10 ways to welcome winter

Contrary to popular belief, you can make winter wonderful! Check out 10 ways to prepare for & welcome winter this year.

Instead of getting lost in a cold, dark cycle of work/sleep/repeat this winter, plan and prepare to enjoy the change in season – no matter how dark, wet or windy it gets.

1. Prepare your garden

Prune, mulch, gather and plant! Put your gloves on and give your garden some love in preparation of increased rainfall and frosts. 

Use a leaf blower/vacuum to gather fallen autumn leaves and remove them from your gutters; not only is it an essential pre-winter task to avoid potential leaks, the gathered leaves can be used to create a nutritious compost for spring. 

Keep your plants protected with some mulch, cut back those trees with pruners and loppers, and don’t forget to plant brassicas, leafy greens and herbs for a nourishing, ‘glad-you-grew-that’ mid-winter harvest.

2. Find some firewood & clean your chimney

If you have a fireplace, now is the time to clean your chimney and stock up on firewood. If you rely on modern heating solutions but miss the crackling ember of a raw fire, then treat your backyard to a brazier

Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the outdoors – a still and starry night is the perfect time to light a fire and wind down for the night. Pop your puffer on and let your mind melt away with those mesmerizing flames.

3. Rug up your outdoor stuff

Speaking of firewood… Keep your stash dry (and neatly stacked) with an outdoor firewood rack or shelter.

If you don’t have a garage or shed, you’ll want to protect all your backyard furniture, vehicles and tools with outdoor furniture covers to avoid rusting, mould and deterioration.

4. Get a freezer... and fill it up

As autumn comes to an end, put your slow cooker, stick mixer and tupperware to good use by prepping hearty winter soups, casseroles and stews in bulk.

Not only will you set yourself up to eat healthy, home-cooked meals, you’ll make better use out of the already limited daylight hours. Sussing some extra storage space for pre-made dinners now will give you more time later in the season to enjoy a post-work walk or sunset run.

5. Examine your energy efficiency

Now is the best time to take stock of where your power is going – smart systems and energy monitors can help you identify what’s eating your electricity.

Make your household a little more efficient with smart strips, which automatically power off the charge when your electric devices are in standby mode, reducing power use. Choose LED bulbs, fairy lights, or even install a dimmer switch for vibey and cost-efficient lighting.

If your power company offers off-peak rates, be sure to use your washing machine, dishwasher or dryer during those times. If not, upgrading at least one of your appliances to a more energy efficient model will save you hundreds of dollars in the long-run.

Short on cash? Filter listings by ones that offer Afterpay. Better yet, filter by $1 reserve items and try landing yourself a bargain!

6. Insulate your home

Trap every ray of sunshine your home gets during the day with draught stoppers between rooms and sealing strips on windows and doors – it’ll give you a headstart on heating your home at night.

Make sure you’ve got insulated curtains and if possible, replace the largest windows in your home with double-glazed units. You can even hang drapes between archways or to reduce the size of rooms as a low-cost way to make a large room cosier and easier to heat.

7. Test your smoke alarm

The NZ Fire Service experiences an increased number of house fire callouts during winter. Don’t be a statistic – make sure you test your smoke alarm and replace it (or the batteries) if needed.

While you’re at it, get your ducts in a row! Clean the vents of your heater and replace your air conditioning units with new filters. Remove lint from your dryer after each use, and dust the grill at the back to prevent any build-up and potential of overheating.

8. Mentally prepare yourself

It seems that no matter how many winters roll around, the shift in season can all too often take us by cold and unwanted surprise – it’s just as important to prepare your mind for the change in conditions. If you're missing those sun-soaked days, why not bring some rays back with this cool sun illusion lamp! We heard this particular lamp went viral on Tik Tok.

Think about whatever frustrates you during winter, and find ways to keep your spirits up. If you drive, a heated ice scraper for your cars’ windscreen will make swiping frost in the morning a cinch.

If you struggle with the cold, maybe a heated jacket, a good pair of sheepskin slippers or hooded blanket will keep you toasty. A new coffee machine or heated towel rail will make it easier to brave extra cold mornings.

9. Preserve up a storm

Get out your preserving jars and preserve up a storm! If you love a particular fruit or vegetable, stock up on it while it’s cheap and in season, and turn it into a chutney, jam, salsa or pesto. 

There’s no shortage of books and recipes online to get you inspired – from lemons to pickles, preserving the fruits and vegetables from your garden is so much fun it’ll likely become your... jam.

10. Think about your home like a winter retreat

As we say goodbye to backyard BBQ’s and that sun-drenched coffee spot on the balcony, a little work is required to ensure nights inside are just as favorable.

You could be extra and splash out on your own sauna room… But if the budget says no, start by simply rearranging your main living space – face your furniture inward and away from windows to create a cosy nook for board games, movies and potluck dinners.

Candles and diffusers with wooden, vanilla or cinnamon scents will feel homely and indulgent, and a feather-and-down duvet is always a good investment. A portable fireplace will up the snug factor immediately, and can be easily stored when it’s no longer needed in spring.

What will you do to prepare your home and garden? Suss all the items and inspo you need for a winter you can welcome today.

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