The chilly and harsh winter months can make your morning commute to work almost unbearable, but with these tips in mind, you’ll almost look forward to this time you have to yourself before the workday begins.

Park in your garage.

This is by far the best thing you can do to make your morning commute run more smoothly during the cold winter months. Warmer temperatures inside your garage mean that your car will be more comfortable from the moment you sit down inside it. (Installing an insulated garage door, by the way, will carry this benefit even further.) Additionally, your car will of course be safe from rain, ice, and snow as it sits in your garage. If you don’t happen to have the room to spare in your garage as it stands, check out our post “4 Tips for Easy Garage Clean-Out” to help you create the space you need.

Optimize your car.

Even when you do take advantage of garage parking, you’ll still have to drive on those snowy and icy roads leading from your home to your place of work. Be sure to install winter performance tires before winter weather season hits so that your car will drive as smoothly and as safely as possible. Now is a good time to check your antifreeze, windshield wiper fluid, heating system, and windshield wipers as well.

Line up some audio.

You can always resort to the radio for your morning commute, but why not let what you listen to in the mornings be on your own terms? Create a music playlist of your favorite morning tracks, or have one of your favorite podcasts ready to go. You could even select an audiobook to listen to so that you can keep chipping away at that reading list.

Grab a warm drink.

Make it a point to prepare your favorite warm drink before you leave for work in the mornings—be it hot chocolate, coffee, or tea. Transfer it to a thermos to keep it warm, and take it to go. (Just remember to be safe and only enjoy a sip when your car is fully stopped.)

Keep gloves on hand.

Gloves in the glove compartment—fancy that. Gloves are one thing you definitely want keep in your car all winter long, as touching a freezing cold steering wheel is never fun for your hands.

Give yourself extra time.

This one is a no-brainer, but it’s worth repeating: give yourself more time that you usually do to get to work. Cold weather can and often does cause major road delays, and the last thing you want to be is stressed before the workday even starts.

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