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Preparing for Dark Days

October 26th, 2010

I’m a light person, I love to have lots of sunlight coming through the windows. I would love to have more and bigger windows throughout my house, but I have to make do with what I have. I enjoy the seasons and I enjoy the relaxed pace of winter here in NE Ohio, but I don’t like the darkness of it. The days are short and often gray and I do anything I can to get more of that light into the house during the winter months.

Cleaning the windows is an important part of keeping the windows bright, it always seems like so much more light comes through clean windows. I usually take advantage of the last warm days in October to give windows a good scrubbing. The insides of the windows get cleaned almost once a month (a must with 3 cats and a dog living inside). The outsides only get cleaned 2-3 times per year, once in spring and fall for sure, and occasionally a mid-winter cleaning if we have a nice warm day.

We had such nice weather this past weekend I took advantage and spent some time washing the windows. When I finished, they were so clean and sparkling, I just had to take a few photos, I knew they’d have kitty and dog nose prints on them before the day was over.

I often take down the blinds during the winter and sometimes I even remove the curtains, although they’re light and white so they don’t block much sunlight. I also make sure I remove the screens from the windows as they block a lot of light from coming in. After this weekend my windows are undressed for winter and I’m much happier!

Do you clean your windows for winter? or remove the screens? or do you live in an area with the opposite problem – too much sunlight?

15 Comments to “Preparing for Dark Days”
  1. Sue on October 26, 2010 at 5:08 am

    I always clean the windows before winter, and also remove the screens. It just seems to make it look so much lighter and brighter.I hate having to put the screens on in the spring-it “obstructs” the views. It’s probably a good idea storing the screens in the winter anyway-less wear on them.

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  3. Stone Soup on October 26, 2010 at 7:42 am

    I feel very fortunate that our livingroom has a large bay window (7 panes) so there is much light to be had, although in Maine it sure is dark in the morning this time of year! There is nothing better than the sunlight streaming into the house, but this morning is dark and dreary which makes the days with sun so much more enjoyable!

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  4. Denise on October 26, 2010 at 8:25 am

    I live in the Seattle area – for the next 4 months it will be grey, grey and more grey. I love light too!!

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  5. Dee on October 26, 2010 at 9:22 am

    What a good idea to remove the screens! I need sun to keep me sane — winter is hard on me, too. For the first time since we bought this house, we’re removing all of the storm windows and cleaning them. It’s a lot of work, but the extra light will make it worth it.

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  6. tj on October 26, 2010 at 11:32 am

    …Oh I too love sunlite streaming into the windows! We live in an early log home here in Missouri and a lot of windows is not one of our homes strongest attributes, but like you I have light window dressings, keep windows clean and remove screens in the winter. Every lil’ bit helps! :o)

    …Love the reflection!

    …Blessings… :o)

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  7. Amy @ Homestead Revival on October 26, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    I may live in Southern CA, but because of my mountain location, the sun often isn’t hitting our house until 8:30 AM and it is down behind the next mountain by 2:45 PM during the deepest part of winter. It’s enough to make me go crazy! Add to that, fog, snow, etc. and I’m dying for sun by the end of January.

    I’ve learned to take a weekend trip each month if I can manage it, just to get over to the coast and get some sun. It keeps me going until about the end of March when I can depend on more sunlight. Your idea of removing the screens is a good idea. I haven’t done it in the past because our pets had access to our storage area, but my husband recently build a door to partition a section of it so they couldn’t get in. I think I’ll give your idea a try this year. Thanks for sharing.

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  8. Susan on October 26, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    I’d be interested to know what you use to clean your windows – no streaks! I have to battle some thorny barberry bushes that the previous owner planted smack dab against the front of the house. Getting screens on and off is a prickly business, but I do it every fall.

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    • Susy on October 26, 2010 at 1:49 pm

      I usually partially fill a bucket with hot water, then add a few drops of dish washing soap (I use a non-toxic brand) with some vinegar added. After washing I usually spray with vinegar and wipe again, then buff with a microfiber cloth. That generally works to get rid of streaks.

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  9. amy manning on October 26, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    I installed several velux sun tunnels and more windows.

    I also went through and painted all of the walls with a significantly lighter color, which reflects light sooo much better. I have a “How to paint your walls without tape” tutorial on my blog.

    I remove the screens too, and I have found that light colored curtains reflect light very well at night time.

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    • Susy on October 26, 2010 at 2:52 pm

      Yes, we’ve repainted with lighter colors in many of our rooms, except the office which will quite a chore if we ever do.

      I’ve always thought those sun tunnels were very interesting, I’d love to install a few.

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  10. Teresa/Safira on October 26, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    We plastic most of our windows in winter and keep the curtains drawn to cut down on drafts. I’m enjoying sun while I can.

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  11. Mustard on October 26, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    Ahh! I need to make it a ritual to clean the windows. There are so many windows in my house. But my bedrooms face north which I absolutely hate. And I can’t see any windows from my cubicle at work. I get out of the house while it’s dark and get out of the office when it’s dark in the winter. So depressing.

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  12. Jennifer Fisk on October 26, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    I did clean my downstairs south facing windows a week ago. I take all my screens off each October and store them until May. I have had my windows cleaned professionally since my second story is so high but this year I opted to put down planks and get to the ground floor windows by ladder. I also cleaned the doors and windows on the daylight end of the basement for the bunnies. Yes UI have move my bunnies into the basement for my convenience.. No frozen water down there. Certainly, clean windows allow more sunlight in.

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  13. Brittany on October 27, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    We’ll be putting up insulating plastic and I bet I would’ve forgotten about cleaning the windows first! I also hadn’t thought about removing the screens. I bet that makes a world of difference!

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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