7 Simple Steps to get your Home & Family Ready for Winter

The torrential rains of last week followed by the sudden drop in temperatures over the past two days have left me shivering, but no longer am I in denial that winter is coming!  It’s just around the corner which means it’s time to be proactive and get my A into G.  

I am always freezing cold (right now I’m wearing my #1 winter warmer – a stunning khaki green Swanndri Polar Fleece which is just the ugliest warmest thing in the world!), so keeping our home warm and dry is almost an obsession of mine.  I can’t bear the thought of the kids being cold and our house being damp.  Preventing both of those things will help us all survive the winter with a minimum of colds and illness – hopefully!

  • Seal the windows – Glass windows and doors lose up to 10 times as much heat as an insulated wall.  Light is good, so there’s no getting around windows but we can definitelyr educe the energy loss that they are responsible for.  In our last rental before we purchased our home, the wooden joinery was in terrible condition due to a complete lack of maintenance.  There were also no curtains or effective window treatments on any of the windows to prevent the warmth we were able to generate simply slipping through the cracks.  The solution was cheap and easy.  I sealed all the windows in the bedrooms with 3M Indoor Window Insulation Kits available from Mitre 10.  Once you get the hang of the application process, it’s not hard, this product will blow your mind.  It creates artificial double glazing – you know how you can feel the cold coming through the glass in an old window frame?  This plastic film completely stops that and the reverse effect of heat loss.  I used this every winter when we were renting and cannot recommend it enough.

3M Window Insulation Kit New Zealand Mum Blog

  • Draught stoppers – Much like windows, doors can wreck havoc whilst trying to keep your home snug and warm.  We have all wooden joinery which is a bit past its prime and our french doors in the lounge are so gappy you can feel a little breeze whistling through them which is not optimal lol.  Two solutions here; add a window strip and use an old fashioned draught stopper.  Last year I added a window strip down the length of our doors where they join and I’d say it cut the breeze by about 95%!  This year I will be investing in some of Kmart’s cute draught stoppers to seal the bottom of the doors – I think they’re only $6!

3M Window Insulation Kit New Zealand Mum Blog 3M Window Insulation Kit New Zealand Mum Blog

  • Dehumidify – My dehumidifiers are my all time fave household appliances.  I might be a little bit addicted to them.  I love them for their white noise and also for their intended purpose of drying your home!  I’ve had mine off all Summer but since the rain last week have been running the big guy every day.  Prevention is better than trying to fix a damp problem.  I rotate mine around each room, usually doing emptying it twice before moving on to the next room.  Don’t forget, it’s easier and cheaper to heat a dry house!
  • Get your chimney swept – This is just a basic maintenance and safety issue.  If you are renting this is something your landlord should pay for and have attended to annually to prevent build up in the flue.
  • Heating – We have a very charming but pretty ineffective gas fireplace with a hidden flue, so we don’t receive any benefit of all that nice hot air going up the chimney.  We also have an ‘L’ shaped house so warm air does not naturally flow through.  I’m not entirely convinced our heat pump is that economical so I’m thrilled to have been using the new Goldair Platinum Series Ceramic Tower Heater for the past two very chilly days.  Both Dave and I agree that we have never used any kind of heat source that heats up a room as quickly as this ceramic heater does.  I love it’s modern styling, tiny footprint and upright design which means it can safely operate in some awkward spaces.  The LCD display is a great feature that makes it easy to keep an eye on the temperature and adjust accordingly – with the remote!  With hurricane Nix in the house the most endearing feature for me is the safety tip-over switch.  Available from Farmers, Briscoes, Noel Leeming, Mitre 10 etc RRP$249.99

Goldair Platinun Ceramic Heater Mum Blog New Zealand

  • Linen – While I’m still able to get things {mostly} dry on the line I have popped the big blankets and flannel sheets in quick 15 minute wash cycles to get them all fresh and ready to pop on the beds when we need it.  There’s nothing worse than trying to dry large, heavy loads of laundry when the rain is relentless.
  • Gutters – After the trees have lost all of their leaves head up on your roof or get up the ladder and clear out the gutters.  Pooling water that’s unable to drain can get into your house and cause major damage.  It’s not the best job but one you only have to do once a year.
  • Clothing – Take a quick inventory of winter items that the family needs.  This is a great opportunity to clear out the drawers and wardrobes and pass on items that may now be too small or surplus to requirements.  Keep your ‘need’ list on your phone or in your purse so you can reference it while out shopping/thrifting if you stumble across a bargain.  Don’t put off buying items you know you need, like gumboots or raincoats, scrambling for these items the day of a rainy school trip or family outing will easily raise stress levels!

 

Stay, warm, and stay dry, but don’t be afraid to enjoy the outdoors even in less-than perfect weather.  Sometimes popping a raincoat on and heading out on a blowy, showery day can clear the cobwebs and make you feel alive!  Kids don’t melt in the rain and really don’t care about getting wet.  Puddles are friends (with the right equipment) and will instantly cure even the most stubborn case of cabin fever.

Enjoy the season everyone!

The Goldair Platinum Series Ceramic Tower Heater was provided for editorial consideration.  All opinions expressed are my own.