SHTF blog – Modern Survival


In between the sewing of presents and decking of halls, I’ve been improving on our winterizing. It seems like one of those never ending tasks. After I got all the major drafts and leaks taken care of, things seemed cozy. Then I started noticing the smaller leaks and drafts, and the ones in the out of the way places. Filling the chinks in the main armor. Our main living area has a big drafty window, and I made it a big custom window quilt. Unfortunately I made it just one inch too small, and there is usually a small gap on one side or the other. I didn’t want to make a whole new window quilt, so I just made some smaller panels. I made one for each side, sized big enough that they can take over for the main quilt in a pinch. It’s worked well, I finished the second one just before the cold hit last month. As a bonus, we have an easier time arranging the 3 to maximize sunshine and minimize drafts. But, learn from my mistake, and make your window quilts at least a couple inches bigger than you think they need to be. LivingRoomWindows Our main door was a problem. There are a couple of doors in this house that we just close off and tack wool blankets over during winter. This door is our main though and we needed a different solution. The bottom of the door was deemed to be the main culprit, so I whipped up a draft stopper. I timed it with the biennial cleansing of the dry bean stores and filled it with those. The expired and culled dried beans have been recycled into toys before, but it was nice to have a new place to send them.  The draft stopper has noticeably lessened the cold air leaking in. It moves easily enough when one of us is on the outside trying to get in. I love it.


Everyone has fleece. Pants, hats and  hoodies are daily layers, and this is for staying indoors. I’ve made a few blankets too, and those come out of the closet during these cold months for snuggling under during music or reading. There are 3 weeks of groceries in my food stores. Early winter is when I finally have time to get a big picture view of what we’ve got stored. During the rush of harvest and canning, sometimes it can be hard to remember if you did 2 canner loads or 3? But I make sure we have at least 3 weeks worth of everything we would need. I had a cousin in Texas leave her nice warm safe house, to take her boyfriend grocery shopping because he was out of food after the first 24 hours of the ice storm down there. Not the best situation for either of them. And I’m sure they were not alone. I’ll pass. Twinkle Lights. Yup, they’re good for your bike-power setups… or your spirit.. or something.  Strands of little lights are just a vital part of winterizing, and that’s just how it is. What about you? What are you working on or testing our in your winterizing efforts? Sound off in the comments! – Calamity Jane

6 thoughts on “Winterizing

  1. I am starting to shop for some old quilts to make my window blankets. My friend made some and she said that it made a huge difference. Unfortunately all that I have run across are really ugly quilts, my wife says she wants a “clean look”. So I will take my time, one room at a time. The stores sell a material that has a reflective layer built in, can’t remember the name, very nice, very pricey.

  2. Unless your house is quite modern and was built to very strict efficiency designs, there’s generally enough air leakage through the gaps in the walls to prevent sick house syndrome. If you’re burning wood in the house, of course, you need to make sure you have enough outside air to form a draft, but again, that’s usually not a problem.

  3. Just make sure all those other doors are still easy to get out in the event of a fire. I know several fire fighters and that is one thing that they mentioned to me once, after seeing that I had rearranged furniture during winter and blocked a patio door that was generally only used in summer – it really stuck with me.

  4. Fall comes and I put that clear shrink-wrap plastic around the window frame. Keeps the breeze out, lets in the sun heat. Amazing how much draft there is around windows (and walls). I used to do the doorstop thing but I finally put a vinyl flange at the bottom and wood veneer tape on top.
    For reflective curtains I’d just sandwich a layer of Reflectix between the layers of a regular curtain.

  5. Nice Tardisi on your door draft stop. 🙂 I am trying out bubblewrap shipping sheet as a window insulation on the windows and skylights of the 5th wheel camper trailer I am spending this next SouthWest Iowa winter in. o.o

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *