10 Cozy Ways to Stay Warm All Winter Long

cozy winter indoors

Just when you think that winter has loosened its grip (remember that glorious January thaw we had last week?), it’s snatched us up once more in its clutches. With below-freezing temperatures and gloomy gray days, you may feel like you’ll never be warm again.

While spring is slowly but surely making its way back, we have some tips to help you stay warm and snug for the rest of the brutal winter season. Check them out below!

Light a Fire – If you have a fireplace, then it’s time to put it to good use! Keep your fire tools and supplies close by to make starting a blaze a breeze. Bedeck your mantel with your favorite decorations, snuggle up in a comfortable chair, put your feet up, and bask in the warmth that a fireplace gives!

Bake Something Delicious – Want to stay warm and enjoy something delicious? It’s time to break out the cookbook, turn on the oven, and bake your favorite food! Whether you’re making the perfect chocolate chip cookie or a cozy comfort food like mac ‘n’ cheese, you can’t go wrong with baking in the wintertime!

Sip and Savor Your Favorite Hot Drink – What better way to warm up than enjoying your freshly-baked treats with your favorite hot beverage? Sip your favorite tea, wake up to a hot cup of coffee, or a mug of hot chocolate with the works as you lounge in your favorite chair.

Dress Up Your Windows Properly – You’re probably not running around in a tank top and shorts. Just like you, your windows should be properly outfitted for the weather, too! Stay warm by replacing thin curtains with heavier drapery made of wool or fleece. Don’t forget to open them up on sunny days to soak up some free heat!

Throw Some Throws Around the House – Don’t get us wrong – throws and blankets are perfect for snuggling in as the snow tumbles to the ground, but they can come in handy in other ways! Try laying a throw over your headboard or over a railing to create more texture. Remember, additional texture means upping the coziness factor!

Add a Rug or Two – Bare floors during the winter can be a bit of a shock to the system underfoot. Keep your feet feeling fine by adding a rug on your bare floors. Rugs, especially those with greater texture, will feel warm and cozy underfoot, so opt for a shaggy rug to pad across on cold mornings!

Enjoy a Warm Bath – Instead of turning up the thermostat, draw a warm, relaxing bath! Wash away the stresses of the day by adding some Epsom Salt or lavender oil. Don’t want a bath? A nice hot shower can do the trick, too!

Stash Extra Blankets Wherever You Lounge – Here’s an easy life-hack for you: make sure to keep a few extra blankets in the rooms you to tend to hang out in the most. Fill up a basket, an ottoman, or a trunk with your favorite throws and blankets. This is especially handy if you want to keep your thermostat lower to save on energy.

Block Drafts Like a Pro – Drafty homes can make you feel cold and uncomfortable. Block the winter air with weather-stripping, caulk, and door sweeps. To see if you have any air leaks, walk by the windows and doors with your hand and a small candle. If the flame moves at all while you’re standing still, then you probably have an air leak!

Make a Comfy Reading Nook – Who doesn’t love curling up in a cozy space to read a good book during the winter? Wherever you choose to create your perfect reading corner, keep plenty of pillows and a quilt or blanket nearby. Complete your space with some great lighting to read by and a spot to place your favorite beverage in between page turning!

Warming up to the idea of finding your dream home? Don’t be left out in the cold! Just call the experts at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 to get started today! Don’t forget to check out our listings online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com!

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8 Easy Ways You Can Kick the Winter Blues at Home This Year

a book, a pink mug, and a cozy-looking gray scarf

Like it or not, winter is slowly but surely approaching. If you find yourself beginning to dread the entrance of a new season, don’t fret. There are a few very easy things that you can do at home to help you have a happier winter!

Here are 8 clever tips to help you keep your mood elevated all winter long:

Bring in Some Nice Scents – Did you know that your sense of smell is directly connected to your emotions? You can thank your limbic system for that! Beat the winter blues with some happy or relaxing scents. We like orange, lemon, or lime for a mood-boost or chamomile and lavender to help you kick back and relax.

Keep Your Home Tidy and Clean – Piles of clutter can make you feel more anxious and unmotivated. Combat this by keeping your home tidy and neat. Make your bed in the morning, do small tasks when they come up (say, doing the dishes after making a meal), and clean regularly. You’ll find that your mood is more elevated when your home is picked up!

