How to stay warm this winter without paying through the nose
There are two important aspects of keeping warm this winter. The first is making sure you are healthy, warm and happy. The second is making sure your stuff stays in an okay condition—much harder than it sounds in many parts of Welly *nods at Aro Valley*.
Make sure you have a raincoat that you’ll actually be willing to be seen in public in, so you wear it when it rains. Also, because it’s Wellington, either invest in thermal leggings or make sure that coat is long enough to cover you without catching all the wind. Same goes for windproof coats—if you can, only get one coat that does both, but it’s nice to have two.
Thermals are awesome, even if you just sleep in them. Make sure they’re actually thermals and not cheapies—go into Kathmandu and check out the right brands then go to a cheaper store if you want, but Kathmandu is pretty sweet. I picked up some black leggings that look just like tights and even manage to wear them into town without anyone noticing the difference. Boys, get longsleeved thermals, and for the love of christ, do not steal your girlfriend’s merino glassons jerseys to wear as thermals. *glares at ex-boyfriend who shall not be named* Girls, Glassons merino jerseys have a place, but when it comes down to it you’ll still need to wear about five to keep warm in them—they’re cheap because they’re thin. A good buy, though, is their woollen knit tops (the ones that look like nice normal tops), because they’re warm and you can then wear stuff over ‘em.
Invest in a dehumidifier. Often your landlord will buy you one if you point out how quickly your walls mould, but think about your approach before you start the conversation. Many dehumidifiers cost the same as two lightbulbs to run, so make good full use of them. Once the air is drier you’ll feel much warmer. Also, open your doors and windows as often as possible—a windy day is best. Air circulation is tops for keeping bugs away and for stopping the damp from getting in—remember to rifle through your closet often enough to keep that air moving.
Instead of using a drier, get a clothesrack, dehumidifier and oil heater. Put out your clothes and turn on both (both of the appliances have functions to turn off once the air is a certain dryness/temperature). Swish—your room is warm and dry, and so are your clothes, for cheaper than using the drier. Always, always make sure your clothes are bone dry before putting them away.
Also, oil column heaters cost the most to heat up, as opposed to keep a room hot. So in our house we now leave them on low all the time (unless we’re airing the house on a cold day, in which case we put something over them to retain the heat and switch em off for that time). I do mean low though, number 1 on the thermostat gauge that goes up to 9, then at 6pm draw your curtains (Important! Retains so much more heat!) and put the thermostat up to a comfortable temperature if you’re going to be home. This will also do something for keeping the damp out of the walls, apparently, but I haven’t tested that theory.