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Winter is Here: 5 Things to Help Prepare for the Cold and Darker Months

Updated on November 15, 2014

Its Winter and This is the Photo on my Street to Prove it!

It snowed and it stuck on the road near my house, November 13,2014
It snowed and it stuck on the road near my house, November 13,2014 | Source

What you can do to prepare for winter and make your life easier.

There are five areas you can help yourself out and prepare for winter. A little preparation now will make your life easier and less stressful during the shorter months. Remember the days get darker sooner, they are colder, and you always seem busy. I know, technically we are a little over a month before actual winter but hey I go by when the snow falls!

Holidays are numerous, family is always present and staying longer then needed, and on top of that the flu and cold season becomes the front and center enemy. As the saying goes, "an ounce of prevention" can help improve your outlook and may increase your happiness. All things that are needed in a time were you can easily get depressed, worn down, and downright grumpy.

Of course if you are a lucky one and live in Florida or Southern California and don't suffer much snow then hooray for you. This maybe wont apply but then you have your own set of winter issues.

So lets take a look at the 5 areas we can take a pro-active approach to helping make our lives simpler and easier and improve our chances of having a less stressful winter.

Autumn Within - with this poem we give an early wave bye bye to fall

It is autumn; not without,
But within me is the cold.
Youth and spring are all about;
It is I that have grown old.

Birds are darting through the air,
Singing, building without rest;
Life is stirring everywhere,
Save within my lonely breast.

There is silence: the dead leaves
Fall and rustle and are still;
Beats no flail upon the sheaves
Comes no murmur from the mill.

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Top Section at a Glance

# 1 Take Care of the Vehicle Maintenance

# 2 Prepare your Home for the Cold Temperatures to Come

# 3 Prepare the Family for the Winter Months and Holiday Season

# 4 Reducing the Medical Problems Associated with Winter

# 5 Taking Care of Yourself will Help you Take Care of Others

# 1 Take Care of the Vehicle Maintenance

Believe me you do not want to get stuck anywhere when it is cold outside or have problems with your vehicle.In some cases it can be inconvenient and in other cases it can be catastrophic. So get your vehicle prepared with these top ten tips.

  1. If your oil needs changing do it now rather than later.
  2. Change out your wiper blades with new winter blades.
  3. Make sure your windshield wiper fluid is full and kept that way to help remove snow and ice from the windshield.
  4. Change out all filters.
  5. Have your heater checked and serviced if needed.
  6. Fill up tires, change to winter tires if needed, and replace bald tires for better winter traction. Colder weather will trip your tire pressure sensors so fill them up now.
  7. Replace the battery with a better cold start version.
  8. For diesel motors add a cold weather fuel additive and prepare the engine block heater for use.
  9. Make sure you have jumper cables, and emergency supplies in the truck including blankets and other essentials if you get stuck on the road.
  10. Plan for an emergency with the numbers you may need like roadside assistance and others.

I am sure there a few more that can be added to this list, so if you know of any please leave them in the comments below. This is not to hard and can all be accomplished within a day or two. But if you ever need to take advantage of this you will be so glad you prepared and when you drive in the winter snow you will may feel more secure in knowing you did all that you could to make sure you will get to where you are going..

Source

# 2 Prepare your Home for the Cold Temperatures to Come

In place of our number one option the home is probably the more important thing to get ready for winter. Keeping the heating bill down, avoiding costly repairs, and keeping the snow and ice at bay are just some of the duties you will need to prepare for.

There are many things you can do to help improve and prepare your home for the cold months. These are our favorite 10 things.

  1. Install a programmable thermostat and don't heat the home when you are not there. Turn it down to about 60 or so.
  2. Turn down the thermostat when you are there to about 68 or 67 and wear warmer clothes.
  3. Have your furnace checked and serviced each winter and replace filters as needed. Also check chimneys, flumes, wood burning stoves, and gas fireplaces.
  4. Install window film around all the outside windows to help reduce the cold coming through and remove it during the spring.
  5. Make sure there are no leaks and use caulk to make sure all the drafts are sealed.
  6. Get the snow blower out and make sure it is ready to go, that you have a full can of gas, and it cleaned and oiled.
  7. Get snow shovels out and any salt for the walkways.
  8. Make sure all the outside lights work and have extra bulbs if needed. Because its darker earlier you want to make sure you can turn on the lights for anyone who comes by so the can safely navigate the walks.
  9. Have emergency supplies ready and updated in case of a power outage. This should include water, lights, batteries, radio, generator, and safe indoor heating devices.
  10. Walk around your home and note that the sprinkler system is shut down properly, all hose bibs have anti freeze protectors on them, and there are no branches or tree limbs that could possibly fall during a winter freeze and need to be removed now.

A few things that you do now can help you during the winter months to keep the heat flowing in your home. These things done before hand are a lot easier to do than when it gets really cold outside. If you know of some other items you can do to prepare your home then please leave them in the comment section below.

