Ritter Ames — USA TODAY Bestselling Mystery Author of the Bodies of Art Mysteries series and the Organized Mysteries series

Posts Tagged ‘cold weather hacks

The weather has changed around my house the last week or so, and we’re now donning SAS memesweatshirts and sweaters. Which means I’ve started incorporating some of my favorite cold weather hacks into daily life. Despite the meme I used at the left, these aren’t Organizing tips per se, but rather ways to minimize your frustration with cold weather. Still, done regularly, they can save you time and money.


First up, is one I have to credit to my lovely daughter since she’s the one who first started using this hack in our house. On cold nights we all love the feeling of crawling into a warm bed with sheets right out of the dryer, right? One night, right after my daughter said she was taking a quick shower before bed, I walked by her room and heard the sound of a humming motor. When I stepped in to take a look, I found the hairdryer running on High in the middle of her bed, next to her folded up pajamas, and with all her covers pulled over the top. Needless to say, I pulled the hairdryer out of this cocoon before the device could overheat, but the idea was brilliant to me.misc

So the hairdryer wouldn’t die of heat stroke, I set the nozzle just under the top of the sheets and blankets, and moved her pjs and a stuffed bear under the covers to kind of tent things a few inches past the fiercely blowing nozzle of the dryer. When she came out, her bed and pajamas were all warm and welcoming, just like she’d envisioned, if placed a little differently than she’d originally planned. Now, on cold nights we run the hair dryer over the sheets and blankets right before we jump under the covers–tenting now required. Makes the bed feel perfect.

foam-pipe-insulationIf you have drafts under any doors, a quick and easy way to beat them is a trip to Home Depot or Walmart to pick up a piece of foam pipe insulation. Use the precut foam (a little of the cut shows up at the edge of the image to the left) to run along the bottom of your drafty door(s), so the foam wraps around and hugs both sides, then cut it off just before the edge so it won’t make closing the door difficult. These foam jobbies are only a couple of dollars apiece and about six feet long, so one can usually cover two doors.

Next up is a tip my father’s heart doctor gave us years ago. elf_sweeping_2If the snow isn’t more than an inch or so, don’t shovel it, sweep it. Not only is sweeping faster in this instance, but it’s easier on your back and heart than lifting a shovel each time with even a small amount of snow.

And for my last easy winter hack, when you must shovel try this tip my husband I always use. Spray both sides of the shovel with a cooking spray like Pam. Then reapply as needed during the job. Doing that makes the snow slide right off the shovel, instead of hanging on with an icy grip so that you have to keep banging the shovel to clear off the blade again. Makes for much easier snow shoveling which, less face it, is not something anyone wants to make any more difficult.

My only other tip is one I gave to a writer friend this week when she posted about how cold her daily walks had become. Two words–Carhardt Coveralls. They may not be stylish, but they’re danged warm and easy to walk and work in. Keep warm, everyone.

If you have any stay warm tips or hacks, feel free to comment below 🙂






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