Bryce’s Handy Guide to Snow Removal Procrastination

Having lived in Maine for the past decade and a half or so, I realize I have a lot more experience working with snow than most of the rest of you. (I’m looking at you, Arizona. And don’t think I’ve forgotten about Georgia or Texas, either.) Having just faced another round of removing more than a foot of snow this morning (yes, in April. Snow happens.), I thought it might be useful to the rest of you for me to fill you in on my personal approach to handling a lot of snow. As with many of my approaches to life’s challenges, it basically boils down to doing as little work as possible while still getting everything done that needs doing.

In the case of snow, this shouldn’t be all that complex. Snow falls from the sky. It starts. It stops. While there is a strong sentiment among some that you should do multiple passes of snow removal (shoveling, plowing, blowing, etc.), I stick with the most basic.

Once the snow stops, get rid of it.

Of course, this assumes that you’re not shoveling too much. As I recall, shoveling lots of snow at the same time is against the Geneva Convention, but maybe I got that mixed up at some point. If it’s not against it, it should be. Regardless, if you think you’re successfully going to shovel 20+ inches of snow from your driveway all at once, I know 20+ inches of snow that’s got a different idea. Also, your back will likely agree with it. So in that case, you’re going to be stuck doing it in manageable chunks.

(That was me my first year here in Maine. No snowblower. It was terrible.)

So to avoid that, get a snowblower if at all possible. If you’ve got one, remember that the rules that applied to shoveling don’t apply to blowing. For snowblowing, it all comes down to one simple maxim: as long as the snow isn’t deeper than the height of the front of your snowblower (the part the snow goes in), then just wait until the snow is done. With this in mind, make sure that front end is as tall as possible. In the storm a week or so ago, we ended up getting around 20 inches. Luckily, that was exactly as tall as my snow blower’s capacity for a single run, so I was just fine.

(What happens if you get more snow than that? You’ve got to make multiple passes with the snowblower. This is decidedly less than fun. However, tell me how this is any different than doing multiple snowblowing sessions. You’re still making . . . multiple passes with the snowblower.)

And that’s it. Just wait. Do it once. Of course, this also hinges on an important prerequisite to the approach: having a job that gives you snow days. And I guess I should have recognized I was writing from a place of privilege before I penned this little guide. Sorry about that . . .

Even then, the same basic principle applies. Getting rid of snow is one of the worst parts of snow. Do as little of it as absolutely necessary. I guarantee one thing with 100% certainty.

Sooner or later, it will just melt.

Leave a comment