February 23, 2021

How to Shovel Snow like a Pro

Sergio Rodriguez

Winter in Michigan during a Pandemic can get pretty boring. But fortunately, we got massive snowstorms to keep us entertained! Top it all off with 10 inches of snow and things can get pretty hectic at home. Like most Americans, you probably don’t own a snowblower or hire a professional service to dig yourself out of snow.

The average household has two options: You can hire a professional service that will cost you more than you are willing to pay (due to equipment costs, payroll fees, and storage), or you can do the work yourself.

So… I decided to write up some tips for those DIY people out there.


There are 3 key things you need to shovel your own driveway: Warm clothes, snow shovel, and muscle. It is extremely important to wear appropriate clothes if you plan to be outside for an extended amount of time. Remember, you can always remove layers if it gets too hot, but be prepared in case it gets too cold, and take breaks when needed. I recommend snow boots, snow pants (or jeans), a hat that covers your ears, and gloves. The gloves serve two purposes, to keep hands and fingers warm, but also to prevent calluses from the friction between your skin and the shovel.

Make sure you have a steel reinforced snow shovel. Okay, so it doesn’t need to be steel reinforced, but it needs to be sturdy enough to handle the icy bottom layer of the snow, especially if left overnight. A simple plastic shovel will break and make your job a lot harder, plus throwing away all that plastic is bad for the environment!

Last but not least, make sure you have the physical stamina required to do this kind of work. If you are looking to skip the gym today, this is it! Snow shoveling is intense, requires multiple breaks, and will burn a lot of calories. If you can not perform this work yourself, ask another family member or hire a ToDoolie helper, We'd be happy to help within our serviceable area.


Before you go outside make sure to stretch your legs, your arms, and your back. You will not regret stretching, but you will certainly regret not stretching. Pushing your body to perform work in extreme weather conditions is hard on the body, and ensuring you have warmed your muscles up before getting to work will help you prevent physical injury.

3. Legs>Back

So you are not fully stretched, fully clothes, and fully committed to the snow shoveling job. The next step is to pick up the snow in the most energy efficient and safe for your body. Lift with your legs, not with your back. This is a pretty standard tip you get at the gym when you are learning how to squat. The amount of pressure a shovel could exert on your back could exceed 100 lbs. If you use your back to lift this weight, especially if you have not stretched, could mean a direct trip to the hospital, or perhaps weeks of physical therapy.

So there you have it! The guide on how to shovel your driveway and survive these unprecedented times.

At ToDoolie, our goal is to help homeowners get stuff done around the house. We connect you with locally vetted young people to help with everything on your to-do list. From outdoor work such as mulching or lawn care, or if you need an extra hand with your next move or garage reorganization project, ToDoolie can help!

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