Kit out your home with cosy
Let’s face it, post-December, winter is unlikely to be anyone’s favourite season. It’s cold, rainy and dark the majority of the time. There’s a reason the most depressing day of the year is Blue Monday in mid-January − it’s because winter feels like it’s been dragging on for an eternity and we’re barely halfway through. But, there are some major perks to winter weather. It gives you an excuse to kit out your home with more plaid cushions, thick knitted blankets and faux fur throws than would be acceptable at any other point in the year. Take this opportunity to truly winterfy your home. Have pinecones in display bowls dotted around to help your home smell fresh and welcoming, or invest in a stylish draught excluder. Suitably invented during the Great Depression era (the one in 1929, not the one that happens every January), draught excluders can be as simple as a towel along the bottom of a door or can be as exotic posh cushions that slot in under the door itself.
Repeat the heat
After all the Christmas spending, everyone could benefit from slightly lower heating bills, but January is notoriously freezing, so what can you do to save a few pennies? Radiator panels are reflective panels that go onto the wall behind the radiator. They are relatively cheap, easy to install and can make sure you’re utilising every penny of heat your radiators are churning out. These panels reflect heat back into the room, so the room reaps the benefits rather than the wall! You can also use tin foil. Stick the shiny side so it’s facing the radiator and this will help the heat to bounce back into the room.
However, there’s no use sticking tin foil all over your wall if the heat is just going to be reflected back into the sofa. You might love having your sofa right up against the radiator, but when the time comes to get up, the rest of the room is going to feel much colder. Moving it away from the radiator slightly will allow the hot air to circulate around the room rather than being trapped behind. Same goes for curtains or drying clothes, by keeping things further away from radiators they’ll stop hogging all the heat, and the entire room will benefit.
Embrace winter smells
While commonly associated with the Christmas period, winter as a whole is definitely orange season! If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace, you can throw all manner of things on there to help keep your home snug, cosy and smelling amazing. Orange peels, cinnamon sticks, pinecones etc. If you don’t have a fire place, but still want your home to smell like wintery goodness, put a few peels, some cinnamon and vanilla extract in a pan or a slow cooker and simmer.
But why stop there? Winter can be a treat for all the senses. Cooking a thick winter stew, baking a fruit cake or mulling some wine will smell and taste just like winter − in a good way!
Vinegar your car
Is there anything less fun than getting up on a winter morning? Your bed is warm, the room is cold and it’s dark outside. You also might have to sacrifice 10 minutes extra in bed to go into the freezing cold and defrost the car. So what if there was a way to pre-emptively stop your windscreen from freezing over?
Mix three parts vinegar with 1 part water and put in a small spray bottle. Spray liberally over your windscreen, windows and back window the night before. In the morning you will (hopefully!) be greeted with a frost free car, or a thin layer of frost that easily disappears with the windscreen wipers. If you forget the night before, vinegar will dissolve the frost on contact so you won’t have to sit for what feels like an eternity, waiting for the car to warm up so you can get to work on time.