The Indoorsy Woman’s Ultimate Winter Survival Guide

{Cozy Gifts + Practical Tips for Women Who Hate Winter}

You know those people who LOVE to be outdoors? The ones for whom winter means skiing, snowmobiling, ice skating, and… well… playing outside? You know… outdoorsy people? Yeah, I know them too.

But what about the rest of us? The “indoorsy” people? The women who hibernate during the cold and dark months of winter? How do we survive — and possibly even thrive — during the winter?

I’m deep into winter preparations right now — gathering cozy things and making sure the house is ready. I thought you might like a glimpse into the process of preparing for winter in a cold climate.

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Here is my indoorsy woman’s winter survival guide broken down into three main areas. There are some great gift ideas here, but you’ll want to be sure to check out my full list of gifts for people who hate winter!

Reading this makes me want to cozy up my home for winter RIGHT NOW! Love the self care and winter decor tips... #selfcare #cozyhome #ftj
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1. Prepping the House

First, get the practical things out of the way.

Outside: Turn off outdoor faucets & winterize them. For us that means insulating the one faucet that is not freeze-proof. Set up bird feeders before the ground freezes. Keep birdseed on the porch in a cute critter-proof container. (Before you commit to feeding the birds, weigh whether or not it’s worth going outside every day to refill the feeders. For me it is, since the red cardinals bring a desperately-needed splash of color to the winter days.) Mow the lawn one last time and make sure all loose items are securely stored for the winter.

Vehicles: Keep a bin of supplies in your trunk — extra blankets, ice melt or kitty litter, ice scraper, flashlight, portable battery jump-starter, boots, granola bars or nuts in a sealed container.

Entryway: Get a good waterproof rug, boot dryer and boot tray. Keep your snow shovel and ice melt handy (we keep ours on the porch in a galvanized can with a lid). Make sure you have bins or baskets for extra gloves, hats, and scarves.

Woodstove or fireplace: Clean the chimney, make firestarters, purchase clicker lighters, gather kindling, teach your teenager how to load the woodbox and make it his/her daily chore. 😉

Furnace: Make sure you have the propane tank filled and have a service person check your furnace system — you don’t want to be caught in the cold during the depths of winter!

Supplies: Stock up on the bulky items that are difficult or dangerous to carry during icy and snowy weather. For us that means loading up on water softener salt, pet food, ice melt, bird seed, and bottled water. We also make sure the extra gas tanks are full so that we can run the generator in case of power outages.

Then do the fun stuff — winter decor!

I am by no means a good decorator, but I love decorating for winter! It feels like bringing light and warmth into the home. By the way, this seasonal decor stays up in my house until at least the end of February — that means months of enjoyment!

Use lots and lots of twinkle lights and string lights. I pretty much have them everywhere. One of my favorite things to do is put them higher up on shelves to highlight the decor. Another beautiful and easy way to use them is to put them in a glass jar or lantern. (See more great ideas on Pinterest.) I mostly use electric string lights, and plug-in timers are great for keeping these types of lights on a schedule.

Display some winter printables in cheap frames — various sizes of black frames from the dollar store will work just fine.

Last year I discovered flameless candles (I noticed these tea lights have a timer – soooo convenient!). They are perfect for a house with kids, a dog, and a curious cat. Look for candles with a remote so you can display them inside glass jars and not have to dump out your arrangement every time you want to turn the candle on or off.

Place containers full of cinnamon scented pinecones (buy them locally or make your own) around the house, or use bits of fruit and cinnamon to create a simmering homemade potpourri.

2. Creating Your Cozy Nest

When I do have to leave my home during the winter, I love knowing that I will be coming back to warmth and comfort! Here are a few of the cozy things that help me enjoy being at home so much:

Soft blankets. We keep extra blankets everywhere. If your house is particularly chilly, get a heated throw and keep it where you usually sit. Oh my, reading a good book under a heated throw… heavenly!

Netflix and Amazon Prime TV. We don’t get any regular television channels out here in the boonies, but we do have decent internet, so we make full use of our television subscriptions. While we enjoy both Netflix and Amazon, if I had to choose, I would go with Amazon Prime because it also includes free shipping on other things I need and don’t want to have to shop for during the winter! 😉

Comfortable “at-home” clothes. My at-home uniform is soft pants and a fleece pullover. My family knows that when I’m home, that’s what I wear. When I get home from work, the first thing I do is change clothes to get cozy and comfortable!  

