Winter time is a time when it’s essential to have your act together. The weather is pretty unforgiving and, if you are not prepared, you can find things get pretty bleak. In this post, we share a few winter home safety tips so you can start prepping for winter weather as early as Autumn, and make sure that you are organised for when the winter weather before the dark nights descend
We will show you how to make a family command centre, organised with everything you need to get you and the kids out of the door all warm and
We will give you a winter prepping checklist and talk you through the jobs you need to do in the home to prep for winter!
Why you should be prepping for winter
Let’s just zoom ahead by a month or two: You’re running out of the door with
- book bags,
- water bottles,
- packed lunches,
- PE kits,
- swimming kits
- all your stuff for work,
- musical instruments
Then, a great blast of icy wind hits you out of nowhere.
” Why wasn’t I ready for this? ” You guiltily ask yourself as you stare at the unexpected thick layer of ice on your windscreen.
Panic sets in as you look at your kids shivering beside you.
You haven’t got time to drop the mountain of stuff you’re carrying to dash upstairs to dig their gloves out of storage.
You have no choice but to leave, unprepared, cold and driving whilst peering through a tiny hole in your icy windscreen.
You start believing you are the worst parent in the playground, as everyone else’s children arrive with their gloves, hats, and winter coats on.
You then spend the day feeling guilty that you sent your kids to school with no gloves and wearing their summer coat.
You convince yourself those little fingers will freeze and fall off by lunchtime, which, prompts you to do a frantic Internet search for “frostbite in children”.
Benefits of winter prep
- Your kids can find their hats gloves and scarfs on the first day of cold weather
- You can defrost your car quickly
- You can find all you need in an emergency such as stormy weather.
- Your house will be protected against cold weather
- You have less chance of the boiler breaking down
- You have less chance of burst pipes
- You will have a well-stocked pantry
- Your car will be winter ready
- Your house will be more secure
Prepping for winter.
The end of the summer is a great time to start getting clued up on prepping for winter and emergency preparedness. Here’s what you need to do!
Here’s what you need to do to start prepping for winter.
- Get your boiler checked and serviced.
It’s well known that boilers have a funny way of breaking down on the coldest day of the winter. Don’t risk being without heat in the cold weather book your
bolierin for a check and service today!
- Bleed your radiators
This is just a very quick job to prepare for the winter and one which will save energy and help you keep warm air circulating through your home. a radiator key is one of the cheapest winter essentials for home.
- Check your roof is water tight
Preparing for winter season includes outhouses and garage roofs. It’s much cheaper to get someone to check it out that to pay for any repairs due to water damage and dampness caused by a loose tile.
- Clean out the gutters
This is one of the most important cold weather tips for the home, it is a morning’s work but stops drains getting blocked and guttering getting damaged due to the weight of heavy wet leaves.
- Get carbon monoxide detectors fitted
One of the most important winter home tips, as we have more heating on and fewer windows open it is important that we have carbon monoxide monitors fitted near high-risk places such as the boiler.
- Replace fire alarm batteries
The risk of fire increases in the winter due to open fires, candles, Christmas tree lights etc . Get brand new batteries fitted to your smoke alarms or get one fitted if you don’t already have one. It’s always important for winter safety and better to be safe than sorry.
- Check all fencing ready for winter storms
It’s better to replace one loose panel now than the whole fence after a winter storm! Let’s hope that fence is strong enough for cold weather survival!
- Turn off all outside taps.
This is another simple prepping for winter tip that could save you money on burst pipes this winter!
- Keep you car filled up with fuel
Often journeys may be diverted to a longer route or motorways may be brought to a standstill due to winter accidents on icy roads. If you’re stuck in a traffic jam in the winter you need to keep warm and have the heating on, keeping your car full of petrol will stop you from panicking when the unexpected happens on a long journey
- Stock up on candles and matches
Even though power outages are rare these days they can still happen during winter storms. Keep candles and matches close to hand just in case you get stuck in a power outage or there is a power surge. candles are one thing I love about home preparation for winter.
