winter-readyYesterday, I put my winter tires on my car. Today, fat snowflakes, a little bit of freezing rain, and a splat of mixed precipitation have me convinced that winter is right around the corner. That means it’s time to get prepared.

I’m not saying that you need to hibernate like a bear, but it’s never pleasant to be caught unprepared. The transition to the darker part of the year is a bit easier to handle when you aren’t scrambling to find your insulated mug and your window scraper. Winter can go from chilly to charming if you’re practically stocked and set with comfy gear and warm beverages.

  1. Protect your patio furniture and any other yard ornaments or planters. You’ll save yourself clean up time in the spring, and keep your furniture looking nice longer.
  2. Check on your snow shovel. Make sure you are set to dig out whether that means making arrangements for snow removal or having the tools to do it yourself.
  3. Stockpile the essentials. There are some things you can count on always needing, so you might as well stock up, especially if you can get it on sale (no one is going to look in your linen closet to make fun of the 3 unopened packages of toilet paper!)
  4. Get your winter coat, hats, mittens, and scarfs out of storage (and put away the sandals to make space!). At some point when you look outside and see our Canadian prairie as an ocean of snow, you’ll be glad that it is easy bundle up.
  5. Crack out the Vitamin D. Many of us get our daily vitamin D through exposure to sunshine, but that’s not sufficient in the winter, when the daylight hours are limited and most of our skin is covered. The Canadian Cancer Society recommends adults take 1000IU in the winter months.
  6. Get the soup on. Spend a weekend’s worth of quality time with your slow cooker and make a few great soups, which will taste even better if you can work in fresh fall produce like squash or kale. Freeze individual portions that can be easy lunches for work or warm dinner options for those days when it gets really cold.
  7. Get your car ready. Have winter tires, will travel? Canadians are used to doing a lot of driving in all kinds of weather, but it’s a good idea to be prepared for the worst. Sometimes having a charged cell phone just isn’t enough. Before you head out on any winter road trips, make sure your car is stocked with a roadside emergency kit. Being safe and sound isn’t overrated.
  8. Fire it up. Wood burning or natural gas, make sure your fireplace is ready to go. Make sure your vents and chimney are clear.
  9. Get your skis, snowboard, skates, and toboggan out of storage and get ready for fun!

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