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The winter months are approaching and they can be hard on everyone, and it’s time we band together and share our modern day survival tips! I think we can all agree we’re glad life’s a little easier now that we don’t have to really know things like how to use a compass anymore, but as we emerge further into this modern era, we’ve discovered some handy tips to make everyday even easier for us all.

Winter is full of amazing things we ALL love, like extra time to focus on the family, holiday music, and if we’re lucky– snowball fights. It’s only fair that we all get to take advantage of the wonders of winter festivities, and it’s smart to make everything as easy as possible so you can spend as much time with the family as possible. We wouldn’t give winter up for anything, but lets get real–it could be made a tad easier.

There are some tricky things about the winter months that plague us all, like the chill that comes when your boots get wet and seep down to your socks, making your toes very angry; or how about the classic running late to work situation where you finally make it to your car and it’s frozen on every surface. Oh and don’t forget about the cold and flu bugs that seem to last forever, lingering with the tickle in your throat that makes you cough uncontrollably.

Don’t worry though, we’ve created a list of little hacks that will help you out when times get tough and Mother Nature tests your patience. There are a ton of everyday hacks that can be easily utilized to make this season as stress free as possible, all you’ve got to do is get a little crafty.

Honestly, some of these are so easy you most likely have everything you need, right at home. The next twenty hacks will help you with things ranging from cars troubles, clothing malfunctions, beauty behaviors, and even some surprising things you never would have guessed.

20. Waterproofing Boots

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If you find your children, or yourself, in boots that happen to not be waterproof–don’t worry there is an easy and inexpensive alternative to chemical sprays. All you need are two, two gallon plastic bags and two hairbands or rubber bands to tie the bags around your ankles. Secure the bags with the bands, and slip your feet into the boots. The boots themselves will get wet, but your feet will stay dry and warm while outside and it can help in a pinch.

19. Foam Noodles For Boots

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The plastic bags work for keeping your feet dry, but do little for your boots themselves. To make sure they dry properly, it’s time to re-use those foam noodles that work so well in the summer for pool time. Cut them into thirds or fourths depending on the size and height of the shoe, and slip them into the neck of the boots to keep them sturdy and straight. Not only does this keep your boots straight for even and complete drying, but keeps your closet organized.

18. Night Time Remedy

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One thing that seems to reoccur every winter, is the insanely chapped lips. The cold combined with harsh winds can keep lips in a perpetual state of utter dryness. Don’t worry though–the cure can be quite simple. Instead of only trying to keep your lips hydrated in the day, focus on some night time rejuvenation. Use some heavy duty chapstick, Vaseline, or some good ol’ Bag Balm and it should do the trick. Make sure you’re keeping hydrated as well, because nothing keeps your lips as healthy as water.

17. Eyeliner

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If you wear makeup, then you’ve probably noticed that your stick eyeliner gets a little stiff in the early mornings during winter. To avoid hurting your eyes, spend just a couple of seconds warming up the tip with your fingers, just enough to make it go on a little smoother. You can always use a lighter to warm it up if it’s really cold or if you accidentally left it in the car overnight.

16. Cracked Feet

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Bring out that Vaseline that you were using for your lips in slide 18, and start using it for your feet too. It’s easy for your skin to become dry and irritated in the harsh winter weather, so don’t be surprised if your feet start to feel the pain–they do a lot for you everyday. Before going to bed rub some Vaseline on your feet and slip them into some socks for some night time rejuvenation. If you can’t stand the feeling of the extra moisture, get some of the fuzzy socks that are saturated with aloe instead.

15. Static Hair

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Sometimes the harsh winter weather can also have a negative effect on your hair, causing it to become staticky. The drier your hair, the more staticky it will get, which is why you’ll notice the winter months are harsher on your hair. Just use a dryer sheet by poking it through the bristles of your hairbrush, and comb it through your hair. Your hair will smell good and you’ll watch the static go away almost instantly.

14. Open Your Blinds

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This may seem like a somewhat obvious thing to do all year around, but it can be easy to forget in the winter because you don’t usually associate sunlight or warmth during this time of year. Open your blinds, especially in the mornings to let the sunlight warm up your house as much as possible. Although it’s not as warm during the winter, there is still sun and it can make a difference in warming a room. Also, the sunlight can stimulate serotonin to keep you happy.

13. The Oven Trick

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After baking or cooking anything, a useful way to heat your home is by keeping the oven door open while it cools down. You’ve already paid for the electricity to heat the oven, you might as well utilize as much of the heat as possible. However, don’t use this as an everyday way to heat your house, it’s meant only to utilize the left over heat. This can also be somewhat dangerous if you have little ones running around, so be sure your home is suitable for this.

