EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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January 8, 2014

4 ways to take advantage of (still) being snowed in

Temperatures are below freezing for much of the country. Many states are covered with more than a foot of snow. After days of being snowed in, cabin fever is starting to run rampant, but there are a few tasks that are actually best accomplished with some heavy snow on the ground.

Clean out your fridge and freezer

With lower temperatures on the porch than in the crisper drawer, cold snaps are a good time to empty the fridge and freezer without worrying about food spoilage.

Just empty the fridge, toss everything that's expired, set the remaining groceries outside your front door to keep them chilled and scrub down the shelves and drawers.

Clean area rugs with snow

Those big area rugs that are too heavy to shake out will benefit from a nice snow cleaning.

Apartmentthearpy.com advises rug owners to hang the rug outside for 30 minutes to acclimate it to the cold, then place it facedown in the snow and beat it with a broom. Flip the rug, beat it with the broom again, then sweep the snow off.

The snow catches all the dirt you loosen from the rug leaving you with a clean floor covering and a dirty patch of snow.

Roast a chicken to save energy

Low temperatures mean high energy bills. Now is a good time to throw a chicken, roast or some kind of braised dish in the oven, lower the thermostat and let the oven heat your house for a few hours.

For bonus points, unplug the deep freeze in the garage for a few hours (or days) and save a little more.

Wash those extra dishes

If you have to leave the faucets dripping to prevent pipes from freezing, why waste the water? Empty the sink before you go to bed, plug the drain and wake up to a few usable gallons of water. Grab those holiday dishes or that dusty china and give them a scrub.

Do the same with the bathtub and toss in all that delicate laundry that has to be washed by hand.

Need warmer water? Put a pot on the stove and enjoy the benefits of the stove helping to warm your house.

 

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