Remember the Planet Hoth arctic scene in the sci-fi classic, The Empire Strikes Back, when Han Solo (played by Harrison Ford) killed a large beast of burden called a tauntaun, sliced open its underbelly, and pushed the unconscious Luke Skywalker (played by Mark Hamill) into the carcass to keep him warm until he is revived? Luckily, we in real life do not have to endure the bone-chilling experience of those “reel people”. But we do have seasons of unforgiving coldness, making us long for warm summers in Hawaii or perhaps an island paradise in the Bahamas.
For most of us in the northern hemisphere, the realistic thing to do is to prepare since winter is almost here and there are a few months left to prepare for the snow and chills of the cold season. Many streets and roads would have knee or even waist-deep snow, forcing people to stay indoors. Ideally, every home is nice, warm, and comfortable enough to hibernate into once the temperature really drops so low. However, even the most luxurious of homes can have some inconveniences like being too cold in some rooms, or have floors that make you feel like walking on sheets of ice. So, before the first snowfalls, why not prepare your home and make it warm and cozy for you and your family. Here are a few ideas to make your house or apartment winter-ready:
Stop the Draft
Inside the home, nothing will give you a chill than a sudden draft that seeps in through a window crack or under the front door. Even in many one-bedroom apartments with complete utilities including a heater, even a slight opening can bring the freezing wind inside. It is good to check all around the apartment or house to see where these gaps are. To prevent a draft, just go to the local home supply shop and buy weather strips. These cheap draft stoppers are rolled like packing tape, so they are very easy to line up against windows and door frames. The stoppers are usually 25 to 35 millimeters in width, which allows them to fit in tight corners, edges, and gaps. With a stopper, a quick tweak to stop a draft under a window seal or door is to just lay down small rugs or even an old rolled up sweater.
Change the Bedding
As December draws near, it is now the best time to put out the unused wool and other thick fabric comforters, bed sheets, and blankets. If these are not enough, try to purchase microfiber sheets or a good quality flannel blanket to add more warmth to the bed. Before the lowest temperatures of the winter give you the shivers, go out to buy an electric bed warmer that will make the bed comfortably warm those long cold, snowy nights.
Keep the Floors Warm
Another must-do during the winter season is to keep the floors warm. The old and effective way of doing this is to put rugs on wide floor surfaces that you usually walk on. This needs to be done especially if the house or apartment is tiled or has a cement floor. A more effective way is to invest a little money on electric floor heating mats that can be installed under wooden planks, tiles, vinyl, and carpets. The main advantage of these electric floor heating mats is that the temperature can be programmed or set, the warmth spans the entire floor area and removes cold spots inside the home. It is also safer compared to the traditional radiator home heater that has hot metal surfaces that could burn skin, making it a hazard especially if there are young children playing inside the house.
Decorate with Indoor Plants
Adding a dash of green in your interiors is always a good idea. Lush, green plants will always remind you of summer or spring, making the biting cold winters a little more bearable. Indoor plants have also been shown to help relieve stress, improve one’s mood, release oxygen for breathing even as it absorbs the carbon dioxide that we exhale. So more than just being an ornament, indoor plants are real, effective aids to health that is perfect to chase away the gloominess of a really harsh winter.
A Cup of Java or Tea with Great Company
After following the four suggestions above, why not invite some family or friends over for a cup of hot java or tea. The warm liquid really helps to keep the body from dropping in temperature. With a few laughs and some stories shared with fondness, wintertime can become a time for keeping our hearts warm as well.