Guide to Preparing for a Move to the Country

Moving to the country is an exciting time for those who have dreamed of the peace and solitude the country brings. Communing with nature, growing your own food, and taking leisurely walks up old country lanes may be your idea of bliss. But are you ready for what it really takes to make the move to the country?

If you are moving to a northern climate, a snow shovel or snow scoop will quickly become your best friend. Make sure you purchase one that is sturdy and is big enough to move lots of snow. Check your local hardware store for a quality shovel. This is not the time to save money on a flimsy plastic shovel that will break under the weight of wet snow, most likely in the midst of a storm.

A snow blower is great for removing snow from large areas, but is not necessary. Many people in the country make a living during the winter from plowing driveways. These people are out and about at the first sign of a storm and are eager to gain a new customer. Ask your neighbors who plows their driveway and contact them well before snow season to make arrangements for plowing your driveway after every storm.

Do not assume that because you have hired someone to plow for you that you do not need a shovel. You do. Most people in the country park their vehicles in their driveway. You will need a shovel to clear steps or around vehicles after a storm. Even if you have a garage and do not intend to park your vehicle in the driveway, you will still need to shovel snow from the doorways and around your garage.

In the event of an emergency, you may need to shovel out your vehicle before your driveway has been plowed. Then, of course, there is the inevitable snow left by the snowplow that ends up in the mouth of your driveway. You will need a snow shovel to keep this cleared.

Emergency lighting. During those raging northeasters that will inevitably bless your presence in the country, there is a good chance you will lose electricity, at least for a few hours. Having a good source of emergency lighting, like a Coleman Lantern, is invaluable. The Coleman lantern provides an immediate source of light, is easy to operate, and is economical, too.

Flashlight. A good flashlight is vital. The Coleman WideBeam flashlight is a great flashlight that provides a wide beam of light and also doubles as a lantern. The drawback is that it operates on batteries. If your batteries run low, you are without light. You may want to purchase a rechargeable flashlight that will be ready anytime you need it.

A portable battery booster. On those subzero winter mornings when you car simply refuses to start; a portable battery booster can save the day. You are in the country now, a call to the garage for service may leave you waiting for hours. Having your own battery booster will provide quick and reliable service that will get you to work on time. These range in price from a little over $60 to $350.

Choose one that is made by a reputable company like Black and Decker that you can charge overnight. Some feature the added benefit of an outlet to run a small electrical appliance in the event of electrical loss. These are great for running a radio or a lamp.

A battery operated radio is a must have for those winter storms that threaten to cut off your electrical source. You will need a radio for weather updates and school closings.

An alternate heating source that runs on either propane or kerosene for those times when the electricity is out, or to supplement the main heating source during those cold winter nights, is important. A kerosene heater is great for an emergency, but most kerosene heaters are not designed to be used inside the home for more than a few hours. A good propane space heater, like the Glo Warm Ventless Propane Heater can be purchased for under $200 and is well worth the investment. Without an alternate heating source, temperatures in your home can drop to dangerous levels in a few hours, freezing pipes and making you uncomfortable.

Lawn mower and Weed Whacker. You will need both to care for your yard. Depending on the size of your yard, a push mower may be all you need. If you have a large area to mow, you may wish to purchase a riding mower. You will need the weed whacker to clean up around foundations, around plants and shrubs, and any other area the lawnmower can not reach.

Ladder. You will need a ladder for reaching the upper portions of your home, to get your cat out of a tree, or to simply clean the gutters.

You need a basic set of tools for those quick household repairs. This should include hammers, a chargeable screwdriver, a good wrench or socket set, a hack saw and power saw (or at least a hand saw), screws, nuts, bolts, and nails.

Keep in mind that when you live in the country, you may not be near a shopping center and can not simply run out to the store when the need arises. Local country stores generally close by 8 pm and you may be miles from a store that is open past that time.Purchasing these basic items now will provide you with the tools you need to maintain your new home in the country and provide a safe and healthy home in any weather.

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