Bringing Warmth to the Winter Home

Once all of the #holiday celebrations are complete and the temperatures drop to single digits, you may struggle to create #warmth — real or perceived — in the home. The cold weather and empty social schedules of January may prompt you to enter a protective hibernation.

The cold-weather cultures of Scandinavia tell you to lean into that feeling through #hygge, the concept of warmth, comfort and quiet conviviality practiced when the weather outside is cold, blustery and otherwise inhospitable.

Hygge demands quiet comforts such as cozy sweaters and throws, casual get-togethers with friends and family, and plenty of hot meals and beverages such as coffee, tea and hot chocolate. Candles and a fire in the hearth only add to hygge’s #warm, golden glow.

Creating real warmth in winter may require a few #household fixes, however. The first thing to check is your furnace filter — if it hasn’t been changed recently, dust and dirt may be blocking heated air. Change it so that the heat travels to the vents efficiently and with fewer allergens.

Half the battle of staying warm in #winter is to keep the heat inside and the cold outside. Adding insulation, area rugs and a chimney flue blocker are simple ways to keep the warmth from escaping and save money on heating costs.

Other simple fixes include 10 home heating “hacks” from Better Homes & Gardens. They include insulating drafty windows with bubble wrap and sealing window frames with fresh caulk. To quickly warm the kitchen and create a homey atmosphere, fire up the oven and bake some cookies or braise a roast.

We at The Organizing Blog like to save energy and set our thermostats to 68°F throughout the winter. But we also have plenty of blankets and throws we can use to stay warm, some of which were #thrifted from stores supplied by generous #donations to

You can also generate #heat by staying active — getting on the treadmill, painting a room or thoroughly #decluttering and #organizing a space. After you #schedule a #donation #pickup for all of that extra #stuff, reward yourself by bundling up, pouring a hot beverage and relaxing.

There’s nothing like the warmth of a #clean, cozy and #uncluttered home. Follow a few of these tips to stay warm, whatever winter brings!

Revisiting Hygge’s Warm Minimalism

Now that you’ve put away the #holiday decorations (#decluttering and #organizing along the way, of course), it’s time to settle in for the remainder of winter’s cold, dark nights. But to do so cheerfully in #minimalist comfort and style, you’ll want to revisit the concept of #hygge.

Hygge (pronounced “hoo-guh”) is a Scandinavian concept that celebrates warm and welcoming indoor living — likely a compensating response to the region’s long winter nights. The term appears to derive from an Old Norse word meaning “protected from the outside world.”

While the outside world is less of a concern this year now that the spread of COVID is mostly controlled, hygge reflects values of equality, positivity and well-being. But it is an introverted practice that encourages “practitioners to shelter, cluster and enclose,” says

Being a hygge acolyte is easy: You just need to embrace things that signify warmth and comfort. A cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate; a roaring fire or some candles; and cozy slippers, blankets or sweaters are a few essentials.

What you won’t need is a lot of #clutter, because hygge is a practice that embraces simplicity. You’ll want to strip your space down to its simplest furnishings and neutral colors, and avoid the mental clutter brought on by too many screens and a cacophony of loud noises.

Hygge is more than hibernating — it’s making peace with the weather (something you can’t control) and embracing the simple joys of home, family and surroundings. And if you find that your surroundings are too chaotic to support such well-being, now’s the time to make a change.

Make a single hygge space — a nook, seating area or room where clutter and chaos won’t intrude. Strip it down to the bare essentials, getting rid of anything that doesn’t contribute directly to your feelings of warmth and well-being.

You can donate any lightly used items that don’t fit the new style to by arranging a #donation #pickup. You can also find nice blankets, sweaters and other cozy hygge goods at the thrift stores supplied by your donations and help veterans in the process

Embrace the newfound calm and enjoy the winter from your cozy confines!

Start Cold-Weather Household Projects Now

People spend aobut 40% more time inside their homes during the winter months, so it’s worth the effort to pursue household improvement projects that will make the environment cleaner, cozier and more energy-efficient as the weather gets cooler. For example, you can concentrate on big projects such as insulating the roof, weatherstripping and furnace upkeep ahead of the worst winter weather, Homelight says, and paint interior and exterior walls while the temperatures are still compfortable enough to open windows for ventilation and/or dry quickly enough to provide protection. #FallProjects

Keep Cozy with Thrifty Craft Projects

The holidays are now a memory, and everything has finally been put away — hopefully, following some “editing” that keeps the volume of your stuff in check and your shelves and closets clean and clutter-free. It’s time to hole up and prepare to cope with the worst that winter has to offer.

Many people spend a lot of time getting creative ahead of the holidays, crafting wreaths, ornaments and other items that brighten the home for entertaining. But you can continue to make your home a cozy place during the darkest, dreariest months of the year by letting your creativity run wild.

Visit the local thrift store for inspiration and raw materials. Many secondhand goods are supplied by generous donations to from families like yours, and repurposing the items sold there helps fund programs that support the nation’s veterans.

When it comes to warmth, old sweaters can provide a source of warm cloth that helps keep other parts of the body comfy. The do-it-yourself blog Ecouterre suggests turning sweaters into slipper-socks; with just a few stitches, that old pullover will keep your pinky toes protected from drafty floors.

Old sweaters can also serve as the source material for handwarmers, vase holders and stocking caps, according to Design Bump. If you don’t have any sewing skills beyond a square knot, you can get a few yards of fleece fabric and make this no-sew blanket to hide under for a night of Netflix and warmth.

Another—slightly more complicated—idea from the Making Our Sustainable Life blog is to take old linens and sew dry grains inside to make a microwavable bed warmer. Bonus: In the hot, humid summer months that will be here eventually, you can use the same item as a bed cooler by throwing it in the refrigerator.

For those in older homes, Good Housekeeping offers 20 ideas for making “adorable” draft stoppers to place under doors. Pet parents, be forewarned: Many of these stuffed snakes will also be irresistible to dogs and cats. And if you happen to be a quilter, of course, you already know that the thrift store is a treasure trove of interesting fabrics and patterns.

If the weather has you housebound, in other words, there are lots of creative ways to keep winter’s chill at bay. Don’t despair: Try out a few of these ideas, and spring will be here before you know it. Stay warm!