The holidays are right around the corner which means New Yorkers across the city are ice skating in Central Park, sipping hot cocoa in front of the tree at Rockefeller Plaza, browsing the markets at Bryant Park, and taking in a show from the iconic Rockettes… or, not. For most Manhattanites this is the time of year where we celebrate the last days of bar hopping, date nights and window shopping on Fifth Avenue in preparation for months of nights in our heated apartments getting dry cleaning delivery, picking our dinners from the Seamless app, and praying for snow days off work.
While the weather is fairly tolerable and your level of motivation is still existent, it’s time to prep your apartment for the long winter months in New York.
Prepare Your Outdoor Space. If you’re lucky enough to have a small yard or balcony, you should make sure it’s ready for the icy winter weather. Clean off any outdoor furniture and either bring it indoors or apply protective tarps or covers to protect it from snow and ice. It’s also not a bad idea to put down a mat in any exposed areas leading to the doors to your apartment if not already provided by a landlord or co-op. This will help prevent a slip and fall accident during the icy season.
Keep Your Apartment Warm. Since you’ll be spending so many evenings curled up in front of Netflix, you want to be sure your apartment is toasty warm. Bring in or place an indoor cover on any window air conditioning units. Cold air can leak into the apartment through the vents on your unit. If you have any ceiling fans, reverse the blades. This will push the hot air that rises to the ceiling back down into the living space. If you have radiators in your apartment make sure they are free and clear of any obstructions both to prevent fires and to be sure the warm air is flowing.
Identify Leaks and Cracks. Any cracking or holes leading from the outside into your apartment is going to make it tough to stay warm during the winter season regardless of how well your heater or radiator works. On the first cold or windy day make sure you check around all of your window and door seals to be sure you don’t feel cool air coming in. If you do and you believe it’s something the landlord needs to fix, be sure to let them know as soon as possible before the really cold weather rolls in. If you own your apartment, a quick trip to a hardware store for some caulk or weather stripping should do the trick.
Have Supplies for Winter Storms. You never know when the next snowpocalypse can hit New York, so it’s always smart to be prepared. Have some candles and flash lights on hand in case you lose power. While it might not be reasonable to keep bottled water on hand in tiny NYC apartments, you can always fill up the tub with water right before a winter storm hits. It’s also never a bad idea to keep some canned goods on hand just in case – even if you have to store them in your oven or under your bed!
Winter can be a beautiful time of year in New York – as long as it’s enjoyed from your nice toasty apartment. By taking these few precautions and tips, you should enjoy a nice long winter watching the snow fall on the concrete jungle while you long for those days of sidewalk dinners and rooftop happy hours.