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Winter is here, and that means snow for many areas of the country. And while some winters result in less white stuff than others, a lot of people can count on having at least one major snowstorm this season.

If your home is on the market, you have to be vigilant about shoveling your driveway, walkway, porch, etc., because you want the property to look good and be safe and accessible when potential buyers come for a showing.

With that in mind, here’s your guide to effective and safe snow shoveling.

It All Starts With the Shovel
There are a wide variety of snow shovels on the market, so choose the right one for you. First, pick one with the right length and weight, depending on your height and strength. There are also different types of blades (flat, rounded, metal, plastic, combination) and handles (wooden, fiberglass, plastic, metal). Some models are better at chipping away at ice and heavy snow, while others are lighter and easier on the back. 

Dress for Success
You want to stay warm while shoveling, so make sure you wear a hat, scarf and gloves. Because you’re moving your body, you may get warm as you shovel, so be sure to dress in layers. Wear a sweater or hoodie under your coat in case you get so warm you need to take your coat off. You can also remove your scarf if you get warm. Be sure to wear snow boots to keep your feet from getting wet.

Get Ready for a Workout
Before heading outside to shovel, make sure you eat a good breakfast and do some stretching. This is especially important for people who don’t exercise regularly. As you shovel, be sure to take breaks when necessary.

How to Shovel
If your street hasn’t been plowed yet, don’t start with the end of your driveway because when the plow does arrive, it will dump snow there and you’ll have to do it all over again. As you shovel, bend your knees and lift with your legs. It’s also a good idea to switch between shoveling right-handed and left-handed, changing your grip occasionally. For heavy snowfalls, don’t shovel to the ground. Instead, skim off a few inches at a time so that you’re not lifting too much snow at once.

Once you’ve cleared away all the snow, get inside and warm up with a hot chocolate or warm apple cider.