Winter Home Essentials You Need During the COVID-19 Crisis
Autumn arrived a month ago in the northern hemisphere, and winter won't be far behind it. Now is the time to start preparing your house for the long winter ahead. Public health experts expect a surge in COVID-19 cases, which means more shutdowns and stay-at-home orders are possible. On October 22, California Healthline offered a list of recommendations for staying at home comfortably during the holidays and through the winter. Whether you've just bought a house, you've been remodeling since the pandemic began or you're ready to make your housing cozier for the winter, here are some winter home essentials you'll need during the expected worsening of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the springtime shutdowns, most libraries closed. Many people took that opportunity to order books online or buy an e-reader and download digital material. If you don't yet have an e-reader, now is a good time to purchase one. You could also wait for Black Friday deals. An e-reader will function as a home library with less clutter. Most public libraries also have apps that allow you to digitally check out books and read them. Those are time-limited, just like the physical books you borrow.
If you live in a part of the country that's prone to icy or snowy winters, take the time now to winterize your house and stock up on safety essentials. Some items to put on your shopping list include ice melting solution or pellets, antifreeze, a snow shovel or new snow blower, batteries and shelf-stable food in case of a power outage. Check your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. If they're more than 10 years old, buy new ones. Replace their batteries if they're more than two years old. If you have a generator or snow blower, get them serviced. If you wait too long for these supplies and services, you might find empty store shelves just like the toilet paper crisis of the springtime.
If you've been putting off that roof repair or gutter replacement, do it now. Your home will thank you, and so will your wallet. Skipping repairs or maintenance could cause your home to have major problems. If a lot of people are down with influenza and COVID-19 this winter, there could be a long wait for repair services. Now is also a good time to get your furnace or heat pump tune-up. If you've been waiting to replace your water heater or add insulation to your pipes, do it now. Stores are well-stocked in most home supplies at the moment.
Activities to Occupy Your Hands
When you're anxious, stressed or frustrated, your mind is likely going a mile a minute. Having something to do with your hands can help calm your brain. If you're prone to overeating or turning to substances during these trying times, it's wise to have some other activities to do. Some items you can stock your house with now to prepare for a quarantine during the long winter include jigsaw puzzles, board games and video gaming systems. If you like arts and crafts, many big box stores as well as indie yarn dyers have finally been able to replenish their stocks. Now is a good time to purchase that sweater quantity of yarn and finally knit that sweater you promised your loved one. You could pick up a beginner's kit for any type of craft or hobby, such as embroidery, crocheting, knitting or beading. If you have a sewing machine, purchase some fabric or thread to keep you busy through the winter.
If you have to be stuck inside during the winter due to inclement weather, COVID-19 related shutdowns or quarantine because of exposure to someone ill, you might as well be comfortable. If you've always wanted to have a plush chair and ottoman, buy it now. If your linens are thread-bare, indulge in some high thread-count sheets and a duvet cover. Replace any pillows that are more than two years old. If your cookware isn't cooking evenly, or if your oven is on the fritz, replace or upgrade them. These investments in your home will also directly benefit your comfort. Even if you don't get sick this winter, you'll be able to relax in a house that suits your lifestyle and has everything you need exactly when you need it. If the COVID-19 crisis worsens, you'll be prepared to stay in your house for the whole winter season.