There’s no better feeling on a chilly winter day than coming home to a cozy nest. And with the cold winds making the outdoors a little less enticing (at least as a place to sit still!), this is also the perfect time to create, or increase, that coziness factor. Whiling away the hours with indoor projects is a double win—not only have you got a cozier nest, but you’ve whiled away some winter hours! You can’t go wrong there. Here are a few ideas for wintertime projects that combine this double bonus and add more benefits besides. Gray day? No plans? We’ve got you covered, never fear.
You know that drawer? Yeah, that one. You may sigh every time you open it; you may have to shuffle the contents around to squeeze it shut again. That drawer is just exhausting. So pull it right on out, put it on the floor or table, set a trash bag beside you, and get on it. The fun part is, as you dig in you’ll probably find stuff you’d forgotten you owned, some of it even useful—alongside miscellany that can either be dispensed with entirely or re-homed in the proper department.
The same principle can be applied to closets and kitchen cupboards, only here you may want to make a donation pile. You never use that old skillet now that you’ve upgraded? Someone might love to have it. The same goes for clothing that the kids have outgrown and things you’ll never wear again.
Bonus: You’re helping others while lightening your own load.
These short and often cloudy days can get on one’s nerves; the human mind and body are healthier when there’s enough light in our lives. So take a good look at how you’re lighting up your life. The past few years have seen an explosion of energy-smart LED options ranging from pretty colors and special effects to full-spectrum “daylight” options. Maybe you’ll just swap out a few bulbs, maybe you could use an artfully placed table or floor lamp.
And don’t forget actual daylight. Do you love your window treatments, or are they getting a bit faded? Swapping out or even just washing dingy ones can change the look of your entire room. Consider thermal sheers that save energy while letting the light in, or sumptuous velvet-look drapes that can be flung wide or snugged tight as the occasion requires.
Bonus: You’re taking super care of your mood and vision, whilst improving your views of the winter-wonderland, postcard-pretty outdoor scenes outside.
With the house closed up more of the time, even the best-kept home can get a little stale in winter. And as we’ve all heard over the past couple of years, adequate ventilation is key to good health.Consider an air purifier; a little research should tell you whether you’d be best off with a HEPA filtered, charcoal filtered, ionizing or electrostatic model.
Think about fragrance. Potpourri, incense, scented candles, and essential oils can all add an enticing whiff to your nice clean air without the chemicals found in major commercial brands, and your neighborhood healing or witchery shop should be able to advise you on which scents will offer the most benefit.
Bonus: Deep, mindful breathing becomes far more pleasurable, so you’re more likely to actually do it.
Cast a critical eye on your sleeping arrangements. Are your pillows all beat up and lumpy? Is your blanket too heavy or too light, making it hard to get comfy? Are your sheets looking tired, or would a satiny or flannel texture make your skin happier? Make your bed an oasis of comfort.
Experts say to restrict your bedroom activities to sleeping and snuggling, but some of us say reading in bed is one of life’s great joys. If you’re among some of us, make sure you’ve got the proper light to read by—one you can reach and turn off without having to get out from under the covers!—and a pillow arrangement that will let you read at a comfortable angle.
Bonus: A great night’s sleep is yet another key to optimal physical and mental wellness.
plots and plans
Once spring starts, you’ll find that gardening and remodeling both swing into full-tilt boogie rapidly. This is the time to plan out your garden and order the seeds you want to avoid the springtime rush.
If you’ve got a home improvement project in mind, winter’s a great time to get the preliminaries in place. Mull over design ideas. Reserve yourself a contractor. Pre-order materials that you know you’ll use. Once the weather breaks, wait times for everything from workers to lumber, flooring, and carpet may grow faster than early daffodils.
Bonus:You’ll probably get better deals on everything you need during winter than you will once demand ramps up in springtime.