Even if you're not a fan of winter, you have to admit there's just something relaxing about the colder months. Winter brings to mind hot chocolate, thick blankets, and bonfires. What's not to love about that? Of course, winter also usually means higher energy and electricity bills. Winter can also take its toll on your home, especially if you live in areas with heavy snowfall. Luckily, there are a couple of simple things you can do to save money and keep your home looking cozy at the same time.
Keep Your Garage Dry And Tidy
If you live in an area that sees a lot of snow, then we don't have to tell you how difficult it can be to keep your garage clean and dry. Even if you don't live in an area with a lot of snow, winter rains can wreak havoc on a driveway. However, there's a pretty simple DIY solution to keep those garage floors tidy. All you need is a couple of pool noodles and a waterproof mat or fabric.
Just lay the mat or fabric on the ground and place the pool noodles underneath on the edges. You can park your car on top of the mat and any melting snow or mud should fall onto the mat, leaving your floors as clean as before you rolled in.
Insulate Your Doors
No matter how you heat your home, it's likely that some or most of that heat escapes underneath your doors. To solve this and save on your electricity bills, you can use pool noodles as insulators. All you have to do is make a cut down the length of a pool noodle. Next, slide the noodle underneath your door length-wise and it should stop some of that cozy heat from escaping.
This will also act as a sort of door stopper. However, your door will have to have a little bit of a gap underneath in order to be able to slide the noodle underneath.
Keep From Slipping On Icy Sidewalks
How is it that penguins are able to walk on ice without losing their footing? Part of the reason likely has to do with their webbed feet, but a large part of the reason is actually hidden in the way they walk. Penguins walk on their toes and with their arms (or flappy wings) out. If you've ever seen someone try to recover from slipping then odds are they extended their arms out in a similar fashion.
So, the next time you have to walk over an icy sidewalk, try walking like a penguin. Keep your arms back and your toes forward, and if anyone asks, just tell them you're walking like a penguin so you don't slip and fall.
DIY Fire Starter
Duct tape is one of the most versatile items around your home. So, is it really any surprise that you can actually use duct tape as a fire starter? We have to admit, it was a bit of a surprise for us. However, the next time you want to have a fire in the backyard, fireplace, or on a camping trip, try packing a roll of duct tape and using it as a fire starter.
Duct tape is actually highly flammable and it should light rather quickly and still give you enough time to throw some more twigs on there to keep your fire going.
Keep Warm With Your Fan
Not a lot of people know that their fans actually have a reverse setting. And even fewer people actually know why. The reason is actually rather simple. When you reverse the direction of your fan's blades, it draws cooler air up and pushes warmer air back down to the floor. This will help you save on your energy bills by not having to use a heater as much, and it'll keep your floors warmer.
Of course, if you still choose to wear those warm winter slippers you got last Christmas, then by all means. However, if you're someone who prefers to walk around barefoot or in socks then this DIY solution can be a lifesaver.
Use The Sun To Your Advantage
This DIY solution might sound counterintuitive but odds are you've experienced something similar before. During the winter, you can keep your windows open on sunny days to keep your home warmer. If you've ever felt warm while standing or getting hit by sunlight during the winter, then you can probably relate to this hack. The heat from the sun's rays will keep your home warmer, whether it's cold outside or not.
That said, if it's literally freezing outside and there isn't much sunlight, then this might not be the best solution for you. It's also good to remember to close your windows at night to keep the warm air inside.
Insulate Your Garage
If you've ever stepped foot in your garage during winter, then you know it can feel like an ice box during the winter months. And while most homes out there are insulated to keep warm air in during the winter, your garage usually isn't. This leaves one of the largest rooms in your home uninsulated and leaking warm air. So, to combat this, try insulating your garage door this winter.
It'll likely save you a ton of money on heating and electricity bills, while also keeping you from getting frostbite if you happen to step on your garage floor without shoes.
Make Your Own Small Heaters
There's a recent DIY heating solution that's caught our eye on the internet. And it involves using three simple items found around most homes. All you need are some small candles, glass bowls, and a couple of ceramic flowering pots. Just place the candles in the glass bowls, light them, and place your ceramic pot on top. This will create a small insulating heater that should save you some money on your electricity bills.
If you need more heat, you can place a couple of more heaters around your room. However, make sure that your pots have holes in the bottom so that the heat can escape.
Go Heavy On The Garlic
It's no secret that garlic has health benefits, but not many people know that studies have shown garlic has antioxidant properties and can help boost your immune system. So, during the winter, when your immune system could use a bit of extra help, try going heavy on the garlic. Luckily, there are plenty of great winter recipes that use a lot of garlic, such as soups, pasta, and garlic bread.
There have also been several studies that have shown that garlic can act as an anti-inflammatory. Really, there's no reason not to throw some extra cloves in if your next meal calls for garlic.
