Saturday, October 22, 2022

12 Things to Do Before Winter Arrives

Winter is Coming

A view of blue sky and fall foilage from a patio under a pergula
We've had an unusually long season of warm autumn days and beautiful fall colors this year.

Today is October 22, 2022, and we have had a spectacular, unusually long autumn in Montana. It is about to come to an abrupt end, as this weekend is rainy, temperatures are plummeting, and precipitation will likely turn to snow by this afternoon or evening.

Thanks to the weather app on my phone, I realized our fall season was nearing an end and I began winterizing this past week. I reviewed a blog post I once wrote about chores that should be completed before freezing weather sets in, and I’m happy to report I’ve accomplished most of the tasks on my list.

It is a handy guide, so I’m sharing sections of that old post here with you today. I hope you find it helpful.

Snow covering a fence post in Montana

October 6, 2015: 
The weather recently reminded us that winter in Montana is almost here. On Saturday the temperature never climbed above 40 (Fahrenheit), it was damp and overcast, and the wind was fiercely cold. At one point there were even snow flurries, and icy bits hailed down. I was wishing I had remembered to wear long underwear under my jeans, as I watched my son's team play soccer.

Much of this week is supposed to be sunny, with temperatures in the 70's during the day. I am happy we will still have some warmer weather, however we have been fairly warned - the snow will soon fly and temperatures will plummet. 

I came up with a list of 12 things. Perhaps you should consider doing some of them as well.

snow on rocks and trees in Montana.

Twelve Things to Do Before Winter

1. Have the furnace (and fireplaces) cleaned and checked, and replace the filters.

2. Pick the last of the tomatoes, and get the garden beds ready for winter.

3. Mow the lawn once more (if needed)  and put the lawnmower away.

4. Switch to snow tires as soon as your state allows (In Montana we can put our studded tires on as early as October 1st!)

5. Bring in the outdoor furniture and hoses, or cover what is left outside.

6. Be sure the gutters are clean and free of leaves and debris.

It would be hard to clean gutters in winter weather.

7. Buy some sand, to sprinkle down for traction when the driveway gets icy.

8. If your kids are still growing, check to be sure they have hats, gloves, boots and coats that fit. 

9. Be sure your windshield wipers work well, and washer fluid is topped off. Put an extra set of gloves and a blanket in the car.

10. Have the underground sprinkler system blown out and shut off before the first hard freeze.

11. Put our flannel sheets back on the beds.

12. Decorate for fall - and enjoy the fall colors and warmer temperatures while they last!

Fall colors in Montana are beautiful

Need a quick reminder? Here's an infographic of some things to remember to do before winter:

This infographic list will help you remember to complete some of the tasks that need to be done before winter.

What have I missed? 
What else is on your Get Ready for Winter to-do list?


December will be here before we know it. If you hang up holiday lights, check out this post, where I recommend a tool to make that task an easy one: The Easy Way to Hang Christmas Lights.

Unlike other years, most of the tomatoes in my garden ripened on the vine this year. If you still have some you hope to ripen, perhaps you could try the trick I tried here: How to Easily Ripen Tomatoes in Your Garage.



  1. Our winters aren't as harsh as yours, and we've still got several months before there's a chance of snow. These are all great suggestions & I'll be sharing them!

    1. I hope you find them helpful Lana - and that your winter is mild this year!

  2. Love it.
    Our winters are no where near as harsh as yours. Snow is a rareity.
    Just the same as we lurch (too fast) into the sweaty season I am very happy to hear that other people are preparing for cooler temperatures.
    I need to start my vegie garden rather than shutting it down. And the gutters most definitely need cleaning...

    1. And I will be looking forward to hearing about your warm temperatures, as we begin to shiver here!

  3. All good advice, Susan. I would your Christmas shopping now and you can sit around and enjoy the fire with a nice hot drink later on while everyone else is running around in the cold trying to find the right gifts for every one. I did try this one year. However, I just kept shopping right up until the day and spent twice as much money!!!! I do wish I would shop earlier, though. I think I am going to try it again this year and then sit in front of the fire!

    1. I am not good at getting ready for Christmas until the season is upon us, I'm afraid. It does make sense to do so, and then be relaxed over the holiday, but my experience has always been that I will always think of "one more thing" to do. Let me know when you start shopping Lynn!

  4. Great list! Luckily in central IL we don't need snow tires often enough to have them. Though every once in a while it would be nice. I hate driving in snow and ice!

    1. I don't love winter driving either - but am glad I have my winter tires when I do!

  5. Great list Susan! I miss the snow actually. Well sometimes. We got a lot of maintenance accomplished this week. We were already cleaning up from the storms so we went ahead and put a lot of things away. I would also add to check out the trees in your yard. Well around the house. My husband cuts down trees as a side line and I can't tell you how much damage we've seen from ice making branches break and hit houses or cars and such. A little prevention goes a long way!

    1. Good tip Rena!! And I hope you didn't have too much storm damage!


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