From prepping for winter storms to gift-wrapping (or cookie-baking) marathons, December is a busy, holiday-focused month. Make the most of it by planning ahead, setting intentions and focusing on meaningful events rather than trying to do it all. The weather outside may be getting frightful, but that just means it’s the perfect time to get cozy indoors with a mug of hot cocoa. Check off these 12 tasks for an easier, safer and cozier month.
1. Get ready for winter storms.
Keep snow shovels, gloves, ice melt and window scrapers near the door. Mark the sides of your driveway and other key places with reflective poles, to help the snowplows see where to go. Even if it doesn’t snow where you live, it’s smart to keep the pantry stocked with food, bottled water, candles and flashlights in case of power outages.
Simple Pleasures: Stocking Up for Winter
2. Disconnect hoses.
If you haven’t done so yet, shut off the water supply to your outdoor faucets. After shutting off the water, turn on the faucets outside to allow any water left to drain out. Then disconnect garden hoses, drain the water and roll up the hoses to store them inside.
3. Decorate for the holidays — and sort holiday decor for the future. When you pull out the holiday gear this year, pay attention to what you are passing over. If you didn’t use a decor item last year and don’t feel like putting it up again, do your storage space a favor and donate it to charity.
5. Make space for mucky boots, coats and scarves.
If you have a coat closet by the door, clean it out to make way for bulky winter coats and boots. If you don’t have a hall closet, set up your own systems to handle mucky items. A boot tray on the floor, a bench for sitting on, wall hooks for coats and a basket for hats and mittens should do the trick.
6. Update emergency supplies. Put your mind at ease that you are prepared for emergencies by making sure you have a well-stocked emergency kit in the house and in the trunk of your car. At the very least, include bottled water, a hand-cranked radio, a flashlight and extra batteries, a cell phone charger, food, blankets and a first-aid kit. At home also keep your most essential documents in one easily accessible place.
Get Organized: First Aid, Emergency and Medical Supply Checklist
7. Boost home security. If you will be traveling over the holidays, use light timers for interior lights and ask a friend or neighbor to take in mail. If it’s going to snow while you are away, hire a service to plow or shovel your walkways. It will give the impression that your house is being lived in and make coming home much more pleasant. Even if you are staying at home, consider adding motion-sensor exterior lights to make it less inviting to potential burglars.