Easily Clean Your Fireplace
If you own a fireplace, then lucky you. There are few things more relaxing than sitting by a fireplace during winter. It'll also help keep your home warmer without having to resort to your heater and rack up a massive energy bill. However, all that ash and soot can pile up quickly, especially if your fireplace is your main heater during the winter. Luckily, there's a simple DIY solution to help easily clean out your fireplace.
You just need to place some aluminum foil below where your wood sits and it should catch any ash that falls down. If you have a try, then line the tray with foil and it'll make it easier to quickly empty out.
Spray Your Shovel
Nobody likes shoveling snow. But you probably have a simple kitchen product lying around your home that can help make the chore a bit more bearable. Cooking spray can help keep snow from sticking to your shovel in the same way it helps keep food from sticking to your pan. Just give your shovel a head a quick spray before heading out to the driveway and your task of shoveling snow will be much easier.
This simple hack can be a lifesaver for those who see a lot of snow every season and find themselves out in the yard just about every day shoveling snow.
Easily Dry Soaked Shoes
Walking through snow can take a heavy toll on your shoes. It can also take a heavy toll on your floors. The next time you roll into the house with snow-covered shoes, consider wrapping them in old newspapers or setting them on top of a couple of sheets. The newspapers should quickly soak up any water and clean off some of the debris. If you place newspapers down on the floor and put your shoes on top, it'll keep mud from making its way into your home.
This is also a better solution than constantly throwing your shoes in the dryer as dryers can be harsh on shoes. It also makes for a good reason o subscribe to your local paper.
Get Rid Of Fuzz
Some jackets and coats made out of wool or cotton tend to accumulate fuzz over time. However, there's a super simple solution to get rid of this fuzz and keep your jackets looking brand new during the wintertime. Just take a razor and start shaving the fuzz off. Yep, it's that simple. And it'll keep your jackets looking brand new throughout the winter months. It also works for any jacket you might find with fuzz on it while out thrifting.
Oh, and you can use this simple DIY solution on wool sweaters too, which are usually some of the worst offenders when it comes to accumulating fuzz.
Always Cover Your Face
Protecting your face and making sure it's moisturized is always important, but much more so during winter. The cold air can quickly dry out your face and leave your skin begging for some help. Guys can simply grow their beards out during the winter to help keep them a bit warmer and for better protection against the elements. However, it's still usually a good idea to wrap yourself up in a scarf or mask.
Your skin will thank you and you'll actually be able to speak when you're getting to wherever it is that you're going. Seriously, chattering teeth are one of the most annoying things about winter.
Switch To Wool
Thick socks are one of the greatest things about the winter months. They're just so comfortable. However, they can make your shoes more uncomfortable the thicker they are, especially if you live in a place that's cold enough to warrant multiple layers. Luckily, there's a simple solution to this. Wool socks are thinner, lighter, and better at keeping your feet warm. People have been using wool to keep warm for thousands of years and for good reason.
Granted, they're not as comfortable as cotton socks, but if you have a pair of shoes or boots that fit snug, you'll be much better off wearing wool than cotton.
Let The Air Circulate
Keeping your home cozy during the winter can be great. However, it also comes with a downside. Sometimes, the air in your home can get stuffy, especially in the winter when you might find yourself opening the windows less for fear of letting the heat escape. But, it's usually a good idea to open your windows a bit, especially right before bed so that you're letting the air circulate a bit.
Opening your window for just 5 minutes should do and allow for a much better night's rest as your actually breathing fresh air instead of air that's been stuck in your home all day.
Scrape Your Windows Using A Card
It's always important to scrape your windows before leaving in the morning as frost usually forms on car windows overnight. In fact, most of the time it's impossible to even drive without scraping your windows beforehand. Luckily, if you're in a pinch and don't have a window scraper on you then you can just reach for your wallet. Often, a credit card will work well enough to get most of the ice off of your windows.
Of course, you might want to go with an old card so that you still have a way to pay for that coffee in the morning. You could also use an old driver's license if you don't have a credit card.
Take Advantage Of What Sun There Is
This one isn't really a DIY solution, but it is something that a lot of people tend to forget to do in the winter months. And that is to take advantage of what sunlight there is, especially in the mornings. Consider throwing on a jacket first thing and taking a walk to suck up some of that precious vitamin D your body is starved of in the winter months.
It'll also help you warm up as the sun's rays tend to be most warming in the morning time. It'll also help you create some winter memories as opposed to just staying indoors all the time.
Give Your Bike Snow 'Chains'
If you live in an area that sees a lot of snow during the winter, then you're likely familiar with snow chains for car tires. However, what if you want to winterize your bike? Exercise shouldn't stop just because it's winter. Luckily, there's a simple DIY solution to winterize your bike tires. All you need are some zip-ties. Just zip-tie your bike tires and you should be good to go.
