Cleaning & Organizing

The RoomPlace offers advice on preparing your house for icy temperatures

The week after Thanksgiving is always a tough one. Adapting back to early mornings at work and all the responsibilities of real life can be a struggle, especially on the heels of a long weekend filled with family, feasting, and festivities. And this year, the misleading 60-degree Thanksgiving enjoyed by The RoomPlace customers throughout Chicagoland and northwestern Indiana has made that adjustment even more difficult.

If you’re anything like the teams at The RoomPlace Furniture Stores, November’s unseasonably warm weather may have fooled you into procrastinating on winterizing your home for the frigid months ahead. But with temperatures as low as 15 degrees near our furniture stores in Schaumburg, Downers Grove, and nearby cities earlier this week, it might be time to start thinking about beginning that all-important yet dreaded task.

The good news is that preparing your home for winter doesn’t have to be quite the chore it’s cracked up to be. Here at The RoomPlace, we’re firm believers in mixing business with pleasure, and we’d like to take this opportunity to invite our Chicago and Indianapolis furniture customers to do the same. For all our interior design fanatics out there, let’s discuss the silver lining of any home improvement project: the chance to protect your house (and your family) from the elements, while simultaneously keeping up with the latest decorating trends and seasonal styles.

 

Work before play

Illinois and Indiana have nothing on the Great White North, but everyone from Merrillville to Chicago knows that winter in the Midwest can bring blizzards and accompanying heavy winds or snowfalls; hailstorms that wreak havoc in the form of ice dams and property damage; and sleet or freezing rain that cause slippery sidewalks and driveways. So, it’s important to keep a few main tasks in mind as you set about cold-proofing your home.

Unfortunately, some things need doing that just can’t be sugarcoated. If you’re a homeowner around Indianapolis or in the Chicago suburbs, you’re probably already familiar with draining your rain barrels, cleaning out your gutters, and trimming the trees around your home as the fall season draws to a close. But don’t forget about those smaller tasks that are easier to overlook.

Before the real cold hits, remember to make sure that:

  1. your snow-blower is in good condition and stocked with plenty of fuel, and you don’t need to replace any of your snow shovels.
  2. your furnace is running efficiently, and the filter is clean.
  3. your chimney is free of small animal nests or deposit buildup, both of which can result in polluted air inside the home or dangerous chimney fires.

Getting all your ducks in a row will save you not only time and work after a particularly nasty storm or freeze, but also energy and money on your utility bills, which often skyrocket during those cold winter months.

 

Insulate while you decorate

Insulating your house probably isn't how you want to spend your Friday night, but it only takes a few minutes to lay the groundwork. Next time it’s chilly, take a few minutes to walk around checking for leaks and drafts by feeling around your doors, windows, lights, and switch plates for cold air. This sign that your home's warmth is somehow escaping outside can certainly be irritating, but it’s also where the fun can begin.

  1. Protect your windows: Here at The RoomPlace, one of our favorite ways to insulate while decorating is by using full blockout curtains with fabric-covered pelmets or cornice boards. The great thing about pelmets is that you can kill two birds with one stone by decoratively concealing the curtain rod, while also insulating your windows. The combination of the pelmet with the blockout lining is a great way to mix up your home décor, while sealing airflow from the cold outdoors and trapping heat inside your home at the same time.
  2. Dress your room in layers: Drape a cozy knit throw over the back of your leather sofa, and heap extra blankets and oversized, fluffy pillows around your living room furniture to create an inviting ambiance where family and guests can all keep warm. Strategic layering of warm blankets, furry rugs, and heavy draperies throughout the draftier corners of your home is one of the quickest, most painless ways to create a new color scheme or tone and fend off the cold while you’re at it.
  3. Heat it up in the bedroom: Make sure the cold weather doesn’t interrupt your sleep by adding a few simple items to your Chicagoland king bed or your kids’ twin mattresses. Replacing your current bed linens with flannel sheets and a down comforter will help capture optimal heat in your bedroom, while wool mattress pads or underblankets and two-in-one quilts are useful for creating cozy warmth that can easily be stripped away as the weather gets warmer.

Of course, if the weather’s feeling unpredictably fickle tomorrow, it could always decide to jump up 20 degrees overnight. But don’t be tempted to put away your winter coat and blankets. It’s better to play it safe than be caught unprepared for below-zero nights, heavy snowfalls, and chilling winter freezes.

Take The RoomPlace’s advice and don’t fall for those hope-inspiring weather forecasts of sunshine and climbing temperatures – winterizing now could save you a headache later!

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