January comes with much promise. People vow to live better, and to change the things they aren’t happy with. (Career often comes atop that list.) Nevertheless, it can be a rather dull and dreary month weather wise with rain roaring, short days and darkness creeping in early in the afternoons. So can February…and the beginning of March, if Spring doesn’t surprise us all and come early that is. So we wrap up in scarves and hats, sport our rain parkas and wear our Wellingtons, hiding our faces from the damp air. However, with the right clothes, a warm cuppa and preparing ahead, you can look forward to a couple of cosy months where the focus should be on the new you, your new goals and all smooth sailing moving ahead…!
Not everyone needs a massive stockpile when preparing for the colder months, but there are several key things you may want to include with it. Perishables are obviously not going to last but you could get some things around them. For example, having a small supply of bread flour and dried yeast means that you will always be able to make your own bread.
You should also think about stockpiling more than food. If you have a wood-burning stove or fireplace, you need to make sure that you have enough fuel to make it through the winter months. Start gathering a woodpile together as soon as you can. You are always going to need more than you think!
Prepare the Car
Your car might end up being your lifeline; especially if you live somewhere a little more remote. Taking the proper steps to winterize your vehicle is incredibly important. Make sure you perform all the maintenance needed to keep your car on the roads no matter how the weather turns.
Should you get stuck somewhere, you should make sure there is a small bad weather kit in the car. The most important part of this will be layers for you to wear. Thin layers are always going to be better than one thick one. Food like trail mix and some water will always be necessary. A shovel and a wind-up flashlight will also be good. No matter where you get stuck, you should therefore be fine.
Practice Well-Being of Your Mind and Body
Winter is notorious for bringing on bouts of depression as a result of many nefarious factors — cold temperatures, limited daylight, cabin fever, etc. That’s why it’s important for you to plan ahead and prepare yourself based on how you expect you’ll feel when the going gets tough. These preventative measures will be different for every person, but you probably have a good idea of the initial steps you can take to make the best of this situation. You’ll also want to make sure you’ve stocked up on moisturizers and other skin-hydrating products (or make them at home) so your skin can stay smooth and comfortable throughout the winter.
Clean the Garage so You can Park Your Vehicles in it
Nothing is worse than having mass amounts of snow lumped on your car, hindering you from getting to work on time in the mornings. It is also much better for any other vehicles, such as the lawnmower, to be sitting in a garage than outdoors in winter. So when you have time, it would be wise to move some of those things around so you can bring the car in.
There are always some basic house maintenance projects you need to undertake before winter arrives. When was the last time you checked your gutters? In the colder, wetter months you need to make sure that any water on your roofs is going to drain away properly. The gutters are a key part of this.
You should also check the seals on your windows and doors. Cold winter draughts can be horrible and the summer is a much better time to address issues like this. Heavy snowfall or other elements of a cold winter can mean power outages, so you may want to contact a residential generator service so you can have a backup power source. Losing your means of heating the house at a time when you need it most can be quite uncomfortable and also bad for the health of your household members, which makes this a worthwhile investment. Going through your house and making a list of all the issues that need to be fixed might seem time-consuming but it could also reveal a problem you were not aware of. Don’t neglect house maintenance until it is too late.
Prepare Your Heaters to Fight the Cold
One of the biggest things for heaters, or more specifically fireplace chimneys, is to make sure they are clean to avoid chimney fires. Chimney fires happen when there is a build-up of a highly-combustible residue caused from fireplaces that stick to the inside walls of the chimney. This can cause severe structural damage to the chimney and the rest of the building as it catches on fire in its explosive manner. You may also need to hire a chimney repair contractor to fix any chimney cracks or damages. One effective way of avoiding all this would be to take a look at electric fireplaces. They may be a more preferable choice depending on the size of the room and a few other factors.
Staying prepared for the colder months can be a time‑consuming affair. However, it is vital that you get some of the important tasks out of the way as soon as you can. Whether you are building a stockpile or doing some much-needed maintenance around the house, there is always going to be something you can focus on. Start thinking about the areas of your life that need addressing. It is never too early to be fully prepared.