If there's one thing I am good at when it comes to prepping for winter, it's putting it off. I'm the type of person who waits until my phone starts vibrating on my desk with a winter storm warning from Environment Canada before I start preparing anything.
I'd love to tell you that I'm on the ball and my backyard is ready to rock and that my house is all neat and clean, but that would be a flat out lie. In my mind, this is how my backyard should look right now:
However, in Edmonton, the weather can change quickly and had I been prepared, my yard may have simply been a snowy rendition of the above picture. As a procrastinator, however, this is what it actually looks like:
Yes, those are tomatoes. You'd think I would have picked them and done something with them like, oh, make a recipe or eat them right? Nope. I left them and forgot about them. That's going to be oh so fun to clean up when the snow melts and I get to pick the mush out of the garden box.
Oh and let's not forget about this:
Yes, that's a slippery trampoline of death right there. If we get as much snow as is being forecasted, it's likely going to be in pretty rough shape when we're done with all of that snow weight on it. That's another thing I forgot, to nag Mike about putting it away. Sigh.
But wait there's more! My ultimate claim to procrastinating fame is right here:
Yes, a window air conditioner in a snow storm, a sure fire way to make sure your heating bill is atrocious.
I am going to cut myself some slack as we did work really hard to get a lot done before we left for a month of traveling in the US. And even though I know what Alberta is like, this snow is actually really early for us. I thought that I would have plenty of time when I returned home after my QVC trip to Pennsylvania.
I did not have the time. And while I will get the trampoline put away and yes, that darn air conditioner will be taken out, now it’s a royal pain.
Now that I've shared with you my failures, let's talk about a few things that you actually SHOULD do to get prepared for the winter.
Here's a checklist of things to consider:
- Change out your furnace filters.
This is a big one. When you have 1 dog and 2 cats, it's even more important. Changing out the filter makes sure you have clean air in the house and you aren't recirculating dander and all of the other lovely stuff your furnace brings in. Furthermore, if you have a newer house like ours, you may want to make sure you are circulating the air frequently as winter time means no fresh air from open windows.
- Remove stuff from your yard that you don't want damaged by snow or moisture.
Like trampolines or tomatoes for instance. Put those away, don't leave them to rot or get ruined by moisture and the weight of all of that snow. You'll end up regretting it when it melts. Like I will.
- Check your heating vents throughout your house.
You are going to be using your furnace a lot more, so best make sure you don't have any vents blocked by furniture (or stuffed animal piles) so that heat can flow freely throughout your home. This is also a good time to schedule a furnace or duct cleaning, if so desired.
- Buy winter gear.
Don't be the guy (or gal) running off to Canadian Tire or another store to buy salt, shovels and a snow blower at the last minute. Make sure you have everything you need to handle sudden onslaughts of snow. Sidewalks can get slippery quickly so be sure to stay on top of them and have plenty of salt around to help keep them clear.
- Flush and store hoses and firmly close outdoor taps.
I almost always forget to do this but if you want your hose to be in good condition next year, it's best to remove it and store it away rather than let it freeze and potentially crack over the winter. Drain them thoroughly first to make sure there's no water in them before you store as you don't want them to freeze up and split.
- Check your home insurance policy.
We live in one of the most volatile provinces weather-wise. Making sure that your home is protected in case you have to file a claim is simply the smart thing to do. Thanks to being able to manage your insurance online now with Esurance, you can check this item off your to-do list at your convenience. Esurance works hard to continually innovate, leveraging the latest technology, to ensure that they are offering competitive prices and a simple, efficient experience, while providing customers with personal care from knowledgeable experts. Albertans can now save time and manage their homeowner’s insurance easily and efficiently – online!
These are just some of the items you'll want to take into consideration. Why am I telling you guys this? Well, because I'm working with Esurance again to help make sure you are prepared for the upcoming season. If you are looking to avoid having to file a claim, be sure to be ready for what winter is capable of dishing out to us here on the prairies.
Esurance recently launched its latest service offering to Albertans: homeowners insurance. Their insurance is designed to protect customers’ property and belongings, along with coverages for certain liabilities, injuries and property damages after events.
Remember my awesome Esurance road trip? Well, we all know now that in Alberta we can get auto insurance through them, but now you can bundle your home AND auto insurance for extra savings!
I actually teared up a bit, looking at all the greenery and flowers in this photo.
We also all think about savings when it comes to insurance and Esurance was born online and by nature was built to save their clients’ money. It has smart online tools, fast, efficient claims and services (which we all know can be very hard to find!). Their rates are competitive and they also offer personalized discounts. Not only that, they are available online 24/7 and via phone to help you understand your coverage options.