Although Minnesota has beautiful springs, summers, and falls, everyone knows that winter in this state can be harsh. If you are considering , then you probably already know all the wonderful things the city has to offer. However, if the thought of enduring your first winter in Minneapolis feels daunting, here are some tips locals follow to not only survive the cold but thrive in it.
Prepare your house for the cold
If you are thinking of buying a , or already own a home in the city, you’ll want to prepare your property for the reality of a Minneapolis winter. Extreme cold can wreak havoc on a home and on your wallet, so get everything in order before winter to avoid unnecessary maintenance and expense.
1. Prune your trees: The reason? Weak tree branches can break under the weight of snow and ice, damaging nearby structures or injuring people. The last thing you want to deal with when it’s cold out is a broken window or a hole in the roof. The best time to prune trees is in September because there is usually at least one freak snowstorm in October before winter sets in.
2. Seal the windows: Speaking of windows, make sure yours are in good repair before temperatures drop. Old, leaky windows can cost a fortune to make up for with your furnace, so it’s best to invest in sealing, repairing, or replacing them. It’s also smart to buy thermal or insulated shades and keep them closed when there’s no direct sunlight coming through the window to provide some solar heat.
3. Consider installing solar panels or a geothermal heating unit: If you’re ready to make an even bigger investment up front, consider installing solar panels and/or a geothermal heating unit. Not only can they save you money in the long run, but it will also reduce your carbon footprint.
4. Turn down the thermostat and bundle up: Another way to save money on utility bills is to set your thermostat to a comfortable 68 degrees when you’re home and wear warm clothes to make up the difference. (If you have a programmable thermostat, set it to a lower temperature when you know you’ll be out of the house or sleeping and have it start heating an hour or two before you want it toastier.) It’s much cheaper to buy comfortable sweatpants, sheepskin slippers, some fleece blankets, and a heating pad or heaters than to keep the oven on all the time. see more .
5. Allow faucets to drip: If you know a big drop in temperature is coming, avoid bursting your water pipes by setting your faucets to drip slowly so the water doesn’t freeze.
Know how to weather snow storms
You need to have several things on hand before you weather your first warning of winter weather.
1. Invest in a snow shovel and get out: For less than 6 inches of snow, all you’ll probably need is a good wide snow shovel (or even better, a snow blower) and salt to de-ice the sidewalk and .
2. Stock up on the essentials: There are always a few storms a year that seem endless and could even knock out power. For those, you may need to batten down the hatches for a day or two. Whether you live in a house or in a If it really is covered in snow, you’ll be glad you have a small supply of water and non-perishable food, extra gasoline, candles, batteries, flashlights, and a radio. It’s also not a bad idea to restock prescriptions before a storm.
3. Bring pets inside: If you have furry friends, keep them inside. Their paws can freeze in sub-zero weather, and a small dog or cat could even get buried in the snow.
4. Travel with caution: If you’re going to be tackling snow, make sure you allow extra travel time. Roads can be closed or dangerous due to ice and snow, parking can be tricky due to city-specific rules for snow plows, and even if you use public transportation, you may encounter delays.
keep your spirits up
Perhaps the most important consideration in surviving a Minneapolis winter is knowing how to maintain your well-being, and the residents clearly have some secrets to lighten the dark days of winter. Here are a few.
1. Let the light in: During the darkest part of winter, daylight lasts only seven or eight hours. If you leave for work before sunrise and come home when it’s already low, that can get depressing. Obviously the best bet is to get some natural light every day, but if that’s not feasible, get a light box that mimics the sun’s rays and tricks your brain into thinking you’re in Tahiti! It’s okay, it may not be that effective, but it certainly won’t hurt. Just make sure you don’t wear it at night, or it could disrupt your sleep pattern. Learn more .
2. Get out whenever you can: that being in nature is wonderful for mental health, even if it’s just for an hour a day. You’re probably thinking, “but it will be too cold!” Well if you’re going to , you must know this Scandinavian saying: “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.” There’s a reason the flannel and stocking hat look got its start in Minneapolis. Add some comfortable boots and a pair of choppers, and you’re all set to enjoy just one of the 274 parks in Minneapolis.
3. Move: Even if you are just walking in a winter wonderland, it is still beneficial for your health. Making time during the winter months to move your body is a great way to de-stress, boost your energy levels, and strengthen your immune system. If it’s too cold to go outside, you can still get your heart racing by swimming in an indoor pool, going to an indoor skating rink, or even walking on one of the walking paths within the Mall of America.
Looking for other places to walk? The St. Paul Winter Carnival is a well-timed outdoor festival to combat post-holiday blues. If you fancy something more adventurous, try cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or even dog sledding.
4. Practice hygiene: Another term you should be familiar with is (pronounced “HOO-guh”), which basically means “comfort” in Danish. Minnesotans don’t hibernate all winter, but they know how to settle in and make the most of a quiet winter night.
Stock up on hygiene essentials like hot chocolate, candles, fuzzy socks, and some cozy food recipes like casserole or the classic Minnesota tater tot hotdish. Then, when the first snow falls, you’ll be ready to put on soft music and snuggle up with your pet or human of choice. After all,
Become a winter person
Follow these tips, and you’ll be ready to take whatever weather Minneapolis throws your way. In fact, you may not even want the Minneapolis winter to end.
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