Let in Natural Light – Speaking of a mood boost, light is a natural way to make you happier! Even 15 minutes of sunshine can help! Open the blinds and curtains, trim back obtrusive tree branches, and clean the windows to let the sunlight pour in more easily. Craving more daylight? Sitting next to an artificial light such as a light box can work wonders!

Stock the Fridge and Pantry with Healthy Food – It can be so tempting to reach into the pantry for a bag of chips or grab a carton of ice cream out of your freezer to munch on, but it will more than likely leave you feeling not so great (and not so happy). Eat well-balanced meals to help give your body the nutrients it needs to feel and function well. Your diet should consist of lean proteins, fruits, veggies, and complex carbs. Want to treat yourself? Indulge in rich dark chocolate moderately!

Get Out and Exercise – We know that one of the last things you want to do in the winter is to go outside and work out, but you’ll feel so much better once you do! Sticking to a regular exercise regimen can help you combat the winter blues, improve your focus, and lower stress levels. Too cold or snowy to go outside? There are plenty of exercises you can do inside to help give you that boost of endorphins!

Play Some Upbeat Music – Music can affect us in so many ways. It’s no wonder that upbeat tunes have been shown over and over to improve our moods significantly, both in the short- and long-term! If you haven’t done so already, create a playlist of your favorite cheerful songs and blare them shamelessly in your abode!

Invite Some Friends Over – Sometimes during the winter season, we feel like hibernating. While a little bit of solitude is healthy, be sure to reach out and spend time with your friends and family! Have the gang over for a fun game night, ask the fam to drop by and check out that new comedy you just found, or hold a holiday potluck with your closest pals!

Get Comfy – Maybe you’re not a fan of all that winter brings with it – the longer nights, the cold weather, the icy precipitation. While you can’t do much about the weather, you can definitely treat yourself to some comfort during this time of year! Wrap yourself in your softest blankets, cozy up with your favorite hot beverage, and read a good book by the fireplace as you watch the snow drift lazily to the ground. Who knows – you might actually come to love winter if you do this enough!

What are some things you do to combat the winter blues in your home? Be sure to tell us in the comments below or on our Facebook page!

It’s Not Too Late To Winterize Your Home With These 7 Crucial Steps!

winterize-homeLet’s face it – we’ve been pretty lucky with our fall season. It’s been warmer than usual out there, and it feels like winter is still a long way away. The winter solstice will be arriving next week, and you can expect to see the temperatures going more and more into decline as time goes by.

Be ready for the winter before the cold really kicks in this year. Just follow these 7 tips below to winterize your home now so you won’t regret it later on in the season!

Clean Out the Gutters – Just about all the leaves have fallen here in the Metro East St. Louis region, making it the perfect time to grab a sturdy ladder and clean out those hard-working gutters. It won’t just make your home look nicer; it will also help drain water and take it away from your home and help prevent any ice build-up that could happen on your roof this winter. Even if you have leaf guards, make sure to clean out any leaves and debris that might have fallen from the trees. Before you call it a day, run a pail or two of water down the gutters to check for any holes or weaknesses. Make sure to address those problems before winter comes!

Trim Back the Trees – Take a look at your trees. How do the limbs look? Do they look sturdy and far enough away from your home, or would you feel worried about any stray limbs hitting your home or your car during a nasty winter storm? If you see any limbs that are dying or that could possibly do any damage in a storm, go ahead and trim them or cut them down now. After all, it’s much easier to do it now when it’s nicer outside than when it’s freezing and snow is covering the ground.

Stock Up on Essential Winter Supplies – No one really thinks about the winter until it’s cold or there’s a nasty winter storm on the way. Take the time now to stock up on the essentials. Get salt and sand for your driveway, replace any broken or worn-out shovels, and fill your snow blower with gas and start it up to make sure that it works properly. Do this now before all the supplies are gone when the temperature plummets!

Change the Furnace Filter – There’s almost nothing worse than having your furnace go out in the cold of winter. Give your furnace some extra care before it gets really cold and check out the furnace filter. If you haven’t done so recently, or if the filter is dirty, go ahead and replace it. Having a clean filter will help your furnace to run more efficiently, and it will also help save you more energy and more money throughout the season.

