Whether you’re in the Midwest where it’s only below zero a few weeks out of the year, or further north where single digit temperatures are normal throughout the winter season, staying warm and cozy is important. And, while major projects like replacing all your insulation, buying a new heater, or redoing all your windows will definitely help your heating bills, there are some simpler solutions for staying warm this winter.
Here are some old-fashioned tips for keeping things cozy without spending a fortune on heating.
Dress in layers
I know people who keep their houses at 60°F and wear hats and gloves inside as they snuggle under a blanket. That’s a bit much for me, but that doesn’t mean that you have to wear a T-shirt and shorts around the house in winter, as one of my roommates did when I was in college. Instead, opt for layers, like a sweatshirt or sweater over your shirt and go for warmer fabrics so that the occasional drafts won’t bother you as much.
Close off rooms
There’s no sense in heating rooms that no one is using, so if you have extra rooms, close them up and keep the heat in the parts of the house that you’re actually using. Keep in mind this will make those rooms a little chilly, so make sure that it’s really a room you’re not using (the bathroom might be worth keeping open, for example, but an extra bedroom less so).
Keep your feet warm
Everyone has probably heard that you lose most of your heat through your head and your feet. While the head theory had been debunked, your extremities are the first parts to become cold. Keep your feet warm with some fluffy socks and you’ll immediately feel warmer.
Utilize your curtains
If you have curtains or blinds, then you should close them up at night to help prevent drafts and keep the heat in the home. By contrast, when the sun is out you can open them up and let the sun heat up the room a little as well. Also, investing in some heavier curtains is a good idea as well, as they will prevent heat loss better than sheer curtains. My mother used to have two sets of curtains: sheer for summer and heavy for winter for this exact reason.
Heat up the bed
This doesn’t work for me, personally, but I know plenty of people who heat up the bed instead of trying to heat the entire room. Buy a heated blanket, or place some heated water bottles or rice packs at the foot of the bed to help warm it up. Of course, that’s going to make it a little hard to leave your cozy bed in the morning, but at least the shock of cool air will wake you up!
Use the kitchen more
When it’s cold outside is when I do all my baking. Fresh bread, cookies, sweets, meat loaf… you name it. The oven produces a staggering amount of heat, and can be used to help heat up the house a little. I wouldn’t recommend just turning it on and leaving it alone, but since you have to cook anyway you might as well kill two birds with one stone, right? Some hot tea or cocoa is also a great way to help you stay cozy and warm.
Put rugs on the floor
If you have hardwood or tile floors (or even if you have tightly-woven carpet) putting some cushy rugs on the floor can help the room keep its heat and stay warmer longer.
It can be really tempting to just sit around when it’s cold outside, but sitting still will lower your body temperature and make you feel colder than you should. Get up and move around the house to get your blood flowing again and help stay warm.
What do you do to stay warm in the winter? Leave me a note below!!