Some people are uberprepared for snowstorms. You know the type: They have shovels of all shapes and sizes (including one of those weird-looking “back-friendly” ones that I can’t imagine are any better for your back), their own supply of salt, probably even flares and a three-day supply of water. (I’m pretty sure my neighbor Warren has, like, a degree in snow removal. His sidewalk already is down to the concrete—why do all my snowpiles look messy and haphazard, while his have lots of right angles?—and his car looks like it could drive away, if only there weren’t a snowdrift in the middle of the street.)

Now I was raised in New England, so I have a shovel. Two, even. But for those of you who don’t, I took a quick spin around the house to see what other items could be used in an attempt to dig out.

After the jump: City Paper‘s guide to makeshift snow removal supplies.

Pots/pans: Everyone has at least one pot. Even college students. Pro: They’re small enough that you won’t break your back carrying the snow away. Con: They’re small enough that you’ll be spending approximately 15 hours digging out your wheels. Maybe don’t use the Calphalon ones.

Low-rise recycle bin: These plastic blue babies can be filled with snow (see “Pots/pans” above) and then carried and dumped out across the street, or on someone else’s car.

Kitchen mop: Another intrepid neighbor—she is a 76—made quite effective use of this implement to get the snow off her car the other day (me, I helped by using a shovel). She also brought out a broom. Let it be known that she is an employee of the federal government, and she was trying to go in to the office on Tuesday even though the government was shut down, so she could pick up a box of work. She brought the wrong one home, she said! How’s that for dedication?

Bucket: If you have a kitchen mop, you probably also have a matching bucket. Grab it. Use it like a pot or pan.

Trash can: I recommend a small plastic one of any shape, but I also found a round metal one from Ikea in my basement that I think would work quite nicely.

Kitchen spoon: I literally saw someone using one of these last weekend to free their car. From the progress they were making, I do not recommend this.

Plate attached to stick: Disclosure: I cannot vouch for this. In fact, it seems like an accident waiting to happen. But I found on the Internet a contraption consisting of a plate attached with duct tape to a stick. Go to town! Let me know how that goes for you!