Insulate Your Pipes and Hot Water Heater – The Department of Energy states that when you take the time to insulate your hot water pipes, you can get hot water on a lower setting, which saves both money and energy (and can trim 4-9% off your water heating costs). Wrapping your pipes can also help protect them from freezing should an emergency occur as well.

Clean the Chimney – Do you have a fireplace? Before you turn it on, prop your feet up, and enjoy it this season, call a professional to clean it. Chimney fires can easily occur when the fireplace isn’t cleaned, but a professional can help clean out any build-up of soot or any animals that might be nesting in the chimney. Do this every year to protect your fireplace, your home, and your friends and family.

Add Insulation In the Attic – Extra insulation won’t just make your house feel warm and cozy – it will also help you save more energy and money in the long run. Most homes require 12-15 inches of insulation in the attic in order to be effective, so make sure to call up a professional to check your insulation. If you find that it’s lacking, go ahead and put some extra insulation in before winter arrives.

Looking for more suggestions on how to ready your home for the winter? Call the experts at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties at either (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 for all of your home needs! If you’re in the hunt for a new home, you can view our listings online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com as well.

8 Easy Ways to Make Your Home Cozy in Time for Winter!

cozy home in winterNormally, we might not have our sights set on winter just yet, but the recent weather patterns make it seem as if fall has left us for good this year! You might be trying to make sure all of your to-dos are crossed off your fall home maintenance list as quickly as you can before the REAL cold hits us. While we applaud your efforts in making sure you’re keeping the cold out and the heat in your home, did you know that there are other ways you can warm up your home as well?

From romantic lighting options to soft textures and cozy alternatives, you can transform even the sleekest, most modern home into a comfy winter weather getaway. Here are 8 easy things you can do to transform your home today!

Think Warm Colors – The cool hues of blue, green, and purple tend to take us away to a coastal paradise (or an arctic oasis in the summer), but they can really dampen the mood when winter arrives. To warm up your home instantly, think fire-hued tones of gold, terra-cotta, and mahogany. Yellow, brick, and rust will also have a similar warming effect. If you happen to have white walls (and don’t want to paint), you can always warm up your space with these warm colors in your furniture, rugs, and accessories.

Cover the Floors – Bare hardwood or tile floors are great for the summertime heat, but they can become very uninviting when the chill of winter creeps in. Cover your floors with area rugs to bring a pop of color to the space and give your feet a warmer feel. Runners in the hallways are an excellent addition as well!

Bolster the Windows – Is your favorite chair next to a drafty window? Don’t suffer all winter long (or avoid that cozy chair) – take the time right now to weather-strip your windows! You can find cheap but durable material at the local hardware store, and even the most inexperienced of homeowners can do this simple task. If worse comes to worse, consider moving the chair to a warmer spot in the house.

Pull Out a Throw – Throws don’t just help keep you warm – they can add color and pattern to a room as well! Be sure to keep a few throws near your chairs and sofas to snuggle with during the winter. Don’t forget to put a few in your bedroom and guest bedrooms as well!

Hang Heavier Drapes – Bid a temporary farewell to the light and breezy summer sheers and break out the heavier drapes for the winter season. These types of drapes will help block out the cold winds and keep your home nice and warm. Besides, the right drape can add a sense of opulence to your space!

Choose the Right Accessories – It’s time to put away the silk floral arrangements and seaside decorations in favor of baskets of pinecones, cozy-looking knickknacks, and fleece pillows. Even the simplest of decorations can provide just the right touch to help your home feel warm and inviting.

Add the Right Lighting – The glow of ambient lighting can make anyone feel right at home! Be sure to add some candles on the coffee table or light a fire in the fireplace if you have one. Your guests will especially appreciate the glow that this type of lighting provides.

Play With Warm Scents – Winter is the time for warmer scents! Cinnamon, apple, pine, or even bayberry can really elevate the mood in an instant. For extra warmth, try baking some of yummy treats with these scents (pumpkin pie and cinnamon rolls, anyone?!). You’ll get the aroma, warm up your home, and fill your belly all at once!

What’s your favorite way to give your home a warmer feel during the winter? Let us know on our Facebook page or tell us in the comments below! Remember, whether you’re in the hunt for a new home or need a reliable agent to help you sell your home, call the experts at the Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298!