You never spend more time at home than you do over wintertime. With bad weather outside it’s always easy and tempting to stay in instead of going out. It’s important, therefore, to make sure that your home is a healthy and warm place to be this winter. Here are some top tips on how to make sure that your home is as nice as it can possibly be this time of year!
How To Declutter
Looking around your house, it feels exhausting to think about how much there is to do. Because you spent a lot of time outside during the summer, it’s easy to let your house get a little messy simply because you’re paying less attention to it. The best way to declutter is to do it slowly and gradually. Here are some tips to help.
What is clutter? Look around at what’s lying on your worktops and surfaces and think about what doesn’t add value to your life. Those things are what you don’t need and what you can discard. The rest can be tidied away.
Create a system. Tackle one room at a time, and take three bags in with you – keep, bin, and storage. When you’re done with the room and it looks a lot less cluttered, go through the bags. Put away everything that you want to keep in easily accessible areas, and add the storage items to boxes or whatever storage space you have – whether that’s your loft or basement. With the binned items, either trash them or give them away to friends or thrift stores.
If you have less time than that, tackle only one surface at a time, like your kitchen counter or your coffee table. The main communal areas of your house are the most important to keep tidy – the rest can be done more slowly in your own time.
How To Keep Healthy At Home
It’s hard to make sure that you stay healthy over the winter months. Keeping fit is tough when it’s frosty outside so you can’t go for your usual early morning runs, and you don’t feel like going out in the dark evening to the gym. But that’s okay, because you can use your own home to stay fit!
Yoga is good for both your mind and your body. Check out Yoga With Adriene on YouTube – she’s the top-subscribed yoga instructor on the whole site. During the winter your back tends to tense up if you’re cold and shivering, so you might be suffering from more back pain than usual. Doing a yoga workout at home will help solve this problem.
Take the stairs! You can do this at work too, or anywhere that you’re accustomed to using an elevator instead of the steps. When you’re at home, run up and down the stairs a couple of times to increase your heart rate and drop some calories.
Do a workout. Research short workouts online. Whether you want to venture outside to try out Couch to 5k or whether you’d rather stay at home and do a three minute abs exercise, there’s something out there that’ll suit everyone.
Eat healthily. Research which fruits and vegetables are in season this time of year and add them to your daily diet. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut of eating mostly stodgy filling food this time of year because it’s more warming than the salads you were used to eating in the summer, but it’s important to make sure that your food is still fresh and healthy. Add sweet potato to your diet and have it alongside your usual mashed potatoes, and indulge in clementines and grapes.
How To Update Your House (On A Budget)
Looking around at your house now, you might see areas that are a little more worn or in need of repair that you didn’t notice over the summer. Right before Christmas it’s impossible to justify spending too much money on your house, so instead consider smaller ways to spruce up your home.
Add small touches like new pillows on your couch or new rugs. If you add them in a new color or pattern, your room will be immediately changed. Stick with neutral walls so you can change the whole look of your room quickly.
Look in antiques stores and thrift stores for pieces. You can find some excellent new items in these stores that you can base a whole room around. Buy a new chair that you can reupholster in your choice of material, and get some funky vintage ornaments to place on your surfaces.
Paint an accent wall. If you don’t want to have to move all your furniture out of a room, painting one wall a new color is a great way to give your space a brand new look. If your walls are cream or white, a purple accent wall can add richness and intimacy, while a pale blue wall will be peaceful and serene. A new color can change a room’s mood in an instant.
How To Make Your Home Safe
Admittedly you’re a lot less likely to leave your windows and doors open this time of year, but it’s important to feel safe and secure in your home.
Update your security system to make sure that if anyone tries to break in, an alarm will go off and your neighbors will be immediately alerted. Check out companies like Frontpoint Security online to decide which is the best fit for you. Once you’ve got your system installed, make sure that you have a decal in your window to show opportunistic intruders that your house would be a bad choice for them to attempt to break into.
Add security lights around your property. If you use lights with motion sensors, you’ll be alerted to any possible movements around your house. If you have vegetation and shrubbery near your windows and doors, cut them back, so possible intruders would have fewer places to hide.
Make sure no one knows if you’re going away. You might be planning to visit friends and relatives for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but don’t put any sign of this on social media. Post pictures when you’re back instead!
How To Keep Your House Warm
This time of year it’s important to make sure that you’re cozy and happy in your home. With snow, rainfall and heavy winds outside, you want to be warm and comfortable inside. Here are some tips to ensure that happens.
Check for drafts. Look at your doors and windows to make sure that there are no draughts coming in – hold up a lit candle to see if there are any breezes making their way through cracks. If there are, invest in a draught excluder and get your window frames fixed.
Maintain your home. Make sure that your gutters are clear so there are less possibilities of any leaks into your home, and get your boiler regularly serviced. Not having central heating or hot water would be the worst case scenario over the colder winter months!
Make sure your insulation is up to scratch. Your house loses a huge amount of heat through the walls and the roof, so buy cheap insulation wadding to improve this. It will also help you cut down on your energy bills! You should also wrap your pipes in insulation to ensure that they don’t freeze over in the cold weather.
Check your roof. Make sure that there are no slates or tiles coming loose and that there are no holes that could cause damp or leaks. Try to do this as early as possible and avert the issue before it becomes one.
How To Create The Festive Spirit
Even if you’re not hosting any Christmas festivities in your own home, it’s still important to decorate to allow your family to enjoy the warm glow of the festive spirit.
Put lights in your windows. You can string fairy lights around the inside of your window frames to create a glittering glow that your family can enjoy – and your neighbors and any passers-by too! You can also hang lights in your garden if you have any suitable trees or plants. Use a ladder to hang them around the edges of your house and doors, but make sure you’re careful!
Add decorations to your home. The tree is decorated every year but remember that there are other decorations you can add too! Fill a glass vase with pine cones and red baubles for a festive centerpiece, and hang bells and tinsel around your picture frames. You can make an elegant wreath that smells of pine to hang on your front door.
Involve your family in your decorations. We all enjoy Christmas but it’s tempting to make sure everything’s perfect without remembering one important thing – family. Take your kids to pick out a tree decoration each every year, so that your tree becomes personalized and quirky. You can also make paper chains together to hang from the ceilings, and make pomander balls with oranges and cloves to make your house fragrant and Christmassy.
*This post was contributed and does not reflect entirely the views of Hints and Tips Blog.