February in Your Muskoka Home – How to Outsmart Winter!

Furnace FIlterEven in this La Nina winter, when things are not as harsh as a typical Muskoka winter, February can be long, cold and grey. Here are some tips to help you outsmart the weather by making your home inside a clean, bright, cozy and healthy haven. And since this is a leap year, you’ll have an extra day this month to get it all done.

Put a pot of soup on the stove Nothing will make your home or cottage smell better then the savory fragrance of a pot of homemade soup. Pick a family favorite or try something new and rest assured it will drive away the winter blah’s.

Show your home some love Valentine’s Day is Feb. 14, so why not give your home a little extra TLC? Pick up a bouquet of fresh flowers just because, hang a new art print on the wall or host a cozy gathering with lots of candles and twinkle lights.

Plan a trip Even if you don’t book one, give your self an afternoon vacation scrolling through vacation sites or a travel magazine. Let your mind have an adventure in an exotic destination and totally ignore the grey skies outside.

Jump-start the spring cleaning Think of the advantage of doing it now! When the nice weather comes in just a few weeks you will be bale to get out and about and not be stuck indoors. Grab a mop, bucket, vacuum and duster and get to it. You will be glad you did.

Purify the air Winter means closed doors and windows and the furnace or fire on. This makes for a warm and cozy home but unfortunately means the air will get pretty stale and not very clean. So change the furnace filter and on the better days open a window for a little while to let in some clean air. It’s a great idea to invest in some air-cleaning houseplants or set up an air purifier too.

Do a home safety check This should be done several times a year and it only take a few minutes. Check the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors replacing old batteries and the units themselves it they are older. It is recommended that you change the units every 10 years as the sensors wear out. Refresh the emergency kit and the first aid kit. Don’t forget to check the expiration date on fire extinguishers and replace if needed.

Refresh or Create the Power Outage Kit La Nina years are often plagued with ice storms so power outages are definitely more likely. Have a kit with flashlights, fresh drinking water (at least 1 gallon per person per day for at least three days), foods that can be eaten without cooking and don’t forget food and water for your pets.

Make some great freezer dinners  A prepared dinner can be a great help when you have unexpected plans. If there is a nice bright February day get out and enjoy it and come back to a homemade dinner that’s already prepared! It’s a win, win for you and your family. A single afternoon spent cooking big- batch meals (think chili, soup, casseroles) can make it so much easier to get dinner on the table when you don’t feel like cooking.  There are lots of great ideas on line try Googling “Crock Pot” dinners.

Protect entry floors The muck and gunk of a soggy winter is especially hard on your entrance way. Road salt, sand and melting snow can wreak havoc on floors. Protect your flooring by using interior and exterior mats, and a tray to collect wet boots. Invest in a stack of washable rugs, so you can always keep a fresh, dry rug in the entry.

February is also a great time to stat thinking about selling your Muskoka home or cottage. If you think that 2016 will be the year you plan to sell, call me. I would be delighted to sit with you and help you make a plan of things to do during the last weeks of winter in preparation for a great spring market.

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