The zip-ties will give your bike enough traction to prevent it from sliding around all over the place and it'll keep you safe while on your work commute or when you are just out for some exercise.
Take Cold Showers
A lot of people aren't going to like this next hack. However, taking hot showers during the winter can dry out your skin and even cause colds in some cases. That's why a lot of people prefer to take lukewarm or cold showers during the winter. Not only will it keep your skin from drying out as bad, but it'll also help your body get used to the cold and help you wake up in the mornings.
Of course, if you can't bring yourself to take a cold shower during the winter then we don't blame you. But, try and give it a shot at least once, you might find yourself enjoying it after the initial shock.
Run Some Hot Water
There are a couple of different ways to go about this hack. You could just fill your tub with hot water, but that is a bit wasteful. You could also just leave the bathwater in the tub after taking a hot bath. Either way, the end result is the same. You'll end up with a warmer home if you fill your tub with hot water and let it sit there.
The hot water will emanate heat and create a more humid and warm atmosphere in your home. Just make sure that you immediately drain it after the effect is done.
Cleats aren't just for sports. They can actually be extremely useful for just walking around or taking a run during the winter months. A lot of places actually sell specialized cleats for just such purposes. However, try and get the ones with metal spikes as these will give you the best grip and plastic cleats tend to slide easier on ice because they can't bite into the ice as well.
If you don't feel like going out and spending money on cleats, then you can also just use some metal screws to create your own. Just be sure not to screw them in too deep.
Use Cat Litter On Your Driveway
A lot of people who live in places where roads need to be salted might be familiar with this DIY solution. If you wake up and find that your driveway is covered over in ice, then you can use some cat litter to add a little extra grip and ensure you don't spin out or slide into your neighbor's mailbox. It's also good to just keep an extra bag in the car with you.
If you ever get stuck on an icy road, then you can use cat litter to get unstuck by pouring some underneath and around your tires to create traction.
Invest In Warming Bags
For anyone who isn't familiar with them, most places sell hot water bags that do exactly what they sound like. You pour hot water into them and they create warmth. They're usually used to help with soreness and other issues. However, they also make for great little heaters during the winter months. Hold one tight or place it underneath the blanket with you when you're going to bed, it doesn't matter.
You can also just hold them tight when walking around the house if you need some extra warmth and don't want to turn on the heater. Add more for more heat.
Better Preserve Your Boots
There are a couple of different items on this list that make use of pool noodles. However, you probably didn't see this one coming. You can actually use pool noodles to help better preserve your boots. Just cut some pool noodles and place them inside your shoes. This will keep them from cracking while also helping them keep their form, which can be seriously damaged by winter water and snow.
Boots are expensive after all, so it's always a good idea to get the most possible out of them. Plus, who doesn't love a good pair of winter boots?
Clear Ice From Your Doorway
Icy patios and sidewalks can be dangerous, especially early in the morning when you might not be fully awake just yet. However, you probably have a couple of simple ingredients lying around your home that can be used to quickly clear ice from your sidewalk. All you need is a teaspoon of rubbing alcohol and dish soap, a bucket, and some warm water. First, mix everything together in the bucket.
Pour the mixture onto your sidewalk and it should clear any ice that is there, in addition to preventing ice from forming for a short period of time.
Make A Pair Of Gloves
You don't have to be an expert at knitting in order to make your own pair of gloves. All you need is an old pair of long socks. You can cut them right above the ankles and use the long piece as a glove. This DIY solution is especially great if you don't have a pair of gloves. It also means that you can use the other piece as a sock.
And just like that, you know have matching socks and gloves. Just remember to make some cuts in the long pieces for your thumb and other fingers. Two simple holes should do.
Wrap Your Shoes In Plastic
There are a couple of tips on this list for keeping water and snow off your floor, but what if you want to keep water and snow off your shoes? All you need are a couple of plastic bags. Just wrap your shoes in the bags and tie up the end and you have waterproof shoes without the expensive price tag. You can also put plastic bags on before putting your shoes on.
This won't keep your shoes dry but it will keep your feet dry. It'll also make sure your shoes don't tear any holes in the bag, leading to your feet getting wet.
If your heater isn't facing towards the room, then odds are you're losing quite a bit of heat. However, we have a simple DIY solution to help keep your room warmer and save on your energy bills. All you need to do is place a strip of aluminum foil behind your heater. Since foil is so good at trapping and conducting heat, it will make sure the heat is redirected back towards your room.
It'll also save you a bit of money since your heat won't have to work as hard to keep your home warm and cozy. Just make sure the strip of foil you use is wide enough to adequately reflect the heat.
