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Eight Things to Do When You're Stuck at Home During a Winter Storm

family inside home .

Winter’s not over yet, and that means there are still days when you’re stuck inside due to bad weather or winter storms. Here are eight ideas to help with cabin fever:

1. Give your living room a mini-makeover. If you’re bored with how your living room looks, change it! All you have to do is reorganize the furniture and swap out some accessories from other rooms to give it a whole new look.

2. Binge-watch your favorite TV show. Between working late, long commutes and evening obligations, you might not have a lot of time to simply relax. Being stuck at home during a winter storm can be the perfect opportunity to catch up on your favorite TV show, watch a documentary or enjoy a movie.

3. Read a book. Are you more of a book person? Then it might be nice to spend the day reading. If you use a Kindle or another reading device, you could download the latest best seller or read a book that could be helpful to your career.

4. Play games. Not being able to go outdoors doesn’t mean you can’t keep mentally active. Challenge your brain and skills by playing games, whether that’s an online game, board game or a Sudoku puzzle.

5. Declutter. If your closets are overflowing with clothes you never wear and items you never use, why not spend the day decluttering? Decide what to keep, what to throw away and what to donate to charity. Note that you may be able to claim the value of anything you donate to a charitable foundation as a tax deduction.

6. Get your taxes in order. It’s almost tax time — and a day at home offers a good opportunity to get everything together for your tax filing.

7. Catch up on home maintenance projects. Do you have a list of home maintenance projects that you never seem to get around to doing? Then perhaps now is the perfect time to do them. Think of things like cleaning or replacing the filter on your furnace, cleaning your vents, flushing your water heater tank and checking that your sump pump is functioning properly.

8. Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors need to be tested regularly — especially during the winter when people use their furnaces and fireplaces more. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year, more than 400 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning that isn’t caused by fires. Another 20,000 people visit the ER and 20 percent of those people are hospitalized. That’s why it’s important to take an hour or so to test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replace any batteries that aren’t working. If any of the detectors are faulty, make a note of it so you can replace them as soon as you can get to a hardware store.

Remember: If the storm is bad enough to keep you at home, then there’s always a chance of a power outage that could last for hours or even days. That’s why FEMA advises that you prepare properly for winter storms. Make sure your phone’s battery is powered up and have a couple of battery-powered flashlights, as well as candles, on hand. Get blankets ready in case the heat goes out. And if you’re at home with children, it’s a good idea to get out a few favorite board games to keep them occupied until the power comes back on again.

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