How to stay warm in your apartment if you’re too cheap to turn the heat on

Nishali Naik/File

Winter’s coming. Literally.

Only three weeks ago, we were all nearly melting from the sweltering heat wave, but now it’s a completely different story. With bouts of rain heading our way and temperatures dropping into the fifties, the weather — and our very own dwellings — are simply becoming too cold to bare. And, not only are we now living in what feels like the inside of a freezer, but we’re also broke college kids. If there’s one thing we never want to do, it’s succumb to the pressures of turning the heat on and having our PG&E bills shoot higher than the Campanile. We at the Clog are in the same boat as you and are here to help. So, without further ado, here are our tips and tricks to stay warm when you’re just too chap to turn the darn heat on.

Add at least three heavy extra layers

Sweatshirt? Check. Bathrobe? Check. Heavy parka? Check. It’s this quintessential trio of cold weather items and pure extra-ness that will ensure that you stay toasty warm and that your poor, freezing fingers never reach the heater dial. You may look ridiculous and slightly resembling of the Michelin Man, but this isn’t a fashion show, this is survival.

Enjoy a warm cup of tea

If you can’t warm yourself up from the outside, try doing so by warming your insides first with a nice cup of hot tea. Your body temperature will soon begin to rise and your shivers will soon decrease. If this fails, simply pour the drink over your body instead. That should do the trick (do this, however, at your own discretion).

Utilize your desk lamp

Desk lamps are usually bright, which means that if you’re close enough and remain under one long enough, you may start to warm up. Simply point your desk lamp in the region of your body that’s feeling the coldest and leave it under the lamp for an indefinite amount of time. If your whole body has the chills, curl up on your desk and remain there until you feel like this technique might be doing the job. Be careful not to fry your skin.

Bake some cookies

Whisking together some ingredients and popping some good old chocolate chip cookies in the oven is the perfect way to keep yourself warm and take your mind off how cold and miserable you are inside the comfort of your own home. The heat from the oven will help heat up your kitchen and fill your nostrils with that warm, chocolatey goodness. Who doesn’t love the smell of freshly baked cookies?

Participate in an intense workout

We’re talking HIIT-level stuff here, not lazy crunches and half-witted jumping jacks. In order to raise your body temperature, you need to go for high intensity, fast movements. And what better way to do that than to antagonize the apartment-dwellers below you by doing several sets of burpees and lunge jumps? Several things, honestly, but this method is one of the fastest (and sweatiest).


We can feel your eyes rolling now. If you’re lucky enough to have a significant other, or even just run-of-the-mill friends to cuddle with, utilize them for what they’re really there for — body heat! If not, you’ve always got yourself and some pillows to use instead. Simply take a pillow from your bed, clutch it to your stomach and curl up into a ball (and then cry yourself to sleep). Yep, we’re pros at this one.

Give up and leave

If all of these methods fail to defrost you, don’t succumb to turning the heat on yet! Oftentimes our humble abodes are colder than the outdoors, so if you’re looking to warm up, step outside for a few minutes. Then, realize that that was a terrible idea and crawl back into your bed, which is the only semi-warm place in your apartment.

It’s not a winter wonderland until we can enjoy being in the cold. Good luck on all your endeavors to resist turning that wretched heater on.

Contact Chloe Lelchuk at [email protected].