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How to prevent theft and home maintenance headaches this winter

There are enough reasons to feel unsettled this winter without worrying that your home isn’t as secure as it should be or is inadequately protected against theft. (Yes, even during a pandemic, there will be unscrupulous opportunists who use shorter days and darker nights to enter your home and steal your stuff.)

Because theft often trends up during the holiday season, this is a good time to review home security. If you have an existing alarm system, when was the last time you had it checked? Does it still function properly? Does it need upgrading—perhaps with additional security cameras? If you don’t have a system, is it time to invest in an anti-theft or smart home security feature? Keep in mind that thieves are simply far less likely to target homes with such systems in place, so they function as both a deterrent and detection mechanism.

The perfect winter home is safe, cozy, and warm. Image by Milada Vigerova from Pixabay

This is also a good time to handle any little repair jobs that can still be done before winter descends in earnest. There’s still time in most of the northern hemisphere to take care of cracks in the walls, issues with pipes, missing roof shingles, or loose siding.

Upgrading or replacing vinyl windows and patio doors can not only give the house an aesthetic boost, but make it more energy efficient.

Is your fencing in fine form? If not, poor weather may further damage it. Talk to an expert about dealing with it now.

An outdoor tidy-up in late fall is a no-brainer way to prepare for winter weather. So make sure leaves, debris, and fallen branches are cleared away. Pay special attention to drains and gutters to avoid winter water damage.

Give the garage a sweep, and if you drive, stock up on anti-freeze and windshield cleaner, making sure there’s an emergency kit with candles, matches, protein bars, and water in the car. Put a mop with a reusable head in the front door closet, ready to use on tracked-in slush.

It’s also a good time to do a pantry inventory, so that you’ll be ready for a few days of being unable to get to the store because of weather or illness. How are you for beans, rice, grains? Do you have a can or two of condensed milk? What about coffee, tea, dry yeast, oil, flour, and dark chocolate ? Take a look, and stock up.

When all that’s done, you can righteously settle in for a safe and cozy winter, treating yourself, perhaps, to classic comfort food that makes the days seem just a little less dark and dreary.

I’m pairing my culinary comforts with classic winter reads; I just finished The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins for the first time. Magnificent.

Next up, Dickens’ Bleak House, which I’ve never read before. First graph left:) What dishes and books are going to get you through the winter?

This is a collaborative post. It was not reviewed prior to publication.

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