Unconventional methods to stay warm in your freezing apartment

Photo of someone wrapped in a blanket
William Webster/Staff

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Even though the weather in Berkeley is amazing compared to most of the planet (thanks, California), it is an undeniable truth that apartments in Berkeley are either burning hot or freezing cold. Since it’s February, chances are your apartment is feeling a little bit like the Arctic tundra, and you’re trying to stay warm while living in a place without a functioning heating system. Even if you do have heat, it’s pretty hard to maintain a warm temperature without racking up an insane electricity bill. Don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to stay warm in your Berkeley apartment in winter. 

Wrap yourself in a blanket burrito

This is a pretty important go-to method of staying warm. Seriously, the more blankets the better, especially when it comes to attending online lectures. You can just sit on your couch and bury yourself with blankets. All you have to do is make sure your arms are free to take notes. Using more than one blanket is a great way to do this — you can cover your lower half with one blanket and your upper half with another, leaving your arms free in the middle.

Wear three pairs of pants 

Let me tell you, this method is tried and true. Even if it seems a little unnecessary, wearing multiple layers of clothing is pretty much the best way to ensure that you will stay warm. The downsides are that your mobility might be impaired, and you’ll probably get a little sweatier than intended. But it’s all worth it for the amazing warmth that you feel while wearing three pairs of pants.

Wear your outside accessories inside

Though you might have been scolded for wearing a hat indoors when you were in high school, now that you’re in your own apartment, you make the rules. Beanie, mittens, scarf, fuzzy socks — all are great additions to your cozy wardrobe. If you have icicle hands, you should seriously consider investing in a pair of gloves. You might look a little silly, but it’s worth it to stay warm.

Have all your housemates huddle in one room

This is the lowest budget option possible — just get more roommates and have everyone hang out in one room. You’ll actually probably notice a significant difference between the temperatures of bedrooms in your house and of the kitchen and living room. Much of this might have to do with the increased movement and body heat in shared spaces.

Bake something (just to find an excuse to turn on your oven)

Another reason your common spaces might be warm is if people are cooking food. Especially if you have a smaller apartment, turning on the oven can be pretty much the same as turning on a space heater. Definitely be wary that doing this too much can be pretty expensive, but baking brownies every once in a while on a cold night will make you feel a lot warmer. Plus, if you’re eating hot food, that will help keep you warm, too.

Get active

This method takes some effort but has pretty great results, even if they’re temporary. Going for a run or doing a workout is a great way to warm up your body. If you’re not much of a workout person, have a dance party or even go for a walk outside. When you’re done, the inside of your house will feel like a sauna rather than the icebox it was 20 minutes prior.

It can be hard to stay warm during winter, especially when your heater is unreliable, expensive or nonexistent. Regardless, there are lots of creative ways you and your housemates can stay warm, even if they require a little bit of thinking outside the box. Soon, your apartment will no longer be equivalent to the inside of a freezer, but it will feel more like the temperature of that tropical vacation you’ve always wanted to go on. 

Contact Elysa Dombro at [email protected].