Ten Snow-Shoveling Tips for D.C.’ers

This is for the D.C. folks who might not understand some things about all this white stuff. Brought to you by the local chapter of “After-Southern-Snowstorm Northerners Operating Like Everyday”.

  1. Lift with your legs. Otherwise, you won’t get very far and you’ll be laid out on the couch, complaining all night.
  2. Perfect is the enemy of ‘good enough’. You don’t have to do the whole driveway. You don’t even need to get down to pavement. But make sure ‘good enough’ is actually good enough.
  3. Spread it around. It’s worth walking ten feet to toss the snow where it won’t be a problem. It’s worth making a special cutout just to walk that ten feet. And start at that far point so you’re walking less as you go. Future-you will thank you.
  4. Just do it. Remember that what you leave on Saturday becomes the “Indestructible Fortress of the Ice King” on Monday, once it all freezes up.
  5. Lift with your legs. Seriously.


    Oh, the weather outside is fri…ah, I’ve seen worse.

  6. It’s OK to shovel when it’s snowing. Shoveling in stages might mean more time…but it’s far less effort moving six inches every few hours than three feet after a day-and-a-half.
  7. Salt is for people first, not cars. Make sure you save the salting for the walkways, not the driveways. If your car can’t handle what you leave on the driveway (see #2), it shouldn’t be on the roads. Also, save your resources, because the Giant will be out of it until mid-February.
  8. Don’t just push it into the street. Really, that’s the worst, making it someone else’s problem (see #3). And karma comes quickly—the plows will just turn it into an ice hump blocking your drive. If you’re not part of the solution…
  9. Be prepared. Hoodie fleeces and running shoes (which might get you through a normal D.C. winter as you go from the Metro to your office) are no match for a waterproof ski jacket and lined boots, kid. Headphones are a good idea…as long as you can still hear the plows coming.
  10. Lift with your legs. I think you get it now.

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