As the winter weather settles in, plenty of people in Chicagoland go into “hibernation” mode, spending as much time as possible in the great indoors — all the better to avoid the snow, slush, and freezing winds that make their way through the region.
While staying in can feel cozy and comfortable, it’s also easy to start to feel a little cooped up during the long, dark winter. As “cabin fever” sets in, many people start to feel restless, and begin looking around for productive things to do. Fortunately, the winter weather doesn’t mean that you have to put your passion for DIY projects on ice! In fact, there are plenty of little things you can do around the house to make your home more functional, beautiful, and comfortable, even on a frosty winter’s day.
Looking for some indoor home projects to tackle this winter? Here are five handy ideas to get your to-do list started:
Upgrade Your Fixtures and Cabinet Hardware
Want to give your space a facelift without having to break the bank — or brave the winter chill?
The winter months can be a great chance to take on those small home improvement projects with a big impact. While it’s easy to overlook things like doorknobs, faucets, and cabinet hardware throughout the year, the long winter can give you plenty of time to sweat the small stuff — and swap it out, as needed!
Replacing your cabinet handles and pulls with fresh hardware can totally transform the look and feel of your kitchen or bathrooms, without requiring much more than a screwdriver and a few spare hours. Similarly, replacing your doorknobs is a project that can have a dramatic effect on your home’s entryways, with no special equipment needed. You could also replace the faucets in your bathroom or kitchen with newer models, or even swap out your bathroom’s vanity and mirrors.
Spruce Up Your Storage
Spending more time indoors often means having to take a look at all your stuff. This winter, why not take some time to sort through it all, and come up with some striking new storage solutions?
When it’s too cold to go out, turn your attention to decluttering your home. Winter is a great time to take stock of old games, toys, sports equipment, clothes, tools, and anything else that’s cluttering up your space. Working room by room or category by category, take an inventory of all you have, and then sort your things into “keep,” “discard,” or “donate” piles. Be sure to block off plenty of time and space, so you can give this big job the thorough attention it deserves.
Once you’re done decluttering, you’ll likely have an enormous pile of things to give away during the holiday season — and you may find it much easier to straighten and store the things you’re going to keep around! Look into functional and creative storage solutions that may work in your home. From adding hooks and magnets to the underside of your sink, to putting up pegboards and hanging baskets, to adding a lazy susan to your spice cabinet, to building adorable new bins for your kids’ play areas, there is no shortage of ways to bring stylish, functional storage into your space.
Add Elegant New Finishes
Is spending more time inside making you grow tired of your favorite rooms? The winter season can be a great opportunity to add the perfect finishing touches and rejuvenate your most-used spaces, making them feel fresh and special once again.
One gorgeous, practical idea may be to add new crown molding to your living or dining room. This relatively affordable, practical addition to your walls and ceilings can totally transform your favorite spaces, adding an elegant touch that’s sure to impress during your next festive winter soiree. As HouseLogic points out, crown molding comes “without any heavy materials to haul through the ice and snow,” and you can most likely complete the project in a weekend, using tools that you already have on hand.
Similarly, adding wainscoting is a straightforward way to refresh your old walls. This paneled trim can seamlessly cover old nicks and marks, and you can install it using simple tools and adhesives. Even better, many types of wainscoting come pre-painted, so you don’t need to worry about heavy fumes.
Silence Those Pesky Sounds
Are drips, gurgles, and squeaks keeping you up at night? The winter months can be a great time to tackle those little household noises that are starting to grate on your nerves, including dripping faucets, squeaky doors, and running toilets.
For instance? A squeaky, squealing door can be a major nuisance — and an easy fix. Simply remove the hinge pin, then clean it off, grease it, and slip it back into place.
In addition to creating annoying sounds, dripping faucets and running toilets can cause your home to lose a lot of water, driving up your monthly utility bills. For running toilets, the fix may be as simple as replacing a worn flapper valve. When it comes to dripping faucets, it’s important to do a little bit of research to determine what type of faucet you have, and what the issue might be. Whenever you’re working on any element of your home’s plumbing systems, be sure to fully shut off the flow of water, to help prevent flooding accidents.
Create Picture-Perfect Decorations
The winter months can be the perfect time to get creative, and find exciting new ways to decorate your space! You’re going to be spending more time inside after all; why not come up with beautiful, fun ways to make your favorite rooms shine?
In addition to decorating for the holidays, there are all sorts of creative ways to embrace the spirit of winter in your home. From handcrafting seasonal decorations, to breaking out heavy-duty pillows and throw blankets, to switching out your tableware and centerpieces, there are plenty of fun tasks you can add to your seasonal to-do list, many of which are perfect for getting kids and grandparents involved around the house.
Look around and see if any areas of your home are calling out for a fresh touch this winter. Could you add a decorative, seasonal touch to your mantle? Or add candles and decorations to make your coffee table sing? Don’t be afraid to get creative and put your stamp on the season!
We Know Chicagoland Real Estate
Curious about what it may take to move into or out of a home this winter? Looking for the space that will truly work for your life — and all the most important things in it? We get you.
At Baird & Warner, our agents are local experts, who know all the ins and outs of buying, selling, and living in Chicagoland.
As the largest independent and locally owned real estate brokerage in Chicagoland, the Baird & Warner family has earned success by putting our clients’ needs first, and always making it easier to navigate the real estate process, at every step of the way. With mortgage and title services in-house, our full-service approach can transform an intricate, complex process into one that is smarter and more seamless, so you can get back to enjoying all the wonderful things that winter has to offer.