The Holiday Poll

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# 3 Prepare the Family for the Winter Months and Holiday Season

One thing winter is about is the holidays and family. You probably will spend a lot more time with family and other loved ones. But there are still a lot of things you can do to prepare your family for winter that includes things like travel, cold weather, time off school, and time changes.

Here are some top things you can do to help improve the happiness your family can experience during the winter months.

  1. Get all the warm clothes your family will need including coats, boots, socks, and thermals. You can even donate older items to places that need used winter clothes.
  2. Plan out your holiday schedule and make travel plans as far in advance as possible.
  3. Shop early for supplies for the holidays like non-perishable food, wrapping paper, and other items.
  4. Make a note of the kids time off from school schedule and if you are working the plan if any for child care.
  5. Prepare any quest areas for people who will be staying with you so you are not rushing around at the last moment. When you look prepared for someone visiting they really notice and believe you care.
  6. Make a holiday schedule. You will probably have a lot of parties to attend, family gatherings, school plays, and other events. A calendar with a list of items you may need to bring can help you keep on top of things.
  7. Take some time to have some good family fun or fun with friends.
  8. Do a family service project and teach children about service. Helping and serving others can bring a lot of happiness and joy to the server and the served.
  9. Winter sports are fun and expensive. But planning for a few days to get out and go sledding can give your kids enough fun in the cold.

There are a lot of other things you can do to prepare your family for winter and the most obvious we left out. That is because we will cover that in the next section and that is for all the medical things to prepare for in the winter.

# 4 Reducing the Medical Problems Associated with Winter

When winter comes so does the flu and cold season and a host of other medical and possible injury problems.There is the issue that everyone seems sick, the hazards of ice and snow, and the depressing nature of being seemingly dark all the time.

So what are some things you can do to help reduce these medical mishaps and almost unavoidable sicknesses? Well here are a few ideas you can do to help prepare.

  1. Get a flu shot to ward of the flu.
  2. Stock up on supplies for colds including tissues, cold medicine, fluids, and other items.
  3. Have a thermometer knowing the temperature can alert you to dangers of a very high fever.
  4. Take a multivitamin to help boost your immune system.
  5. Avoid sick people if possible, don't go out if you are sick, and keep sick kids home. Especially during the time they could spread their ailment.
  6. If sick see a doctor or medical advice from a professional.
  7. Keep warm and covered up when outdoors.
  8. Plan for sick days, know how many you have available, where and who will take care of children, and if alone notify someone you know that you are sick so they can check up on you.
  9. Teach family about safety in the snow and falling around ice. Both are dangerous if not understood. Many deaths occur when falling on ice.
  10. Finally don't push to hard during the season, get enough rest, and reduce stress.

There are a lot more things you can do to make sure you are prepared for the coming cold months. When the flu and cold season hits it does so hard and fast so take a little time to be prepared, there is nothing more annoying then having to go out and buy medicine when you do not feel good.

# 5 Taking Care of Yourself will Help you Take Care of Others

In the end if you are not taking care of yourself you can't take care of all the other things in this article. If you get run down, sick, or depressed you may not have a great winter. And that my lead to a lot of other issues when spring comes.

So here are some things you can do to help improve your own outlook in winter and make sure you are ready to tackle the world, survive the winter, and make it look like you are a superstar.

  1. Don't overdo it. I know you will and you can't help it. But please take a little more thought in your planning and don't over do things.
  2. Take some time to relax and read a book. Sit by the fire, curl up with some cocoa and read something that you like.
  3. Look at everything you need to do this winter on your calendar of events and remove one thing.
  4. Look to serve others, this will not only let you forget about your own problems but will give you a balm for what ails you...work.
  5. Give a little something to a great cause. Giving is another way to feel happier.
  6. Get sunlight when you can. If it is a sunny day take a few moments and soak it up.
  7. Take care of yourself with lots of rest, vitamins, healthy food, and exercise.
  8. Spend some quality time with family, friends, or loved ones.
  9. Enjoy a good movie that makes you cry and one that makes you laugh.
  10. Finally do as many things on the list above to help you have a smooth and great running winter.

Its not hard to do some of these things its just that sometimes we run out of time, or forget, or just get to busy and distracted. But try to take some time this winter and take care of yourself, you will be glad you did, and you will be better able to take care of others.

In Conclusion

A little preparation in the end can save a ton of time, frustration, and headaches later on. That comes back to that ounce of prevention quote. Just a little prevention can make sure that you are well prepared this winter.

Calling all Entrepreneurs

I wrote another article about how you can make an online business with some of these ideas. I felt like there was a huge opportunity to relate this information to others and also, for those enterprising enough, turn it into a viable online business.

It goes over the 5 items above and are outlined in the video below.

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