In Chicago, Willie Johnson advised caution when clearing heavy, wet snow off sidewalks and driveways.
"Take your time because this kind of snow they call heart-attack makers," he told CNN affiliate WLS-TV. "I mean, it will kill you."
Others left the shoveling for later, opting instead to break out the sleds.
"I love it," said John Harris, grinning from ear to ear in his Notre Dame stocking cap. "This is Chicago. This is what it should be like."
In Texas, some people had to resort to unconventional tools to get the job done. CNN iReporter Julie Swift of Plainview, Texas -- where 2 or 3 inches fell -- said she used a plastic school chair.
"The guy was shoveling next door for an older lady. I thought he had a real shovel," she said. "But he had a lid to a big plastic tub. That was funny."
Outside Bradley's Toronto house, the din of shovel hitting concrete broke the early morning quiet.
"I have not made tremendous progress," said Bradley, an elementary school hall monitor. "I'm almost to my car."