12. Shoe Organizer

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One of those easy shoe organizers that hangs on the back of a door, can actually make a great organizer for many things. It’s hard enough keeping socks matching let alone keeping gloves, mittens, hats, and scarves all in the same spot for easy access. Get one of these and use it for all the winter accessories your family uses so you can make getting ready for school and leaving the house as fast and efficient as possible.

11. Boot Cleanliness

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The winter weather can be harsh on your family–and even harsher on your floors. To avoid any damage to your floors caused by mess brought in by wet, dirty rain boots, create a pebble station. Start by getting a cookie tray and some medium to large pebbles. Next, all you need to do is spread the pebbles evenly and place near your front and back doors–anywhere messy shoes are trying to enter. The water will fall onto the cookie tray and anything else on the pebbles, not your floor. Rinse every now and then, when you start to notice it gets dirty.

10. Bubble Wrap Windows

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For a less expensive way to insulate your house and keep things cozy and warm, bubble wrap will do the trick. Cut the sheets into long strips to fit the window, spray some water and stick them to the windows. Lay the blinds down and you’ll notice the heat staying in rather than seeping out. The bubble wrap is clear enough to allow some natural light get in while keeping the heat in.

9. Ziplock’s For Mirrors

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Another great use for Ziplock bags is to eliminate frost build up on car mirrors! If you’re always running late in the morning, or simply hate defrosting your car, a helpful way to start your day is to slip a bag over each mirror to prevent them from frosting up. Of course, you’ll have to remember to do this every night so every morning is as quick as possible. If you want to step it up a notch, add a sock to the end of each windshield wiper so they’re not stuck, saving you even more time.

8. Vinegar and Water

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Vinegar and water is the perfect solution for your frosty car in the early mornings. Simply spray the mixture on your windshield and wipe dry for an all natural defroster. You’ll be so shocked by how fast the frost melts. The solution should be 2/3 water and 1/3 vinegar, and keeping it in a spray bottle helps for easy use.

7. Hand Sanitizer

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Hand sanitizer can do more than just clean your hands when you’re in pinch, it can actually help you get into your car. Many cars have a keyless system, but if you’re still stuck with the good ol’ lock and key then you may want to think about keeping some hand sanitizer around. If the lock gets frozen and you can’t get your key in, put a little sanitizer on the key and it’ll easily start working. It also helps if your door handle is frozen too.

6. Park East

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Probably the easiest thing you can do (if you live somewhere with lots of parking) to avoid a frosty car, is park east. The sun rises in the east, and by positioning your car there you can get a jump start on the warming process, making your morning as efficient as possible. Of course the best thing would be to park inside, but it’s the next best thing.

5. Razoring Your Sweater

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There’s a good alternative use for those shaving razors we never use in the winter, and it has to do with your sweater. Ever notice those annoying balls that take over some sweaters when you wear them all winter? Well now you can make them look like new by running a razor across, letting it catch all the annoying balls. Make sure you’re only using light pressure so you don’t create any weak points in the fabric.

4. Wool Inserts

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Warming your toes can be made easy without having to add extra layers of socks, by making your own wool inserts. Go to your local goodwill, value village, or fabric store and buy some treated wool. Cut out sized inserts for the specific shoes that need a little help, and place them in. The combination of socks and inserts will keep your feet warm without stuffing them too tight.

3. Vapor Rub Shower Cube

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Homemade vapor shower cubes are amazing for cold season! If you make these and stick them in your shower, when they get wet on your shower floor, they’ll create a minty vapor that will clear up your sinuses, and any congesting cold symptoms. When you’re sick there is nothing better than finding some relief and they’re so easy to make you can even give them as gifts. All you need is 3 tablespoons of vapor rub, 1 cup of corn starch, 2 tablespoons of water, a mixing bowl, and some lavender if you’re feeling fancy. Mix all the ingredients together until it forms a thick paste, pack it into an ice cube tray and let it solidify for at least 20 minutes–and store in freezer when not in use.

2. Paper On Top

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If you’re lucky enough to still have a wood burning fireplace, then you know how amazing a warm fire is on a cold winter night. There’s something about a wood fire that smells so–comfortable, both indoor and outdoor fires. There is something you can do to improve those amazing fires though, start stacking the paper or fire starter on top. This will create a less smokey AND longer burning flame if you stack largest logs to smallest, too. You’re essentially creating an upside down fire.

1. Hot Water Bottle

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It doesn’t matter who you are, a hot water bottle can be one of the most comforting things, EVER. If you’re sick or if you’re just cold, a hot water bottle in bed can be just the trick. The thick rubber of the bottle keeps the hot water at a prime temperature for a couple hours, long enough to drift you right off to sleep. They even have some with cute covers that are interchangeable so you can switch it up whenever you want.

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