The Lazy Man’s Way to Clear Snow

Monday, Dec 21, 2009 11:30am  |  COMMENTS (17)

Leave it to an architect to design an elegant method of snow removal. Baristanet friend Frank Gerard Godlewski lives in a fabulous glass house set in the woods in Essex Fells, a wonderful place to make a fire and watch the snow fall. But he also has a steep driveway, treacherous in the snow, which connects to his house by a bridge. The solution?

Blue tarps.

This is my lazy/stingy idea to clear the snow almost effortlessly in a half hour – the tarp and planks method! Before the snow, I lay out the blue plastic tarps that are held down at the corners with some bricks. Afterwards the snow rolls and sweeps away while you are pulling off the tarps that have like a non stick surface. The steepness of my driveway aids in a “snowballing” effect. As you can see, I even leave the fall leaves…apparently I have “total driveway denial.”

The entire post-storm operation took 30 minutes. Bravo, Frank!


  1. POSTED BY Generically named Mike  |  December 21, 2009 @ 11:54 am

    What a great idea! I’ll have to remember that one when I eventually have a house.

  2. POSTED BY MellonBrush  |  December 21, 2009 @ 12:09 pm

    Frank, put this operation on Youtube and you’ll become an instant celebrity!

  3. POSTED BY walleroo  |  December 21, 2009 @ 12:18 pm

    Frankly, I’m a bit disappointed that there’s no video of Frank actually pulling that tarp aside. Maybe we can set up a shoot for the next snowstorm? Hopefully it’ll be a bigger one — I’d love to see how you move that tarp with 3 feet of heavy snow on top.

  4. POSTED BY Jim  |  December 21, 2009 @ 12:44 pm

    I think he needs a second tarp to remove the layer of leaves. Wet leaves are no friend of traction, either.

  5. POSTED BY profwilliams  |  December 21, 2009 @ 1:02 pm

    The lazy man’s way to clear snow is to PAY SOMEONE ELSE to do it.

  6. POSTED BY Spiro T. Quayle  |  December 21, 2009 @ 1:15 pm

    The lazier man moves to Florida and swaps snowshoveling for clouds of blood sucking insects.
    So he closes all the windows and turns the a/c on, eats chips and watches the game.

  7. POSTED BY croiagusanam  |  December 21, 2009 @ 1:54 pm

    The canny French-Canadians up Montreal way use movable tunnels for the driveway, putting them up in October and down again and stored away in the spring.
    They stand in the window contented, smoking cigarettes and sucking down poutine while the snow piles harmlessly atop their carshelters.
    Seems easier than a tarp, anyway. And MUCH easier than shoveling. Though Spiro’s idea is best.

  8. POSTED BY Right of Center™  |  December 21, 2009 @ 2:02 pm

    “They stand in the window contented, smoking cigarettes and sucking down poutine while the snow piles harmlessly atop their carshelters.”
    They watch the snow for 6 or 8 hours and then go blow their brains out.

  9. POSTED BY walleroo  |  December 21, 2009 @ 2:03 pm

    This is the same fgg who posts only once in a blue moon but when he does it’s a gem, right? I’m inclined to give his idea more consideration than anything from the rest of you knuckleheads, always carping about something. Though right now eating chips and watching the game sounds really, really good.

  10. POSTED BY jerseygurl  |  December 21, 2009 @ 2:11 pm

    The lazy woman’s way is to assume the husband will do it.

  11. POSTED BY Sandy  |  December 21, 2009 @ 2:20 pm

    Okay, 2+2=5 ?
    He lays down the tarp. Fine. Now then it snows we will say 5-6 inches. I do not see how it is possible to roll up the tarp with that much snow ON IT. Probably impossible to pull that huge tarp outta the way, even and he looks like he has a huge driveway, so, how many tarps and how many “pullers” or “rollers” are employed? Mine is a 5 car driveway, how many tarps do I need to purchase?
    I offer a better idea. Trade that Saab in for a Jeep and ditch the tarps. You could get a hernia puilling that thing.

  12. POSTED BY croiagusanam  |  December 21, 2009 @ 5:39 pm

    Before blowing their brains out, they lay down a tarp so as to spare the madame the unpleasant clean-up.

  13. POSTED BY NJ_Cher  |  December 21, 2009 @ 9:09 pm

    ProfWms says: “The lazy man’s way to clear snow is to PAY SOMEONE ELSE to do it. ”
    No, because one still has to work to pay the guy with the plow.
    Maybe a better title for this technique is “work smart, not hard.”

  14. POSTED BY walleroo  |  December 21, 2009 @ 9:24 pm

    The more I think about it, the more I like this item, and the more I like Frank. Anybody who will go through that much trouble to save an ounce or two of work is my kind of guy. This should be a regular feature: Lazy Man’s Guide to Baristaville, or somesuch. (Note to Baristas: I’ll waive my usual 15 percent royalty for this idea.)

  15. POSTED BY Iceman  |  December 22, 2009 @ 9:00 am

    The Iceman got his bride an ergonomically designed snow shovel to take the stress off of the back. But when I gave it to her she said “I didn’t married to shovel snow”. Well, now I have a brand new ergonomically designed snow shovel and an achy back.

  16. POSTED BY State Street Pete  |  December 22, 2009 @ 1:33 pm

    I do the same thing but I just put the tarp over our two cars in the driveway. When the snow is over, if the wind hasn’t blown most of it off, you just lift from one side and it all slides off.

  17. POSTED BY frankgg  |  December 22, 2009 @ 2:15 pm

    My steep driveway curves down into a carport so there is really no way out for a snowplow. For about $75. I could have a plow bury my cars into the carport ‘till spring thaw. No one wants the job of shoveling it (I’ve searched ) and I totally agree. I’m afraid that if I put down salt the deer will just eat it and more and more will come. So far, the tarps work fine and in this case, the steepness and gravity help to avalanche the snow off to the side and to slide further down the hill. Please do be careful if you try this technique…the snow on the tarps is very very slippery (when you walk on it) . …but it doesn’t stick so its easy to maneuver.

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