ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to keep warm in winter

Updated on August 28, 2014

I know how miserable Winter can be. I used to rent a small mill cottage which barely got any sun even in Summer.

We had no central heating, no double glazing, no loft insulation, damp and gaps under the doors!

It was quite pleasant in the height of Summer if you wanted to get out of the strong sun but Winters in a small village which was prone to power cuts was a nightmare.

But at least I learnt how to stay as warm as possible for as cheap as possible in that house.

With noisy rude neighbours it was amazing I put up with it for so long!

Source

Remove Drafts

First you need to stop all of those drafts coming in.


You’re going to need:

  • Draft excluders

If you can't afford a fancy, designer, novelty sausage-dog draft excluder then can you make one?

I've made draft excluders by rolling up a section from an old duvet and covering it in durable fabric like the leg of an old pair of jeans. You don't even have to know how to sew - just tie the ends of the legs up with a piece of string. Alternatively you can just roll up an old winter coat or towel and lie that in front of the gap under your doors.


  • Rugs

Make your un-carpeted floor cosier for your feet by putting down some rugs. Sometimes you can find rugs for cheap in charity and thrift stores.

One Winter I picked up a peg loom and made my own rugs out of strips of old fabric and wool.


  • Double glazing film

This is like cling film for your windows and you can use it to cover any window which you're not going to need access to during the Winter. It's not immediately noticeable and doesn't obstruct your view but it will stop drafts coming in. Obviously this isn't a good choice for French windows and perhaps not for kitchen windows either. Other concerns include the problem of mould growing and not being able to get to the windows quickly enough in the event of a fire or needing to escape quickly through the windows for other reasons.


  • Padded curtains

Padded and quilted curtains are great at night time if you don't have double glazing. You could also hang old quilts up over your windows or think about adding extra layers to the your current curtains. I recently sewed another layer to the back of my curtains as they're cream and unlined so not actually very useful as curtains. Having longer curtains can also keep the heat in better and the drafts out.

Think about what you can hang from a curtain rod or try adding a hook on either corner of the window. Be aware of the weight as you don't want a curtain rod falling down on you in the middle of the night.


  • Loft Insulation

This is the big one that everyone seems to talk about in Winter and it can make a big difference to the amount of heating you need to have on.

Check to see if you can get a grant for loft insulation. I believe that was possible at one point here in the UK.

Window Film

3M Indoor Window Insulator Kit, 5-Window
3M Indoor Window Insulator Kit, 5-Window

This window insulator kit comes with enough film to insulate 5 3ft x 5ft windows. Tape is also included.

Simply tape the film over your windows and use a hair dryer to remove wrinkles and create a tight fit.

 
Season Smart 3M Thinsulate Insulating Curtain Liner Pair, 78-Inch
Season Smart 3M Thinsulate Insulating Curtain Liner Pair, 78-Inch

If you don't want to fuss about with sewing bits onto your curtains or making quilted curtains how about getting some curtain liners? These liners attach to the back of your existing curtains and can block both the hot sun and cold drafts.

 

Use the Sun

Use the sun to your advantage. If it's a sunny Winter day then open your sun-facing curtains and let nature's heat in. We have French windows that face east and the amount of heat we get through them is incredible. Of course the downside is that it's such a big window to let in the chill as well.

As soon as the sun starts to go then close your windows to trap in the day's heat. Put up those quilts or whatever else you have to keep the drafts out.

Source

Find a Cosy Nook

To cut down on heating costs think about finding a central room from where to live.

I had a studio space in the spare room at my old house, where I worked in the Summer. In the winter it sometimes got too cold to even go in there so I used it as a storage space instead and worked downstairs in the living space.

This living space then became the only room I heated during the cold period. It was right under the bedroom so any heat that escaped through the ceiling would heat the bedroom (in theory - in practice there were too many drafts in the bedroom).

What to Wear

Once you’ve got your house sorted you need to work on what you’re wearing.

It's time to think about layers.


  • Leggings

I love wearing my leggings under jeans, skirts etc in Winter. They work just as well as thermal long johns and are often cheaper and more widely available (plus you can wear them all year round). If you favour jeggings and skin tight jeans then you'll have trouble getting your leggings on under them, of course. It could be a good idea to get some pants in the next size up.


  • Socks

I rarely wear socks during Spring, Summer and Autumn but I've got some thick chunky socks for Winter. I like to put on a thinner pair of socks first and then layer a chunkier pair on top. I also have socks I like to reserve for wearing to bed.


  • Slippers

You can get some fabulously warm slippers these days. My favourites are furry slipper boots. This is another area where you can use your crafting skill. I knitted up some lovely felted boots a while back that are made with Icelandic wool.


  • Vests

Vest tops/tank tops can be a great first layer for trapping some warm air next to your skin and they're also useful in Summer. I think it pays to have clothes you can use all year round instead of having special Winter vests. That way you're not paying out for 2 different wardrobes and you're also saving space.


