Apartment Living

11 Cold Weather Hacks That Will Make Winter More Bearable

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Winter is coming, and you need these cold weather hacks to make the season more bearable. Well, actually, I love winter, but I know not everyone enjoys feeling cold. I grew up in a place that never got snow, much less freezing temperatures, so I’ve had to learn these cold weather hacks myself over the past three years of moving around.

Below, I give you my best cold weather hacks to help you stay warm and cozy this winter!

#1 No ice scraper? Use a dustpan.

If your car windshield is covered in ice in the morning, run into the kitchen and grab a dustpan. They’re large, flat, heavy-duty, and usually have a soft rubber lining to prevent scratching.

Credit cards are a bad idea because they usually break apart; plus, they’re so small that it’s tedious.

Of course, you can always get yourself a real ice scraper.

#2 Prevent your car windshield from icing over with a cover.

Hate scraping your windshield in the morning? (Don’t we all!) Prevent it from happening in the first place with a windshield snow and ice cover.

I just bought the FrostGuard GO for my Prius this winter, and I WISH I’d gotten it earlier. What a genius cold weather hack!

#3 Keep your hands warm with this 3-in-1 heater with a built-in hand warmer.

You might be able to save on your heating bill by using a small space heater, like this one from Walmart. The awesome thing about this 3-in-1 heater is that it has a built-in hand-warming disc. You just pop it out of the heater and cup your hands around it. Genius, right?!

Related: How to Stay Warm Without Power

#4 Prevent busted pipes with heat tape.

Yes, you can leave your cabinets underneath the sinks open to let warm air surround the pipes, but that doesn’t always work. The best way to prevent frozen pipes during winter is to use heat tape. You install this heat cable under your sink, and it keeps your pipes warm all the way down to -40 degree weather!

#5 Wear leggings underneath your pants for extra warmth.

If you don’t have thermals, try putting on a pair of leggings (or even pantyhose) underneath your jeans for an extra layer of warmth. I love to wear double-layered leggings underneath my jeans during the winter.

#6 Make baked goods, and leave the oven open to warm up the kitchen.

Winter is the perfect time for baking! Not only do you get to make hearty winter meals—banana bread, pies, and roasted turkey, anyone?—but you also get the bonus of heating up your kitchen with the oven.

When you’re done baking, and you’ve turned the oven OFF, leave the door open to allow the residual hot air to circulate in the kitchen and warm you.

Warning: You should never, ever heat up an empty oven just to warm the house.

#7 Boil water in a big pot to make the air less dry and warm up the area.

Don’t you hate how you keep shocking yourself during winter because the air is SO dry? Turning on heaters during winter can suck the moisture right out of the air, making it very uncomfortable and drying for your skin.

Here’s a cold weather hack you can use: Boil a big pot of water on the stove; this will serve as a dehumidifier, putting moisture back into the air and warming up the area. PLEASE keep an eye on the stove and make sure to refill the pot when the water runs out.

#8 Heal chapped lips and cracking hands with petroleum jelly + cotton gloves

Handwashing plus cold weather plus dry air equals severely cracked hands. You can also get chapped lips pretty badly during the winter. One simple cold weather hack to resolve both of those issues is petroleum jelly. Keep a tub or tube of it on hand; ALWAYS slather your hands in it after washing them to keep the moisture sealed into your skin.

I like to carry around a tube of petroleum jelly everywhere I go to keep my skin moist. It’s very gentle and soothing, and it healed my cracked hands!

If you’re finding that you’re accidentally smearing petroleum jelly everywhere you go in the house, put on cotton lotion gloves to keep the jelly in and keep it off your doorknobs and furniture. This is what I do, and I even cut off the tips of some of the cotton gloves so that I can more easily type and use my phone with the gloves on.

Another hack: Before you go out into the cold, slather the petroleum jelly on your hands, put on the cotton gloves, and THEN put on your snow gloves so that they don’t get jelly all inside them.

#9 Sip hot tea and soups to keep warm, even without heating.

Consuming liquids that are hot in temperature might help you feel warm even when the air around you is cold. So this winter, switch to eating soups and drinking tea throughout the day to stay cozy.

#10 Throw your blanket into the heater for 15 minutes before going to bed as an electric blanket substitute.

No electric blanket? No problem! Just throw your blanket into the heater for 15 minutes before bed. There’s nothing like wrapping yourself up in a warm blanket as you doze off to sleep.

Everyone loves hot drinks, from students who are staying late at night with hot coffee working on their custom research paper to your kids enjoying hot cocoa. Consuming liquids that are hot in temperature might help you feel warm even when the air around you is cold. So this winter, switch to eating soups and drinking tea throughout the day to stay cozy.

#11 Use a humidifier while you sleep.

Dry air feels colder, and moist air feels warmer. So use a dehumidifier while you sleep. This has been a GAME-CHANGER for me this winter, as the humidity where I live is usually 30%, and nighttime temperatures are in the 40s and 30s right now.

I bought the Vicks Warm Moisture Humidifier, V750. I love it so far! Before, I had a hard time sleeping because the air was so dry that my throat and mouth were drying out, and the static electricity made the sheets cling to me. But with this humidifier, things are MUCH more comfy in my room!

Which of these cold weather hacks will you use?

So there you have it! I hope these cold weather hacks make winter cozier for you. Did I leave anything out? Comment below with your best cold weather hacks!

NEXT: Check out my 16 hacks for staying warm when the power goes out!