As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing much worse than winter. I might sound like I’m complaining, but it’s too damn cold!
Summer is my season, but we can’t stop the steady march of the cold through the year, so I’ve developed some pretty neat tricks to keep myself, and my space, warm in the winter.
For Your House:
Let’s start with your house, because nobody wants to spend a fortune on heating. What tricks can you use?
1. Double Your Blankets
It might make it much harder to get out of bed, but one of the first things you want to do to keep warm is double up your blankets. Some warming fabrics like wool or flannel, or even a down doona, is a great place to start. Invest in cheaper blankets, so you don’t pay out in chills and expensive heating!
2. Let The Light In
During winter, if the sun is out, your curtains should be open! Let the light stream in, because not only will it lift your mood, it will warm those rooms. But remember, at night, your curtains should be shut, or that precious heat will be leaking out the windows. If you’re desperate to keep it in, heavier curtains are the answer.
3. Move Furniture
If you’ve got radiators in your house, think very carefully about where your furniture goes. In the summer, it isn’t a problem, but in the winter, it can help to rearrange your house to make sure your furniture is facing those radiators head on. Heat me up, Scotty!
4. Draft Proofing
Wind is a hassle, but cold wind is a nightmare. It’s also chipping away at the little warm haven you’ve created for yourself. So get your drafts under control. Draft stoppers (or even rolled up towels) at the foot of doors will do wonders for keeping wind out, and keeping heat in!
5. Romantic Surrounds
If you’re a hopeless romantic, you’re going to love this one. To warm up your room, especially if it’s on the small side, light some of those scented candles that have been clogging up your house. You need to keep a close eye on them (obviously, they can be a fire hazard), but you’ll be amazed just how much heat they can generate.
6. Rug Up Your House
Got tiles or floorboards at home? During winter, area rugs are your new best friend! Tiles and floorboards can get freezing, making you way colder than you need to be. A nice shaggy rug snuggles with your feet, and keeps you toasty!
7. Alfoil The Wall
For those with radiators, this tip is definitely one to consider. Radiators might face out, but the heat they generate hits the wall too, and soaks through. By placing alfoil (or radiator reflector) on the wall behind the radiator, you get warmer for the same amount of electricity used. Now, that’s a hot bargain.
8. Get Those Doors Open!
I definitely don’t mean your external doors, but I do mean your shower door! Exhibitionists will love this, because showering with the door open can warm up your house! It’s also a way to add humidity to the air, and stave off that dry feeling from artificial heating.
9. Air Dry Clothes
Another way to increase humidity in your house (which actually makes you feel warmer!) is to air dry your clothes. Not only are you saving on your dryer bill, but you’re getting toasty as you go. Now, where’s my clotheshorse?
Once you’ve warmed up your house, it’s time to keep yourself nice and toasty. What’s the best way to beat the chill?
10. Tea and Coffee
There is nothing better for a cold body than a warm beverage. Whether your choice is steaming tea or piping coffee, a nice big cup of this will definitely spread the warmth. If you’re worried about too much caffeine, swap your normal choice for green or fruit teas.
A root that produces a hot, fragrant kitchen spice, ginger is also a perfect way to heat yourself up with some zing! Grate it into your tea, or add it into your porridge, or even add it to infused water, it has a delightful warming effect on the body. You can even put this into your food!
12. Warm Foods
Speaking of foods, if you want to stay warm in winter, you’ll want it hot all the time. Ditch the cold salads for now, there’s no reason you can’t eat a warm meal three times a day. Have oatmeal for breakfast, a toasted sandwich (or warm roasted veggie salad) for lunch, and a soup for dinner, and stay belly warm all day long!
13. Bake and Cook
To get those warming foods, you’ll need to cook. That’s perfect, as it plays a role in keeping you warm. So during winter, although you’re watching the waistline, you also want to run that oven. Bake roast dinners, break or healthy cakes and muffins, and let the smells, and the warmth, flow through the house.
When it comes to dressing, winter is all about the layers. Several thin layers are actually much better than one thick layer, as they trap the warm heat close to your body. It also means that when you’re moving between inside and outside, you can just peel yourself as required!
15. Tops and Bottoms
Heat escapes from all sorts of places on your body, but a lot of it seems to get out from the top of your head, and the bottoms of your feet. Combat this by snuggling your feet in some nice thick socks, and donning a beanie. Your brain and toes will love you for it!
16. Little Extras
An all-over feeling of warmth is contingent on the details. Here, I’m talking about gloves and scarves. You’d be surprised just how much of a difference they can make, so don’t underestimate them!
17. Hot Water Bottle
Hot water bottles aren’t just good for cramps, they work wonders on the cold! Put them in your bed 15 minutes before you jump in yourself, particularly at the bottom where your feet rest, or just hug them close. Remember to wrap them in a cover though, as they can burn!
One of the best things you can do for your body to keep warm is to exercise. Just moving around the house, whether it’s running up the stairs, doing some rigorous bedtime activity, or even jogging on the spot, anything that gets your heart going, keeps you warm.
19. Get Outside
There is a tendency in the winter to lock yourself inside, and avoid coming out. But this is actually one of the worst things you can do. We adjust to the environment we’re in, which means that if you’re warm all the time, you get adjusted to that warmth. Taking an occasional step outside during a cold day resets that clock, making you even warmer when you get back indoors.
My personal favourite way to warm up in the winter is to get up close and personal with all the other warm bodies in your life. Cuddling your SO not only keeps your warm, it might heat things up in other places as well!