Dreading the chore of getting your home ready for winter? Here are some ideas for making it fun!
October 23, 2017 BY Cassie Let me know what you think! Leave a comment in the box below.
~Not What I Had in Mind for Fall Fun~
Winter is well on its way and we would be the wiser for making sure our homes are prepared for the colder days to come, but sometimes it feels like such a chore! Let’s be honest, raking leaves, insulating windows, cleaning gutters, and getting our house ready for winter is not always at the top of our “Fall Favorites” checklist is it? I would much rather be visiting the pumpkin patch, making homemade costumes with my kiddos, or driving and seeing the fall leaves, but an ounce of prevention today could save us time and money in the colder months to come, so I’ve got some great tips to help inspire you to enjoy the task ahead, or at least, motivated to get it done!
~The Dance of the Leaves~
It is late October here in East Tennessee and the leaves have gotten the message, Mounds of brown leaves pile in the yard outside and while I find such joy in watching the leaves dance and sway and twirl to the ground, I do not find as much joy in the leaves piled up all over my yard and driveway. What is a girl to do about leaves surrounding everything she owns? Well, find ways to enjoy them and then take care of them of course!
First of all, take time to enjoy the leaves. Some of my fondest childhood memories of fall involve huge mounds of leaves and endless hours to enjoy them and I hope the same for my boys. That is why at the beginning of each leaf season I haul out our leaf blower and go to town on blowing the leaves into a huge pile. On a side note, I may be weird, but I LOVE running our leaf blower! Our new house has loads of trees so we invested in a Kiehl backpack style blower and I’ve become addicted to the feeling of power from running that beast! Need leaves blown? I’m your girl! Anyways, once your leaves are contained, call over some friends and let the kids go to town! We had two different groups of kiddos over this week to play in the leaves before it got too cold and they loved it! The mama’s loved it too because it provided free entertainment for well over two hours and the kids napped great afterwards! (Always a perk)
Once you’re done playing with the leaves, it’s time to take care of them and that task can even be fun if done correctly! We have an abundance of leaves so we take a multi-step approach. The large pile of play leaves go into cute Halloween-themed bags that the kids load up and arrange into decorative piles in the yard. Another batch of leaves later in the year gets blown into the compost area to add rich nutrients to my spring garden and the final batch is allowed to lay on the lawn for a bit and then gets a final end-of-season mowing to add mulch to our yard for extra nourishment and insulation over the winter. When you think about it, leaves area really a blessing! What else gives you lawn decorations, healthy compost, and lawn mulch for free?!
~Robots to the Rescue~
Another important, but not so fun, task that needs to be tackled in the fall is cleaning out the gutters. Climbing up and down ladders and pulling out clumps of goopy roof debris is not my idea of a good time, so imagine my excitement when I discovered this little guy! The same people that make my favorite automatic vacuum cleaner also make a robotic gutter cleaner! Now I haven’t had the chance to get one of these babies yet, but you had better believe it’s going to be on my outdoor wish list! I can just imagine how much the kids will love watching this little guy go and how much I will love not having to get my hands in that goop! If you’re not sold on the completely robotic version, there are also several attachments that make gutter cleaning a lot easier and maybe even a little bit entertaining.
~Warm and Cozy~
I am a summer person at heart. The long, gray, cold days of winter certainly do not make my heart go pitter-patter, but I do enjoy the chance to snuggle in and enjoy the coziness of a warm house protected from the blustery cold outside. In order to enjoy this warmth though, we need to be sure and take the time before it gets too cold to winterize the inside of our houses as well. I’ll be honest, I can’t think of a way to make changing out air filters fun, but it is an important task to tackle before your heater starts working overtime. Taking the time to change out dirty filters, testing your furnace, and prepping your fireplace for the winter ensures plenty of fun nights gathered around a warm and cozy living room later.
As an Interior Designer I love the look and feel that curtains add to a room, but did you know that a pair of well selected drapes can actually lower your heating costs! Heavier draperies or lined versions can add a lot of insulation to your windows by keeping the cold out and the heat in. The secret to utilizing their functionality is to open the curtains during the daytime hours when the sun is shining in order for the heat of the sun to warm your rooms, and then to pull the draperies closed during the evening hours to keep the warm air from escaping through the cold glass. Even in homes with insulated windows, curtains can still aid in keeping the warm air in where it belongs and the cold out! When selecting curtains for your winter home, look for heavier fabrics such as velvet, flannel, or lined cotton. The curtains need to be wide enough to be pulled closed on those cold evenings. Sheers and lighter fabrics will only add minimal insulation to your windows, so consider changing out your lighter fabrics for heavier options once the evenings start to get chilly. What a great excuse to update your windows for the cold months ahead! These rich looking grey, velvet panels are even thermal insulated so they will really help keep your rooms looking and feeling cozy!
~Now go and have a productive good time!~
Hopefully this article inspired you to get your winterizing done and maybe even have a little fun while doing it. If so, please leave a Comment Below or share your favorite winterizing tip!