Winterizing Your House

Posted on Jan 5 2012 - 11:19am by David Decker

Although winter is a season I enjoy very much, each year I am overwhelmed by the thought of “winterizing” my home.  I love curling up by the artificial fireplace as much as the next person, but there’s no doubt that the season change brings along extra work.  However, the sooner I get my house winter ready, the sooner I can start enjoying cold weather walks, hot baths, and testing out new flavors of coffee.

Winter has already struck in the Northeast and for the rest of the nation its hard-hitting winds aren’t far away.  And while some may have missed the winter-prep before snow hit the ground, it’s still not too late to make sure your home is winter safe and ready for the upcoming changes.

First things first, when the temperature drops, it’s important to be warm.  If you’re anything like me, layers and heavy pieces of clothing are a must. After years of packing an overstuffed closet, and shoving in each boot before quickly slamming the closet door shut, I’ve learned how to make storing clothes easy.  I’ve gathered some of my favorite clothes-storing tips, as well as other winterizing advice to help make your cold weather season as easy as possible.

1. Keep your closet seasonal.  Once the summer months are over, I break out the winter clothes and pack away the shorts and sandals.  While hot weather clothes may take up less space, they still take up room where sweaters could be hung.  Use luggage, extra closets, or even a storage unit to hold lighter clothing during the winter.  And for added space, use vacuum bags. These are clear bags (so you can see what’s inside) that have a one-way valve so all you have to do is roll out the air.

2. Rodent-proof your kitchen.  As much as talking about pests is unpleasant, having them in your home is a definite possibility once the weather cools down.  It’s a good idea to keep all open pantry items in a well-sealed container so mice can’t feast on your groceries.  You can also label from each package so that items can be identified from the outside, as even clear tubs make foods hard to decipher.  This will also help keep food fresh in a dry or cold-air environment. Click here for more information on identifying and preventing mice, or click on the picture below to check out a diagram that breaks down rodent management.  (Image courtesy of the Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management)

Many are surprised at the variety of methods they can take to get rid of mice.  For example, did you know you can scare mice away?  By using ultrasonic noise, sounds that are too high frequency for humans to hear, you can frighten mice from returning; the threat of intense noises is far more troubling than the promise of a meal.  Find where to purchase (or rent) one of these ultrasonic sound machines here.

3. Strategically place winter staples.  I’ve found one of the easiest ways to keep my sidewalk snow-free is to keep a snow shovel next to my front door (and not in the garage where I have to first walk through the snow to get it). For the vehicles: put an ice scraper (and possibly a pair of gloves) in each car. And, of course, make sure you have a steady supply of salt near any outdoor walkway. Check back in later this week for a post on deck-friendly salt alternatives.

When it comes to winterizing your home, there are several tips that should be taken to not only organize but to ensure your safety as well as others.  Follow these easy tips to help get your house season ready.  And for more tips and advice, be sure to check back in next week.