What does winter mean to you? Chunky jumpers, fluffy socks, cosy nights in by the fire, steamed puddings, the twinkly lights of Christmas? It can all be rather marvelous, especially when you’re experiencing your first winter in a new home.
But brace yourself. If current predictions are correct, it looks like we could all be heading for a rather harsh winter. In fact, it could be the coldest one for 50 years, with months of heavy snowfall and bitter arctic winds!
Meteorologists and oceanographers are making these predictions as a result of plunging ocean temperatures. In particular, readings for the Gulf Stream have plummeted over the past year. But with a drastic reduction in the speed and temperature of this current, we’ll be left with no buffer to protect us against the bitter arctic winds.
Back in 1963, Britain was hit by incredibly challenging winter weather. As temperatures dropped to -20c, the country was covered in snow for weeks on end and freezing Arctic winds of up to 100mph caused 20-foot deep snowdrifts. It was so bitterly cold that the sea off Kent, as well as many rivers and lakes, froze over. What’s more, road and transport networks ground to a halt causing fuel and food shortages, the likes of which had not been seen since the war.
So if we really are heading for a cold, white winter, what can we do to make sure we’re prepared and get our homes ready to bear the brunt of it all?
Here are a few ideas to help you keep warm and comfortable over the coming months:
At last you have got the keys to your new home and all the weeks of dreaming, searching, planning and probably stressing, are firmly behind you. The first few moments are so exciting. You are free to explore the rooms for the first time without anyone else looking over your shoulder and you can really take in your new surroundings properly.
It’s strange to think that most people only get to view a property a couple of times before they make the decision to buy – no matter how much they are spending. So by the time they move in, although they will have a good picture of it in their heads, much of the detail may be forgotten. This is where buying a home is so different to any other purchase. Take buying a pair of shoes for example. You have as much time as you want to check them out, try them on and see if they are a good fit. Only when you are really sure, will you commit to buy – and even then, if you have a change of heart, it is easy to return them!
So this is it, your new home. But do not be surprised if it doesn’t feel like home straight away. With time you will get used to how it smells, what noises it makes when the central heating comes on. It will all start to feel a bit less alien. Do not forget that you built an emotional attachment to your last home and it will take time to do the same with this one.
There are some simple things you can do to make your new house feel more homey from the start. For blogger Joy Cho, everyday comforts help her feel settled: “The first thing I do when I move in is pull out all my clean bedding,” she says. “Pillows, duvets, sheets, and throws — the works. There is nothing more comforting than sleeping in your old, cozy bed.” (Source: Good House Keeping)
Here are some other quick fixes that will make you feel more at home within the first few weeks.