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1. Stock up your log pile

Kick-off your Winter ready preparation by making sure you have enough fuel to go the distance. These seasoned hardwood logs are great for keeping the home fires burning on those cold winter nights. They’ve been the number one smokeless fuel in the UK for over 50 years and are ideal for use on open fires and multifuel stoves. Store them outside, within easy reach of the house, in a cool, dry place.

2. Time to check your chimney

Before you get your matches out, make sure your chimney and flue are in good working order. Have the chimney swept and your flue checked by a professional - they’re all under one roof at the National Association of Chimney Sweeps so finding your local one should be simple. If you aren’t using your fireplace, remember to seal off your chimney with a special draught excluder - it’ll stop unwanted draughts and debris sneaking in.

3. Invest in your Nest

Get smart with your heating and save time, energy and money. With the Nest Thermostat you can control heating from your phone – it learns from you, gets to know the temperature you like and then programs itself. By using built-in sensors it knows when the house is empty and knows exactly how long it takes to heat it back up, so you’ll always have a warm welcome home!

4. Ensure windows are draught-proof

Check putty and seals around all windows and doors and fill any cracks with sealant if needs be. Watch out for any signs of damp as this might mean the sealant on the outside needs checking too. If you have big, draughty windows, consider adding temporary insulation like double-glazing film, that can be sealed with a hair dryer and easily removed in Spring when the warmer weather returns. Finally, don’t forget to clean windows inside and out, to maximise light during the gloomy Winter months.

5. Stay safe and secure with a Ring Video Doorbell

Brilliant for both welcoming your friends and keeping unwanted guests at bay, Ring Video Doorbell connects to your smartphone to make sure you’ll never have to run for the door again! With a motion-activated HD camera with two-way audio that connects to your phone, Ring lets you customise your motion sensors, so you’ll always be the first to know when the postman arrives.

6. Shed light on dark nights

Brighten up the longer nights with Wickes’ Twinspot Black PIR Floodlight. The two separate spotlights can be swivelled to illuminate even your darkest corners and the motion sensor will make life easier; whether you’re nipping out to the garage to get more logs for the fire, or simply trying to get that key in the front door after your Christmas party!

7. Look after your garden’s wildlife

It’s that time of year that we need to extend our hospitality to our friends in the garden. Ensure your birds are happy and well fed by keeping food and water supplies topped up – this Timber Lechlade bird table is perfect to house some festive treats. If you’re having garden fires over winter make sure there are no hedgehogs or other hibernating creatures nesting in there. And don’t forget the insects – a healthy garden ecosystem needs insects to enrich the soil and pollinate plants, so why not make a bug hotel for them to call their winter home?

8. Time for a festive trim

It’s also a good time to prune dormant climbers and shrubs - remove any dead or damaged stems or branches before cutting back, approximately 5mm above a bud. Make the cut at a 45-degree angle away from the bud so water doesn’t collect. If you don’t already have decent tools, it’s time to add this Garden 3 Piece Cutting Tool Set to your Christmas wish-list!

9. Nurture with compost

Once you’ve pruned and tidied up the garden you can start a compost heap that will benefit your garden in future months. In the meantime, lay down a couple of inches of Wickes Multi-Purpose Compost, which will act as a layer of mulch to protect your plants from hard frosts and provide vital nutrients.

10. Clean, protect and store garden furniture

Before you hunker down for Winter, make sure you clean, repair, sand and treat your garden furniture with a waterproof sealant to protect against the elements. Make space to store them in your shed or your garage, by having a good old clear out of anything you haven’t used for a year – these Really Useful Storage Boxes are great for storing fragile pots as well as your Christmas decorations!