Chase Away Those Winter Blues

Feel like winter is burying you alive?  Don’t let the winter months weigh you down!   A simple “mindset” change can help you get through the drabbest, dreariest and chilliest of winter.

So many folks talk about how they hate the winter months – they are stuck in the house and just sulk around.  Well, the fact of the matter is, winter can be the perfect opportunity to get things taken care of that you’ve been putting off for a long time.

It’s also great time to reflect, refresh and renew.

Start by asking yourself:  “Why am I waiting until spring to spring clean?”   Frankly, spring is such a beautiful time of year that I, for one, want to be able to just run outside and enjoy it – not be cleaning and organizing the freakin’ house!

NOW is a great time to spring house clean and de-clutter.  Clothes that are stained or torn need to be used as cleaning rags or tossed.  Clothes you haven’t worn in ages need to get donated to someone in dire need.

Organize closets and stored items – paring down to things not needed or useable.  Perhaps you can donate them also – and don’t forget to get a receipt for your taxes.

The next few months are also a great time to pick up on steals and deals online and in stores.  Retailers already have spring stuff coming in, so they’ve got to heavily mark down their stock to make way for new inventory.  If you’ve been thinking of getting a new vehicle, see if your local dealers need to unload any 2019 models – if they do, they will probably sell them at a low price!

Thinking about sprucing up the inside of your home?  Many painters are offering discounts because they are slow in winter.  A good coat of fresh paint in your favorite colors will give your rooms an instant lift.  Why wait until spring when painters are busy and prices are UP?

This is also a good time to make a list of projects and goals for 2020.  Keep the list handy to serve as an incentive throughout the year to help you keep on track. Studies show that those who write down their projects and goals are more apt to accomplish more of them than those who keep them in their head.

MORE IDEAS AND PROJECTS TO TACKLE:  Get these important projects out of the way before spring arrives:

  • Clean out the dryer vent, not just the filter, but the vent itself (helps prevent fires)
  • Test the smoke detector
  • Test the carbon monoxide detector – if you have gas and don’t have a detector, now is the time to get one. They are inexpensive and easy to mount.
  • Wash bedroom pillows – not just the cases, but the actual pillows. Allergens and dust mites run amuck inside your pillows.  Just changing pillow cases isn’t going to kill those suckers.
  • Has your home ever been checked for Radon gas? If not, it is recommended to check for Radon in the winter for a more accurate reading (since the house is more sealed up than in the warmer months). Radon kits are easy to find online or in hardware stores.

All of the above stuff is actually “work” and not much fun!  But there are a lot of fun things you can do in winter.   Here are a few ideas:

  • Chilly night? Time to catch up on all those books you’ve never gotten around to reading.  AND don’t forget the hot chocolate (with or without Bailey’s Irish Cream) or eggnog.  NOTE: Ignore anyone who says eggnog is just for the holidays.
  • Jigsaw puzzles and mind games: For those of you who love a good jigsaw puzzle, this is the perfect time of year keep one on a card table or dining room table in front of the TV.  Jigsaws and mind game puzzles (crosswords, word searches, etc.) are fun and help keep your brain sharp.
  • Whip out the popcorn and watch your favorite movies.
  • Plan a girl’s (or guy’s) day out for brunch (with or without mimosas or bloody marys) or meet for coffee and pastries just to gab and catch up!  No pals available?  NO problem.  Grab your favorite newspaper or magazine and GO!


MAKE YOUR SPRINGTIME PLANS NOW:  A dear friend of mine just told me she’s just ordered railing planters for the first time and made her list of the plants going into them come spring.  This is also a great time to peruse seed, plant and tree catalogs.  When spring has actually sprung, you won’t waste those gorgeous days pondering what you want to plant in your garden or yard.

For those in the North and Midwest, this is the perfect time to take a good look at your bleak landscape.  Where would you like to see the first colors of spring?  Plants like the Crocus and Hellebores are usually the first ones “up” – sometimes even in February!   The Crocus will add delicate pops of colors in white, pink, or purple.  Bushy and winter hardy Hellebores plants come in a variety colors.  I’ve seen their delicate blooms peak through snow!  Make garden notes now of where you want to add early blooming plants come spring, making those dreary areas the “first” to have a splash of color next year.

ADD SOLAR LIGHTS OR STAKES to brighten up your yard during winter.  Add a warm evening glow by draping a strand of small white solar lights over a garden ornament, statue, gazebo, shed, small tree, bush or garden bench. Strategically placed solar stakes glowing outside your window will liven up your spirits. A glass snowman solar stake from Home Depot with his cheery smile, greets me every night at dusk.  You can even add solar stakes to patios or balconies (container planters).

NOW is the perfect opportunity to tackle home projects, plan your spring garden, have some fun and get great shopping deals! Go ahead, ramp up and kick Old Man Winter to the curb!


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