Simplicity by Choice

Off-Grid Living & Self-Reliance

Winter Preps – Already? April 30, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — ourprairiehome @ 2:54 pm

Spring is trying to ease it’s way into summer. Okay…..on some days the temps make me think it is trying to bulldoze it’s way into summer. Either way, it may seem a bit odd to be thinking of winter preps for next winter season. In reality, it is the perfect time to take stock of your resources as they are packed away.

Rising costs in heating a home can be a problem. There are simple things that can help ease that financial burden. One of the simplest of the easiest ways to help cut costs is to use quilts. This technique has been around for many generations. We do it in our home and have great results.

First, is to find quilts at a yard sale, thrift store, or other retail store. If you buy a new one, get a large one that can be cut down the middle to give you more for your money! A queen size quilt is wide enough to cover 2 standard sized windows. A quilt is hung up in the window to act as a heavy curtain as well as an insulating window covering. To turn a quilt into a window covering, add a pocket or casing along the top of the quilt’s backing to slide a rod through. A wide quilt, such as a queen size, can be cut in half down the center, giving you two pieces wide enough to cover most standard width windows.

Another place that we use heavy blankets or quilts is in doorways. Hanging a drapery rod (the dowel types are best) along the top of the doorway works well. Hang the quilt just as you would over a window. These will help keep the heat in the areas that you need it. We used these especially when we heated only with wood stoves. We hung the quilts on windows and in the entry to the pantry, which had no door. The heat from the wood stove stayed in the front room, children’s bedroom, and kitchen. My bedroom, which is in the very back of the house, has a quilt in the doorway that is it’s only door. In the coldest of winter nights when I used a kerosene heater to take the nip out of the air, the quilt kept the heat in the room. It worked so well that I could heat the room for about 2 hours and shut the heater off completely. The room was very warm to start with, but by morning it was only a little chilly. I slept comfortably all night long.

This time of year is when you see the quilts and other heavy blankets being sold. Often, you can find them on clearance shelves. If you plan to make them, starting now gives you ample time to get several made before cold winds begin to blow again. Recycle old blankets or fleece to be used as the middle layer of the quilts. Add a pretty fabric and you can have beautiful window quilts in very little time. They don’t have to be made fancy, only functional. A tied quilt works just as well as a machine or hand quilted one.

When finding fleece on clearance, consider buying extra to use as a covering over a bed sheet. Many a night, prior to using the kerosene heater in my bedroom, I have slept in between 2 fleece blankets. They kept me very warm and I never had to get in between 2 cold bed sheets. I layered more blankets on top, but sleeping in between the 2 layers of fleece really made the biggest difference. I could very comfortably sleep in a completely unheated bedroom on the coldest nights without any problems.

As you go to yard sales or second-hand stores, keep a thought towards next winter. By thoughtfully planning the preparations now, you will find yourself more than ready for winter when the time comes.

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