Today I’ve got a slew of ideas to winterize your life for what I’m calling The Great Hunker Down of 2020/2021. I know, that name needs a little work, but bear with me. Because it looks like we are going to be seriously stuck. at. home. through this winter, we will need to be craftier than ever, literally, to survive with our mental health intact. This feels like the ultimate DIY project, so I’ve gathered tips to winterize your home, your cars, your kids/family, and your mental health. I’ve brainstormed more than 7 ideas, but writing “29 tips to winterize your life…” sounds a bit overwhelming! Let me know if you have other ideas to add to this list.
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How to Winterize Your Life
I’m choosing to frame this idea of winterizing your life in a positive light. Many of us are struggling right now; there are days when I feel like eating a tray of brownies for lunch is the new normal. Anyone else? Hopefully this post will spark some ideas to help you feel more in control of life and prepared for the season ahead. Just organizing these thoughts is helping me!
1 – Winterize Your Home
I started writing this post with the intent of making a list on winterizing your home. However, those checklists abound online and I don’t want to reinvent the wheel. I’m a little late anyway; we just got our second round of snow. If you haven’t thought about this yet, here are a couple of thorough lists:
Extensive list to Winterize Your Home
Winterize Your Home Without Poisoning Your Family – a bit extreme, but if you would consider putting bubble wrap on windows, you’ll want to read this for more ideas.
2 – Winterize Your Vehicles
Whether or not you’ll continue driving to work/school each day, it’s still important to winterize your car. Last year, I bought windshield covers (similar) to cut down on snow removal and ice scraping on cold mornings. They definitely helped, so there’s a gift idea for you. Other tips:
3 – Plan DIY Home Projects for This Winter
Staying at home is the perfect opportunity to fix up your space. We’ve noticed a surge in traffic at Home Depot and Lowes since the pandemic hit, and if you read my blog for DIY inspo, you’re probably seeing it too! This fall and winter, we plan to replace the flooring in our front entry, finish our remaining kitchen projects, update our “laundry hallway,” and possibly start replacing a bathroom. Phew! What will you tackle? Now is the time plan ahead and order materials.
> Our DIY Kitchen Remodel Cost + Lessons Learned
NEXT: Winterize Your Family
Rather than succumb to the terror of thinking we’ll be stuck together, all the time, indoors… I’ve been brainstorming ways to keep kids active, for all of our sakes. I’ve also been inspired by my friend, who trooped off to nature school last year with her 4-year-old son, in all kinds of weather. That little boy really toughened up, because the rain, snow, and cold never stopped him from exploring the outdoors. He also became more adventurous and observant about the world around him. Although I haven’t signed my kids up for nature school, I just bought myself snow pants so I don’t have an excuse to stay indoors. On that note, here are ideas to winterize your life by prepping your family.
4 – Prep Your Winter Gear
Invest in the right gear for your climate. Inventory your family’s outdoor clothing and order what you need now. Or visit a thrift store and pick up affordable items second-hand (great place for kids’ snow gear!). I’m always thankful for a backup pair of gloves, and these are my all-time favorite, made-in-USA, wool socks. I actually wear the lightweight styles all year round.
5 – Plan Ahead for Indoor Activities
Aside from screen time, these are some of our favorite games and other activities. As you can see, we play a lot of board games, and I’m counting on these to get us through the coldest days this winter.
Favorite Board Games + Puzzles
- PreK-K – Hoot Owl Hoot, Sequence Kids, Zingo, Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game, Memory, Go Fish (colors), these floor puzzles
- K-2nd – Uno, Monopoly Junior, Guess in 10, Sorry, Scrabble Jr, chess, jigsaw puzzles
- 2nd-5th+ (favorites + highly reviewed) – Monopoly, Catan Jr, Scrabble, Battleship, Clue, Yahtzee, Mastermind, Rummikub, Dragonwood, Sequence, and we love these jigsaw puzzles
Other Great Indoor Activities for Kids
- Learn coding with a toy like Botley or an app like Kodable or Scratch Jr.
- Build with K’Nex and Legos
- Learn to draw with Art for Kids Hub on YouTube
- Create imaginative projects with cardboard tubes, boxes, construction paper, tape, scissors, etc.
- Make creations with modeling clay – we love both Model Magic (air dry) and Sculpey (bake)
- Adults – pick up free monthly building activities for kids at Home Depot (ours is on the first Saturday of the month)
- Gift idea – invest in a monthly activity subscription box (we love Kiwi Crates)
6 – Plan Physical Activities – Both Indoors and Out
In addition to the usual bike rides, walks, races, sports, and dance parties, it helps to keep some additional ideas on standby. Exercise equipment is predicted to sell out this year, so perhaps research any treadmill or elliptical purchases soon. REI published this comprehensive list of activities for kids, plus here are few more thoughts:
- Try Cosmic Kids Yoga – fun yoga for kids on YouTube
- Make a treasure hunt with a fun prize at the end
- Let kids build a cardboard box town after Amazon starts delivering your Christmas gifts. Ha!
- Nature walks – we are trying out this nature journal to record observations in our neighborhood
7 – Winterize Your Mental Heath
This is arguably the most important section. Just google “how to boost mental health during COVID 19” and you’ll find a ton of ideas. Here are mine:
- Start a new hobby, or pick up an old hobby that you’ve let slide. With YouTube tutorials and online resources, you could learn almost anything: woodworking, knitting, book-binding, hand-lettering, cooking, playing an instrument, juggling, speaking a new language, oil painting, coding, photography, gardening…
I recently bought a Cricut on Amazon Prime Day and I’m excited to learn a new crafting skill this winter. Plus, I have a few unfinished knitting projects that are years overdue!
- Make a plan to boost positive vibes by creating a celebration calendar. For Christmas, I ordered this Every Day’s a Holiday calendar for fun because my kids will get a kick out of it. You could also plan to send birthday cards to every person in your orbit or start making surprise care packages for local friends.
- Stay social, even if it’s remote. FaceTime, Marco Polo, group texts, emails/letters to friends and relatives – keep the social communication lines open.
- If you struggle with anxiety, here are good suggestions. Also, I can’t recommend meditation highly enough for improving mental health; HeadSpace and Calm are two of the most popular apps to teach you how. If you think you’ll struggle as The Great Hunker Down settles in, start practicing meditation now, so that your brain is trained to relax when you need it most. I also find it calming just to look at nature photography for a few minutes when I need to zone out. Like this…
Good Luck and Stay Healthy!
When I look back on this winter of the pandemic (and boy, do I hope it’s the only one), I want to know that we tried our best to stay sane, healthy, and kind to one another. My thoughts are with each of you as you winterize your life and make plans for a healthy season at home. Hang in there!
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More DIY Inspo From List in Progress
1 – 8 Upcycled DIY Craft Projects to Try
2 – Favorite Behr White Paint Colors
3 – Our New White Smart Thermostat
4 – How to Apply Gold Leaf to Glass Decor
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