  • Sweaters

Make sure your sweaters are roomy enough to fit all those other layers underneath. I often wear a long-sleeved t-shirt under my sweaters but you can also wear thinner sweaters underneath too.


  • Hats

If it's cold in your bedroom, I recommend wearing a woolly hat to bed. You'll want to use a hat that doesn't have too much texture or bobbles that might make it difficult to get comfy.


  • Gloves and Mittens

Hands can suffer terribly in Winter. Gloves and mittens can be awkward to wear if you want to get anything done. Fingerless gloves are good but your fingers get cold. Consider buying a pocket warmer so your hands warm up between tasks.

Ultimate Slanket - Cream Sleeved blanket with Sleeves
Ultimate Slanket - Cream Sleeved blanket with Sleeves

Just planning a long relaxing night on the couch?

Why not try a Slanket! This thing will keep you completely covered and cosy for a night of watching TV, reading a book or just relaxing with your loved ones.

 
Stitch 'n Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook
Stitch 'n Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook

When I was learning to knit, I found this book to be incredibly useful.

Stitch 'n Bitch includes a range of great patterns and tells you everything you need to know when you're just starting out, even something simple like casting on.

 

Activities

This won't suit everyone but if you're into learning how to do everything from scratch then this might be a great time to take up warm activities like knitting and baking.

Hear me out, this isn't as crazy as it sounds.

As soon as I used to feel that Autumn chill (usually through closed windows in my old drafty cottage) I had the urge to knit big chunky sweaters. The great thing about knitting is that not only do you end up with a warm and (hopefully) wearable item but whilst you're knitting you have the knit fabric keeping your lap warm as you work on it - even better if you're knitting a blanket. This is why I try to avoid knitting anything but the smallest items in Summer! Go for a warm fibre like wool or alpaca (musk ox if you can get it!) rather than a plant fibre like cotton.

Knitting gives you something to do during those long, cold, dark winter nights.

Once you get confident with knitting you can even do it whilst watching TV, or reading a book (hardcovers or a Kindle (or similar) are best for this because you can lie them flat).

Baking is particularly good if you have a small kitchen - even better if your kitchen is located beneath your bedroom. All that lovely heat from the cooker will rise up and have your bedroom bearable by bed time. If a particularly cold evening crops up why not do batch cooking/baking and make several freezable meals at once. Hot food and hot drinks should give you a nice warm glow for a while too.


How about Exercise?

Keeping your body moving can warm you up and work off all the calories from the baked goods you've been cooking and eating. The only problem with this is the inevitable cooling down that comes later.

There are many exercise videos available online. I find that a 40 minute circuit training video can keep me hot (and red in the face) for up to an hour afterwards.


Use a dodgy old laptop.

OK, so this option may be a bit tongue in cheek but the old laptop I use for word processing chucks out a ridiculous amount of heat. Even with a book between me and the laptop it's unbearably hot in the Summer! What things or activities have you got in your life that can keep you warm?

Deluxe Portable Gas Butane Stove with Free Case
Deluxe Portable Gas Butane Stove with Free Case

One thing we decided to buy when we lived in our last house was a little gas camping stove. If there were any power outages we knew we could make hot drinks, have a hot meal and fill our hot water bottles.

 

A Quick Plan for Winter

  • Check the loft and see if it needs insulating.
  • Get enough hot water bottles for everyone.
  • Obtain draft excluders for all doors leading to the outside.
  • Make quilted curtains to go over doorways.
  • Cover windows with film, quilted curtains etc.
  • Check everyone has enough sweaters, hats, scarves, mittens, coats, layers etc
  • Brush up on knitting skills and make hats, mittens, scarves, blankets, sweaters.
  • Dig out Winter bedding and bed clothes.
  • Find any blankets that can be used on the couch.
  • Decide where to make your "base" in the house for cold winter evenings.
  • Check heating and fuel. Does anything need to be ordered?


Carex, Hot Water Bottle with Fleece Cover, Threaded Stopper Prevents Leaking, Latex-Free, for Hot or Cold Therapy, Great for Cramps, Muscle Pain, Joint Pain from Arthritis, Headaches, Hot Flashes
Carex, Hot Water Bottle with Fleece Cover, Threaded Stopper Prevents Leaking, Latex-Free, for Hot or Cold Therapy, Great for Cramps, Muscle Pain, Joint Pain from Arthritis, Headaches, Hot Flashes

Hot water bottles are essential if you don't want to get in between freezing cold sheets at bedtime. Once you're in bed you also have a foot warmer ready to go.

 

What's your favourite way to keep warm in Winter?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • LizMac60 profile image

      Liz Mackay 

      3 years ago from United Kingdom

      Love the crazy photo at the top and the very good advice throughout.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)