By Greta Goosen, Head of Customer Experience at MiWay Insurance

Winter’s arrival heralds a distinct change of pace, as many South Africans opt to hunker down at home for the colder months, deterred by the chillier temperatures that characterise the upcoming months. But while pool parties, braais and sundowners might be off the menu for the time being, winter’s arrival needn’t dampen your spirits.

If we learned anything from 2020, it’s that our homes are our havens, and that with a little creativity, there is plenty of fun to be had without ever needing to set foot outside the property’s perimeter. Now, as the temperatures slowly but surely start to dip, it’s time to revisit that perspective and discover new ways to embrace your own space.

Here are a few top tips to make this winter a winner:

Picnic with panache

Turn your garden or lounge floor into a picnic space and gather the family to enjoy a selection of your favourite spoils. If you’re looking to up the ante, take advantage of the numerous take-out services and deals, and enjoy all the goodness of your favourite restaurant from the comfort of home.

Go to the movies

No need to mask up to enjoy a movie night this winter. All you need is a projector, a large white sheet and a few blankets to create a cinematic experience in your own garden. So pick a family favourite, arm yourselves with ear pods so as not to disturb the neighbours, and enjoy!

Go camping

There’s no need to venture far this winter to enjoy a taste of the great outdoors. Use the fireplace as a campfire substitute, and use plain crackers, chocolate spread and marshmallows to make your own indoor s’mores using a roasting fork or wooden stick. No fireplace? No problem. You can also use the microwave to create your camping-inspired masterpieces. To complete the experience, pitch a tent in the lounge and switch off the lights. Consider using your stocked-up load shedding lamps or camp lanterns for the full effect.

Embrace old school pleasures

Ditch the remote control and enjoy an old-school night in, indulging in board games, puzzles or even a good audio book, which you can listen to together. There’s a lot to be said for the simplicity of these more traditional activities, which promote conversation and can be a lot of fun for the whole family.

Creative entertaining

Staying home needn’t mean cutting yourself off from the outside world. If you’re looking to have guests over but aren’t able to use your outdoor space, why not get creative and try your hand at a tasting party. From cheeses to cured meats, wine to whisky and everything in between, there’s a wide variety of options to try. Not only can this interactive form of entertaining be a lot of fun, but you’ll also learn a lot in the process.

Winter maintenance

Not only is your home your haven, but it’s also your shelter, and this quieter season offers you the perfect opportunity to catch up on DIY and routine maintenance that might have been shelved during the summer months. So why not take advantage of the winter period to:

●       Check your roof for leaks or cracks.

●       Make sure your boundary walls are free from cracks and that there’s sufficient drainage of stormwater.

●       Inspect and clear out your gutters to improve drainage and prevent potential storm damage.

●       Repair any cracked windowpanes or doors.

●       Check your geyser’s drip tray, making sure it can safely drain away any leaks in the event of a burst.

●       Check your security system, testing your alarm and ensuring that all locks are fitted and secure.

Smart living means insuring the valuables that make your house your home and enable you to live your way. Remember that your home is not only your haven, but also your biggest asset, which requires regular attention so as to avoid any unwanted damage, leaks or mould. By ensuring your home is well maintained, you’ll be able to enjoy the winter months with complete peace of mind and make the most of your sacred space.

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