- Replace batteries your torches.
Keep one in the car , one by the front and back door and one upstairs in case of emergencies.
- Fit draft excluders to the doors
Keep the cold air out and the warm air in! Keep your winter home
cozy! Don’t leave this job till the last minute, the temperature can drop at any time!
- Secure your home
Check all door and window locks are secure, keep those burglars out!
- Check all external lights
Black ice can be treacherous in the dark, make sure all lights and security light are working for dark winter nights.
- Stock up on food
When winter illnesses and Norovirus hits its good to have a sock of food in the house in case of emergencies.
For tips on freezing and preparing food for winter read this post
- Brush up on survival skills as a family
Teach your kids what to do in case on an emergency or fire. teach yourself how to fix a tyre. show your family where the stop cock is for the water and show them where the fusebox is situated.
- Set up light and heating timers.
Winter has fewer daylight hours than any other season which can be a hunting ground for intruders. S
ecureyour house by getting light and heating timers to switch on when you are not at home.
- Insulate all external water pipes
Burst pipes can be expensive , if you can’t turn off external water taps, insulate the pipes to save money and avoid any damage from the icy weather!
Foods to stock when prepping for winter
Stocking up for winter is a great idea, as it helps when you’re hit by flu or Norovirus and find yourself unable to get out to buy food. Often flu and the sickness bugs wipe out the whole family so its good to have a stock of healthy foods to rely on in a crisis. Buy your tins and pantry essentials when they are at a reduced price and put them away for the winter months. for a printable list of foods to stock up on for winter read this post
- Beans, baked beans, butter beans, red kidney beans, chickpeas are all great to add to curries soups and stews for a hearty winter meal. beans are also a great base for a stew.
- Lentils, great in soups, salads or stews a very versatile source of protein.
- Oats, great for granola, porridge, overnight oats and baking.
- Tinned fruit, vegetables, beans, tuna, if it’s in a tin keep it in!
- Frozen vegetables, these are a great standby for a side dish or for stews and smoothies.
- Frozen fruit, I use these daily in smoothies and they are great in overnight oats, as the juice soaks into the oats for a delicious breakfast.
- Long life milk, always a great thing to have in stock for when you’re too ill to pop to the shops.
- Water, bottles of water are essential for having by the bedside when illness strikes its important to keep those fluids up!
- Nuts, these are a great source of protein to keep in stock and can be added to salads, stews or breakfast cereals.
- Pasta, a great simply speedy meal in a hurry, coupled with a jar of pesto!
- Rice, a healthy base to any meal or salad and a great store item!
- Pesto sauce, this is great to eat with pasta and simple to throw together! Its also great spread on bread added to stews for extra flavour or for use on a pizza base.
For more information on how to kill the sickness bug, read this post
Preparing for winter with kids
Getting all your kid’s winter clothes ready and waiting for the big chill is another integral part of prepping for winter. Making sure your cloakroom or command centre is clutter free and organised can help you get your kids out of the door and off to school with little or no fuss in the mornings.
A command centre is a central space, like a launch pad where everyone can find their belongings. It is usually situated at the front door so everyone can check their schedule and grab their belongings as they go out. A command centre is a good way for kids to learn to hang their belonging back up too. you don’t have to spend too much money creating a launch pad, a couple of coat hooks and a chalkboard to write everyone’s schedule on is all you need, along with a few baskets. It doesn’t need to be perfect, just as long as everyone knows where their stuff is and it works well for your family.
- Go to your cloakroom or coat/shoe area and take everything out (yes everything)
- Give the room a good clean.
- Put all the summer shoes into storage
- Replace the summer shoes with two pairs of winter shoes each.
- The rest of the shoes (less often worn), should stay in wardrobes and return there after each wearing.
- Donate any unworn or outgrown shoes and coats, make sure these are removed from the house as soon as possible!
- Hang up all jackets and coats (except those worn daily) in the bedroom wardrobe.
You now have an empty space, please do not fill it back up!
