So far, this winter has been pretty mild for much of the United States – and if you live on the east coast, it’s been downright WARM – but there’s no doubt that cold weather is on its way. Don’t you think it’s time to get prepared? Even if you’ve already been dealing with snow and ice, it’s never too late to make the season a little easier. Buzzfeed recently put together a list of tips and tricks, and it inspired us to pull together our favorites. Check them out and make this winter a whole lot easier with only a little effort!
- Get a humidifier.
The humble appliance helps you lower heating costs, preserve your wood furniture, keep your skin hydrated, stay healthy, and stop snoring. Basically, it’s your wintertime best friend. If you don’t have one yet— why?!
- Clean your windows.
Move this usual spring cleaning task to wintertime to make sure as much warming sun is streaming into your home as possible. You’ll experience less winter blues thanks to the natural light, and you’ll experience as much natural warmth as possible, making small-but-helpful dents in your heating bill.
- Load up on baking soda— and add it to your tub.
You know that winter’s going to wreak havoc on your skin, so head the problem off at the pass and take care of it all winter long with this frugal DIY solution. Adding a mix of baking soda and baby oil to your bath keeps your skin soft and healthy.
- Hack a DIY fire-starter with pinecones and old candles.
There’s nothing better than a roaring fire on a cold, cold night, so don’t get caught without a way to get those flames started. You don’t need anything fancy or expensive— just some pinecones, old candles, and the Crazy Russian Hacker.
- Learn some new warm beverage recipes . . .
Hot chocolate is great. Three months of it, though, gets a little boring, so use this winter as an opportunity to try out different kinds of warming beverages like Sweden’s blueberry blåbärssoppa, Canada’s London fog, Russian sbiten or Vietnamese coffee.
- . . . or update your old ones!
If, on the other hand, you can’t get enough of hot chocolate, use the extra time indoors to update your favorite recipes.
- Stop slipping and sliding . . .
Make your own ice melt using only three ingredients . . .
- . . . by making your own ice melt.
. . . or just two!
- Make your own ice scraper.
While we’re on the subject of ice, there’s an object probably floating around your home that makes the perfect, DIY ice scraper: old CD cases!
- Keep drafts out the DIY way.
Repurpose a favorite summertime toy – pool noodles! – and keep cold air out and warm air in with this DIY draft guard.
- Save your floors from wet, messy boots.
Make a homemade boot tray to give your winter footwear a safe place to drain. All you need are some baking trays to upcycle and cheap river rocks!
- Store your summer and autumn clothes without wasting space.
Those winter sweaters need a lot of room, so make some space by storing your summer and lighter fall clothing in vacuum-seal storage bags.
- Reorganize your scarves . . .
Another space-sucking winter item? Scarves! Keep them organized and kind of pretty by repurposing a shoe-organizer.
- . . . and all of your winter accessories.
Don’t have an extra shoe-organizer handy? Use a curtain rod! It works for hats and gloves, too, and it’s a great way to dry them out when they get weighed down by all the winter water.
- Look forward to spring with winter plantings.
Have some plants like spinach, parsley, soapwort or primrose that have to be started when the ground is white, not green? Plant them in recycle milk jugs for perfect miniature greenhouses!
- Prep for colds before they hit with a DIY tissue trash can.
Let’s be honest with ourselves— we’re going to get sick, and it’s not going to be pretty. And that sometimes means tissues everywhere, especially if you have kids. Make trash collecting a little easier by simply attaching an empty box to a full one for easy tossing.
- Keep your bike working for you.
You might not be able to ride your bike in wintertime, but you can still make it work for you! Mount it on a sturdy wall and it can function as an extra clothing or curtain rod.
- Snow-proof your bike tires . . .
Determined to keep riding your bike even in the snow? Make some DIY snow tires by wrapping zip ties around them.
- . . . AND your car tires.
Be sure you have the right car mat on hand to slip beneath your car tires if you ever need extra tracation.
- Insulate your windows with bubble wrap.
It’ll block your view, but it WON’T block the light. (After all, there’s not much to see when everything’s hibernating, right?) Get the large bubble version for as much sunshine and clarity as possible, and then just attach it to your windows using water. It won’t stain or damage your windows, and you can reuse the same bubble wrap winter after winter.
Feeling encouraged and looking for even more ways to prep? Head on over to Buzzfeed and check out their original list for even more ideas. Have you ever used any of these tips before? Which one will you be trying first?