An electric kettle and a favorite mug for cocoa/coffee/tea.

Electric blanket or heated mattress pad for the bed. My electric blanket is seriously just about my most favorite thing EVER. Getting into a warm bed at night is amazing! TIP: The velvety soft plush blankets feel nice to the touch, but the silky finish means a comforter slips off the top during the night. Purchase a heated fleece blanket for more “grip” to keep your covers in place.

Books, board games (Scrabble is our favorite!), puzzles.

3. Personal Care

You need to take special care of your body and your mind during the winter. Winter is dry and brutal on your body, and not seeing the sun for weeks at a time can have a detrimental effect on your mental state.

Extra Body Care

Face moisturizer. I’ve been using Aldi Lacura Q10 day cream for a few years now and LOVE it. This was discontinued for a while in the United States, but I recently found it again! Check it out the next time you get to Aldi.

Lip balm. I keep some everywhere. My favorite is the original Carmex, in the little pot — love that tingle. Looking for a more natural option? Try making your own.

Heavy-duty foot cream and fluffy socks. Also, I wear a pair of Skechers super-comfortable shoes when I’m going to be walking around the house — they feel like slippers and keep my feet warm but not sweaty like slippers. (Um, was that TMI? Sorry!)

Body moisturizer. I love the scented, thick creams from Bath & Body Works. However, a workmate introduced me to Perfectly Posh Big Fat Yummy Hand Cremes — and they are all I’ve used for the past two years!

Humidifier. Especially since we have a woodstove, a good humidifier really makes a difference in the moisture and comfort level of our home. During the coldest days of the year, I also keep a large stockpot of water simmering on top of the woodstove.

Drink plenty of water. Add lemon slices for flavor and some extra winter nutrition.

Staying Cheerful

Get some full-spectrum light. Being an indoorsy-type person, I don’t usually like glaring bright sunlight. But I’m considering buying myself a full-spectrum light for this winter. I would love to prevent those weeks during January & February when cabin fever and a mild case of seasonal depression usually hits.

Related post: 7 Ways to Battle Seasonal Depression – Michele’s Finding Happiness

Start a new adventure. Begin an online class, find a creative outlet, or start a business (like a new blog). Give yourself something to look forward to instead of staring out the window at yet another dreary winter day.

Spend time with family and friends. This is the time to invite people into the comfort zone of your cozy home. You don’t have to throw a party every weekend. But make an effort to enjoy a little more time with people who make you laugh. Turn on the twinkle lights, prepare a simple meal, play cards or a board game, or just chat.

And, yes, get outside now and then. I know, I know… I would also prefer to never leave my house from November to March. BUT a few minutes outdoors (almost) every day means a dose of healthy fresh air and maybe a little natural sunshine for your body and soul. Plus, going back inside to your cozy nest feels that much better after braving the cold!

Whew! This post ended up being about twice as long as I expected! When I started thinking things through, I realized there are soooo many things involved in surviving a season you normally don’t enjoy. Get busy now to prepare!

What are your favorite ways to survive winter? Do you have any special items that help get you through?

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The Indoorsy Woman’s Ultimate Winter Survival Guide | This is exactly what I needed today! Cozy Gifts + Practical Tips for Women Who Hate Winter -- Check out this ultimate winter survival guide! |

The Indoorsy Woman’s Ultimate Winter Survival Guide | This is exactly what I needed today! Cozy Gifts + Practical Tips for Women Who Hate Winter -- Check out this ultimate winter survival guide! |
The Indoorsy Woman’s Ultimate Winter Survival Guide | This is exactly what I needed today! Cozy Gifts + Practical Tips for Women Who Hate Winter -- Check out this ultimate winter survival guide! |
The Indoorsy Woman’s Ultimate Winter Survival Guide | This is exactly what I needed today! Cozy Gifts + Practical Tips for Women Who Hate Winter -- Check out this ultimate winter survival guide! |

6 thoughts on “The Indoorsy Woman’s Ultimate Winter Survival Guide”

  1. I love this! You’ve reminded me of quite a few chores I still need to do before the snowfalls. I will go outside but I don’t enjoy it. I’d much rather cozy up by the fire and hibernate all winter. We even have bird feeders that suction to our windows so I don’t have leave the cozy house to fill them up!

    1. Hi Amanda! Glad you liked the post! 🙂 And even though we’re supposed to be heading toward summer here in the States, I’m still huddled next to my woodstove today because it’s cold and rainy here also. Brrr!

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