If you need help and motivation to declutter click here
Organising winter coats
Coat closets can become cluttered very easily as we have to have enough coats to cope with the very changeable British weather! Coat closets are usually small spaces under the stairs or in the porch or entryway so it’s important to keep your coat closet decluttered and organised. The way to keep this area organised is to be very strict about what you keep in there for day to day use. I prefer to only store one winter coat per person and two pairs of shoes per person in my coat closet. All other items should be stored in the wardrobe after wearing.
If you need advice and tips on how to create a minimal capsule wardrobe click here
Organising hats and gloves
Buy each child, several pairs of gloves in one plain colour, so when one glove goes missing you will always be able to make a pair. All my daughter’s gloves are plain grey, and my son’s gloves are navy blue. I usually buy several pairs each and typically end up with one full pair each at the end of the winter!
- Dig out all the hats and gloves from storage.
- Check for rips and tears or outdated outgrown items.
- Donate unwanted items.
- Keep one set of gloves, scarf and hat per person, in small baskets in the cloakroom. If you are short of space you could use a hanging storage system. You can use a small basket per person or keep all gloves in one basket, and hats in another, each method works well depending on your space.
- All other items are stored in wardrobes until they are needed.
- Put all wellies and boots on mud tray.
Try to this area as streamlined as possible to help you to leave the house quickly and efficiently each morning.
The emptier this space is, the easier it will be for everyone to find their stuff when they need it.
Use this area to store anything needed to grab on the way out to school and work, to keep your mornings running smoothly read my post here
Prepping for winter: house tips
- Hang coat hooks at a low level so your kids can hang up their own coats instead of leaving them on bannisters or the lounge floor!
- Hang low hooks to store backpacks, lunch bags, and sports kits so children can be responsible for their own belongings. giving your kids responsibility for their own belongings helps build self-esteem and confidence.
- Add a basket to your command centre to store things that need to be taken out of the house such as library books, borrowed items, shopping bags etc. make a point of emptying this basket every day! you could carry this basket to the car if you know you are going to be out and about and drop off all the items as you pass!
- Add a schedule to the wall so everyone knows which kit they need for which day and can grab their belongings as they leave, you could even draw simple pictures for toddlers to follow. For more information on creating a morning routine chart read this post
Preparing for winter car kit
You will need to prepare your car for the icy winter weather. As the temperature drops the risk of accidents increases as do the chances of getting stuck in traffic. Draw up a list of the things you will need on your commute to work or to see relatives and make sure you are on top of your winter preparedness.
- Winter tyres for driving in freezing rain and snowy conditions
- Deicer to make getting out in the mornings much quicker
- Ice scraper for scraping the car windows
- Ready-mixed anti-freeze to prevent your windscreen washers from getting frozen
- Soft warm car blankets in case you break down, these come handy to keep the kids cosy in the winter too!
- Water bottles, in case you break down, I like the stainless steel ones as they keep liquids hot and cold for up to 18 hours
- Snacks, again, in case you break down, this is especially important if you are driving on a long journey with kids.
- A breakdown sign, every car should have one of these, especially if you are driving at night.
- A first aid kit, let’s hope you never need it, but it’s always best to be safe than sorry!
- Snow shovel you may need this for
shovellingsnow that has fallen when you’ve been away from your car for a few hours or if you slide into a ditch when driving on black ice
- Spare tire in case of any punctures.
For tips on staying safe on the winter roads, you might like to read these 12 tips from the MET Office
You’re now ready for the big chill!
1. Think about what you need to survive if you had a power outage, or were unable to leave the house for a few days and stock up accordingly.
2. Make sure you keep your house well maintained so that the winter months are kinder to your home.
3. Ensure boilers and central heating systems are regularly serviced and maintained.
4. Make sure elderly relatives are able to be reached by cell phone if there is a phone cable outage.
Here in the UK we do not have may power outages, however its always good to have a torch and some candles and a lighter handy incase there is a power cut.
What are you prepping for winter? Let us know in the comments!
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