10 Things To Do Before Winter Hits the Homestead

Winter is coming.

Abundance of Acorns

It’s true. September has completely flown by and we’re already ushering in October.

Do any of you follow the Farmer’s Almanac? We have had an incredible amount of acorns raining down on us this year from our oaks. If we believe what the Almanac says, an abundance of acorns signals a bad winter to come. If that’s true, we’re in for a doozy this year, so that means it’s time to start prepping for the cold weather.

Reminiscing the Last Six Months

Winter is Coming
The fall harvest in our community is well on the way to completion.

I can’t believe that it’s been six months since we started our homestead project. I don’t know about you, but I’m a little disappointed with the amount of progress we saw this year. Though we did start our garden like we wanted to, we were only able to plant pots on our deck, as the garden plot isn’t ready for growing yet. Our pots produced very little, so most of the harvest we needed for canning came from our local Farmers’ Markets. (We always try to support local producers first!)

The kids’ play structure was started, with Gaby’s amazing design of the swing set, but the storage shed, wood shed, and playhouse got put on the backburner for next year. We put projects on hold mostly due to lack of funds (we try to always save for projects before we start them), though dealing with family and health issues over the summer did contribute.

Preparing for Winter

This will be our second winter in this house, and we’re still learning everything it takes to take to prep it for winter. Gaby only came home permanently in November 2016, so not a lot got done last fall. Thankfully, our winter was quite mild, so we were lucky in that respect. This year, we’re trying to stay ahead of the game.

The criteria for our list of fall chores comes together as follows: do we need it over the winter months and can we get to it in the snow. With this in mind, here is our list of things to do before winter hits:

  1. TWinter Tires Ready for Installationake winter tires out of storage (from under the deck) and make sure they’re ready for the season.
  2. Replace our garden tool line up with winter shovels and roof rakes.
  3. Change the sump pump hose so that it doesn’t freeze up again this winter. (Last March we had a lot of issues with this due to the size of the pipe, how it exited the house, and where it was buried in the ground. There were many times that we needed to melt it out with hot water from our washing machine line. Not fun!)
  4. Garden cleanup. Though we didn’t grow a conventional garden, we did plant some flower beds and such around the property. I find that spring cleanup is much easier if I do a little fall pruning first.
  5. Garden Clipped and Ready for SnowTurn the compost pile and make sure that it will be accessible in the snow (so we can continue to add to it as needed).
  6. Finish all the canning and preserving.
  7. Tidy the outdoor living areas, putting away patio furniture and any other toys and equipment.
  8. Wash the windows and screens (this is going to be much easier this year with my Norwex products!).
  9. Winterize hoses and all motorized tools (lawnmowers, pressure washers, etc.).
  10. Come late October/early November, put up the Christmas lights and decorations while it’s still warmer than -30°C. (Don’t worry, we usually only put them on after Katrina’s birthday at the end of November!)

We’re hoping that by getting everything done before the first snowfall, we can avoid issues that we’ve run into the past.

What do you guys do to prep for winter?


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