On the positive side, turning the clocks back tonight means an extra hour in bed and lighter mornings for a while, but it also marks the (official) end of British Summer Time and, according to reliable sources, temperatures are set to plummet this winter.
Our online shop is now open and we open officially for sales of Crimbotrees on 1st December at our base at Jenner’s Depository
With that in mind, this month we’re preparing for the colder weather months, and here’s our checklist for both in and outside the home to minimise any nasty winter surprises.
Outside the home
- Clean garden furniture and pack safely away until the warmer days return. (Ours sometimes makes a special guest appearance during the festive season if we run out of chairs!)
- Check that gutters are clear – falling autumn leaves can cause blockages that aren’t always easy to spot until it’s too late.
- As far as possible, check that chimneys and roofs are sound and that there’s no loose masonry. Binoculars are useful for jobs like this, depending on the size of your house.
- If your garden has trees, check them for loose branches and remove any dead material.
- Remember to replace or refill any bird feeders for our small winter friends.
- Check breakdown cover is valid and in force, and check your tyres integrity and pressure.
- Fill up on screen wash, check antifreeze, and consider switching to winter tyres if appropriate. Your local garage will store your regular tyres until the warmer weather returns.
- Stock up on salt or grit, and make sure the shovel isn’t too far away in case of winter snow.
Inside the home
- If you haven’t had the central heating on yet, switch it on and check it’s working properly. Having been switched off during the summer months, boilers can be a bit disgruntled at being switched back on. Heating engineers prepare for this eventuality and know that they’ll be really busy as soon as October comes round.
- Still on the theme of heating the house, bleed radiators and check and set thermostats.
- Check for draughts – older double glazed windows and doors sometimes just need a bit of TLC to eliminate problems with draughts. This simple job could save you a fortune in energy costs.
- November is a good month for using up the contents of the freezer to prepare for the arrival of the festive foodstuffs.
- Candles provide great winter cheer, so stock up on those. Also handy if the power goes out. Never leave candles unattended, obviously.
Finally, get in the savings habit, and start stashing spare coins in a jar to put towards your Crimbotrees real Scottish Christmas tree. Or try the digital version with a smart account like Plum or Chip which analyse your spending and save money for you automatically.
Now that’s some real winter magic!