The start of winter coincides with the peak of the holiday season, and getting your home ready for the season ahead is the last thing on anyone’s mind during the chaos of the holidays. But home is where the heart is, and chances are you’ll be spending more time at home during the shorter days, longer nights, and occasional downright freezing temperatures ahead. For this reason, prepping your space for the winter is a must, and thankfully, there are a few home projects you can tackle during this time of year that won’t overwhelm your to-do list. Keep scrolling to learn the 10 easy home projects you should do every winter, regardless of where you live.
1. Seal up drafty areas
It goes without saying, but keeping your house warm is key during the cold winter months. But instead of cranking the heat and running up the electric bill, do a little preventative maintenance first. Look for drafty areas around your windows and doors and improve the insulation by applying weatherstripping or window film, using a draft stopper by the door, or hanging insulated curtains. If you’re feeling especially handy, you can also try re-caulking the windows and doors.
2. Organize your closet and drawers
On cold, still-dark winter mornings, the last thing you’ll want to do is rifle through your entire closet to find your favorite pair of boots or go-to sweater. Avoid the unnecessary stress (and mess!) altogether by organizing your closet and drawers and placing your winter pieces front and center. Make sure your coats are hung up properly and your hats, scarves, and gloves are easily accessible. Then organize your winter clothing accordingly and create more space by storing away lighter pieces you won’t need during the winter months.
3. Fill your home with wintry scents
Leaving the house is the last thing anyone wants to do when it’s freezing outside. And while spending a ton of time indoors can make you go a little stir-crazy, filling your home with wintry scents can help you embrace the coziness of the season. Look for scents inspired by balsam and cedarwood, warm spices and vanilla, or winter fruits like pomegranate and clementine. Then bring in candles, fragrance diffusers, wall plug-ins, or hand soaps to turn your home into a wintry scentscape.
4. Prep your kitchen for winter cooking
To get ready for a season of cozy cooking, spend an afternoon deep-cleaning the fridge and appliances and organizing your pots, pans, and utensils. If you’re up for it, you could even go full DIY and change the hardware on your cabinets and drawers or install a new stick-on backsplash. Having an upgraded kitchen will inspire you to spend more time in it and make more meals at home, which definitely isn’t a bad thing. Plus, nothing’s sweeter than the scent of a freshly cooked meal or baked dessert on a cold winter night.
5. Upgrade to cozier lighting
When you’re spending more time at home, ambience is everything. Improve the lighting in your living space by swapping out bright, blue-toned bulbs in favor of yellow, warm-toned ones. Likewise, you can also bring in lamps and even install wall sconces to up your lighting game. Doing this will create a cozy vibe in your home that’ll be perfect for the cold weather.
6. Clean the furnace and pre-program the thermostat
If time got ahead of you during the fall months and you weren’t able to get your furnace cleaned, don’t stress. Instead, set aside some time now to properly clean it and change the filter before you start running the heat regularly. Likewise, if you have a digital thermostat, pre-program it to your desired day and nighttime temperatures. Both of these easy home projects will help your heating system run more efficiently and in turn save you money on your energy bill, which is a huge bonus.
7. Winter-proof the entryway
If you live in an area that sees below-freezing temperatures, slush, snow, and ice, having a winter-proof entryway is a no-brainer. Set out a weather mat and shoe rack to prevent slush from being trudged through your house, and add a standing or wall-mounted coat rack for hanging winter jackets and accessories. You’ll thank yourself later when you don’t have to scrub snow melt off your floors or search high and low for your favorite scarf before dashing off to a holiday party.
8. Update your bedding
There are two kinds of people in this world: those who sleep warm no matter the season and those who need the heat cranked with a pile of blankets on top of them. If you’re in the latter camp, update your bedding with heavier options for the new season. Swap out your current sheets in favor of flannel ones and your comforter for a heavy wool one or weighted blanket (I’m personally a huge fan of this one from Baloo Living). If that doesn’t do the trick, try adding an electric blanket or mattress heating pad for an extra toasty bed.
9. Swap out your curtains
Embarking on a full-on home makeover during the holidays likely won’t bode well for your bank account, but swapping out any lightweight curtains in favor of heavier options is a great way to refresh your home without breaking the bank. Thermal, velvet, and suede curtains are usually most popular for winter because they’re great at keeping in heat. Plus, they also match the moody vibe of the season thanks to their heavy, luxe aesthetic.
10. Freshen up the bathroom and laundry room
Hunkering down for winter also means you’ll have more time to attend to some of the spots around your home that you’ve neglected during the warmer months. The bathroom and laundry room are two prime examples of areas that could likely use some TLC this winter. For the bathroom, swap out your current towels and bath mat for thicker, plusher options to wrap yourself in after your everything shower or bath, and hang up a nice bathrobe on the wall you can throw on once you’re dry. In the laundry room, check your dryer duct and unclog or replace it if necessary, and give the room a good cleaning by decluttering the space and cleaning the floor.