Use Tire Tracks
Nobody wants to end up getting stuck in the snow, especially if you're in a place that's pretty far from home. That's why it's important to always be prepared, especially in the winter months. And one of the best tools you can keep in your car in case you get stuck is tire tracks. These will allow you to get some traction underneath your wheels and get out of a slippery situation.
All you need to do is place them in front or behind your tires, (depending on which way you want to go), and they should allow your tires to catch.
Don't Skimp On The Vitamin C
Let's face it, for many there's no avoiding getting a cold at least once during the winter. However, you can reduce the severity of a cold or keep it from worsening if you don't forget one slice of age-old wisdom. Remember to consume lots of vitamin C. Most people get their vitamin C from fruits and this is where we recommend you get yours from, as well.
Eating oranges or drinking orange juice is a popular way to get some extra vitamin C, but pretty much most fruits contain high levels of vitamin C. They also just taste really good.
Prevent Windows From Icing
You can always scrape the ice off your windows in the morning, but sometimes this can be time-consuming. Luckily, there is a pretty simple DIY solution for keeping ice off your windows in the first place. Some places sell special covers for keeping ice off windshields which you can just remove in the mornings. You can also use your own covers or plastic bags if you're trying to cover your side mirrors.
Either way, using a cover sure beats scrambling to scrape ice off your windshield first thing in the morning, especially if you happen to be running a bit late.
Use Calcium Chloride To Warm Up
It might sound like a dangerous chemical, but calcium chloride is actually a pretty safe way to keep your hands warm in winter. It's also really easy when making a homemade hand warmer. All you need is some calcium chloride and bags. Just put the calcium chloride into a small bag, while also filling a larger bag with water. Put the small bag filled with calcium chloride into the larger bag and you a hand warmer.
Some people use simple zip lock bags, but you can use just about anything as long as it keeps the water from getting out. If you do use a zip lock bag, just remember to use something else that lets the water interact with the calcium chloride.
Use Bubble Wrap To Keep Warm
It turns out that bubble wrap is good for more than just mindless entertainment. It can also help you keep your home insulated as plastic actually works great for keeping in heat. Just take some bubble wrap from a package and use it to cover your windows. This should keep excess heat from escaping as easily through your windows, which are one of the worst places in your home when it comes to trapping heat.
If you for some reason don't happen to have any tape on hand, you can just cover your windows in bubble wrap by spraying them with water. This should allow the bubble wrap to stick to them.
Don't Fall Victim To The Flu
Catching a cold during winter is bad enough, but catching the flu is downright terrible. That's why you should take preventive measures when wintertime hits. To do so, combine three tablespoons of Vicks VapoRub, cornstarch, and water. Roll the mix into small balls and then throw them in the shower the next time you bathe. This will release the Vicks and help keep you from falling victim to the cold and flu.
You might also want to make these in bulk so that you only have to go through the process once. It might seem like a lot, but it's much better than having to suffer through a fever or worse.
Keep Wipers From Sticking
Owning a car is always a chore, but the winter can take that to a whole new level. That's why it's best to use preventive measures beforehand. The last thing you want to do is get halfway to work only to realize your windshield wipers are frozen to your windshield when it starts snowing. And all you need for this preventive measure are a couple of pairs of old socks you don't wear anymore.
Just cover your windshield wipers using the old socks before you go to bed or when you get home and they should keep your wipers from freezing to your windshield.
Use The Sun To You Advantage
If for some reason you don't want to use some of the other tips on this list to help keep ice off your windshield, there is one other way. And that's to simply park your car facing towards the sun. It's not always guaranteed to work, but it's a simple and useful tip to keep in mind. The rays from the early morning sun will help melt thin layers of ice on your windshield.
Again, it's not always guaranteed to work. For example, on days when it's cloudy or snowing, you're likely going to be left scraping ice and frost, but when it works it'll save you some time.
Alcohol Works Wonders As A Defroster
Alcohol shows up a couple of times on this list and for good reason. Alcohol naturally has some anti-freezing properties. So, if you ever find yourself locked out of your home or your car because the lock is frozen, then you can use some alcohol to quickly unfreeze it. Alcohol in the form of hand sanitizer works well for this. Just spray some in the keyhole and it should unfreeze any ice inside.
The reason for this is because ice has a lower freezing point than water and it also works as a preventive, meaning wherever you put it will be resistant to freezing in the short term future.
Blow Some Bubbles
If you have kids and they've for some reason gotten bored with pelting each other with snowballs or making snowmen, then we have a fun activity for you. You can take them outside to make some ice bubbles. All you need is some soap, water, a spray bottle, and a bubble wand. If you don't have a bubble wand, you can make one using wire. Just twist the end to make a circle.
Mix everything together and head outside to blow some bubbles. The bubbles should freeze when they hit the ground, making a cool-looking ice bubble that's sure to keep the kids busy for a little while.