might need to prepare to do, but not limited to,  for the outdoors and winter vehicle preparation : add in your trunk an ice scraper, gloves,  a small snow shovel(s), de-icing compound, waterproof the floor mats in your vehicles, checking and replacing your vehicle batteries, checking and changing your seasonal tires to appropriate winter tires, and booking your appointments ahead of time for vehicle maintenance.  When it's cold or could get cold it's good to keep your gas tank full.  This way in a situation you have it and to prevent water freezing in the fuel lines.  You can get your bags of sand or kitty litter ready to put in your trunk for weight purposes, and to use for preventing tires slippage, jumper cables, tire chains, flares, flashlights, warm jacket, tuque or hat, scarf, snow boots and blanket(s) are also all good to store. You can decide to bag certain things in a plastic tote or bags, to keep them fresh, clean and dry.

You may also decide to invest in a first aid kit or put one together yourself, and have a jug of water readily available. You wouldn't want a frozen jug of water in the trunk so perhaps put it by the door everyday and take it with you. If you feel you need some non-perishable food or snacks, you could make yourself a cooler or backpack full of them, and take that with you everyday too.  Include yourself some money, like change or a calling card to use for payphones even if you have a cell phone.  You can depend on your cell phone, but in times of a snow storms or if you're out of the towers reach, your phone may not get signal and if you had seen a payphone you can make a necessary emergency call to 911.

Now if you live somewhere it doesn't snow then you are looking at a mild winter version of preparing but that is not to say it isn't your stormy season.  You may have to be weary of other weather conditions like hurricanes, hail or rain.  You might want to still have food, water, and other emergency items you see fit ready in your vehicle, and definitely research other things you might need in your conditions.  We do spend a lot of time commuting, so it's not just limited to family vacations that we may be stuck inside our vehicles on the freeway or need those items in general for any situations that arise.  It's better to be safe, than sorry and better to be comfortable,  than uncomfortable.

That will conclude today's post and now that we got the hard work out of the way; checking your lists now, could save you an extra trip or could save your life!

 I will be back next week... trying for Monday!!!

Post a Comment