14 Ways You Can Prepare for Winter (While It’s Still Nice Out!)
Many parts of the United States are already starting to feel the cooler temperatures coming on, and with the winter holidays starting to loom on the horizon, now is the best time to prepare for winter.
Fall has always been a time for preparation, so that we can enjoy rest and relaxation during the long winter nights. There’s no better time to prepare than right now since the weather is still warm enough to enjoy being outside, and the days are longer than they’ll be for the rest of the year.
Here are a few ways that you can prepare yourself for winter, while it’s still nice out!
14. Launder Your Summer Clothes and Pack Them Away
Even if you have a large enough closet to store all of your clothes, packing away seasonal items can stop your closet from feeling cluttered. You’ll want to invest in a few clear bins so that you can easily see what’s inside. Launder all of your summer clothes and inspect them to make sure that you’re putting them away in optimal shape.
Repair or replace anything that’s ripped or torn, and make sure that you have everything you need for next summer. This is a great time of year to buy summer clothing as it all goes on sale to make room for the fall/winter collections.
13. Unpack Winter Clothes and Air Them Out
Unless you’re extremely cold-blooded, you’ve probably had your woolen sweaters and warmer items of clothing packed away for the last few months. You’ll want to unpack all of your winter clothing items well before you actually need them, so you can make sure they’re in tip-top shape for the upcoming season.
If you’ve stored your clothing in mothballs, you’ll want to make sure those items get aired out as soon as possible. Nothing is more nauseating than the lingering smell of mothballs. If there’s anything that looks creased, give it a good steam or take it into a dry cleaner.
12. Switch over Your Bedding
If you use different types of sheets for different seasons, now is the time to switch over your linens. Give your light summer linens a good wash before packing them away in an air-tight bin. If the weather is still nice, you can also give your fall/winter bedding a wash, then dry it outside, so it has that beautiful, sun-soaked softness. If it’s been a while since you flipped your mattress, you’ll want to do that now as well.
11. Get in Your Last Fall Hike
While some intrepid souls continue hiking through the winter, snow and icy conditions make it impossible for most Americans. Fall is a great time to get outside for your last hike of the year.
Plus, it’ll give you a chance to take part in the time-honored tradition of leaf-peeping. There’s nothing better than crunching along a leaf-strewn path as you explore the wilderness with friends and family.
10. Pick Your Own Produce
Another way that you can enjoy the temperate fall weather with friends and family is by venturing out to pick your own produce. Many farms across the United States offer U-Pick apples, pears, peaches, and even potatoes – depending on your region.
Picking your own fruit and veggies ensures you get only the freshest produce and that you get exactly what you want. Plus, many U-Pick farms have become one-stop-shops for fall fun. Many offer hayrides, petting zoos, a variety of delicious food, and even live music!
9. Utilize Your Pantry
Once you stock up on produce at a local farm or farmer’s market, you’ll want to preserve your bounty, so it lasts as long as possible. There are tons of different ways you can do this. Canning is one of the most popular methods. In fact, a batch of jam or simple fruit preserves will last for a year in your pantry if you can it correctly.
If you’re uncertain about canning, you can also slice up fruit and freeze it (this works better for berries and soft fruit) or dehydrate it using your oven on its lowest setting.
8. Stock up on Basics
Once you’ve filled your pantry and freezer with produce, the next thing to do is stock your fridge and cupboard with basics, so you don’t have to worry about picking these things up on freezing cold winter days. Ingredients like flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt are easy to buy in bulk, but are a pain to drag home in the rain and snow.
Pick a day to do a big grocery store trip, and get all your basics in one go. While you’re at it, stock up on other necessities like toilet paper and cleaning supplies.
7. Make a Plan for Staying Active
Even if you exercise daily in the summer, good habits can be hard to maintain once the temperature drops. You don’t want to be surprised by an onslaught of bad weather. Prepare your exercise plan for winter now and gradually transition into it, rather than making a sudden switch.
Buy a gym membership, look into some at-home workouts, or find a buddy to keep you accountable. You don’t want all your hard work to go out the window as soon as a few flakes of snow appear!
6. Switch Your Tires and Check Your Car
The first few days of winter are always terrifying, as it seems like people forget how to drive in inclement conditions. Don’t let this be you! If you live in an area with snow, make sure your winter tires are ready to go before there’s a snowstorm.
Check your windshield for cracks and make sure that your wiper blades are performing well. Going to an auto body shop to get a fresh coat of wax will protect your car from road salt and muddy conditions. You’ll also want to have your battery tested as battery capacity decreases in cold weather.
5. Winterize Your Home
Before the cool temperatures hit make sure your home is winter ready! This means checking all your windows to make sure no heat is escaping. If you find cracks in your window frames, you’ll want to get them repaired immediately because any heat that escapes is costing you money.
If you live in a rental or an older home, you may want to look into plastic film insulation for your windows. You can buy cheap kits from your local hardware store and use a hair dryer to shrink the plastic to make them almost invisible.
4. Put Your Outdoor Gear Away
It’s always sad, but packing up your outdoor gear like lounge chairs, bikes, and plant pots for the winter is necessary if you want to protect them from the elements. Don’t be tempted to let them sit out all winter. Clean all items well and then take them indoors.
This is also a good time to redo your outdoor decorations. Put away any seasonal plants that won’t survive the winter and dust off your holiday wreaths!
3. Buy All Your Winter Essentials Now
There’s nothing worse than fighting with someone over the last snow shovel or pair of winter boots in the store. Stock up on all winter essentials now before it’s too late. This includes emergency preparedness items like candles, flashlights, and batteries.
Snow and rain can easily lead to power outages, and if you’re stranded at home or in your car, you’ll be grateful for your forethought. You can order most of these items on Amazon, and get them shipped right to your door.
2. Optimize Your Skincare Routine
Did you know that you still need to use sunscreen in the winter? While you may be able to switch over some of your regular products, you should be wearing sunscreen 365 days a year.
In the winter, our skin tends to dry out and flake, so focus on moisturizing products, specifically ones that will soothe snow-and-wind-related irritation. Even just swapping your foaming face cleanser for a cream cleanser can make a huge difference!
1. Stock up on a Supply of Your Favorite Things
Winter can be hard and it’s easy to fall victim to cabin fever after a few days stuck inside. Stock up on a supply of your favorite snack foods, interesting books, or even a new board game! Then, reward yourself with a treat after a long, cold day.