Snaps for getting the holiday decorating finished before January 1st! Now turn your attention to getting your home ready for winter, inside and out. Most of us live in climates where the temperature dips sharply from October until April. Here are a few tips to ensure that your house and property are ready for whatever Winter 2016 dishes out.

Inside your home:

  • Make sure that your outside door or doors have weatherstripping to prevent drafts from upping your heating bill.

  • Invest in a new programmable thermostat you can adjust on the fly from your smartphone. It will pay for itself in heating and cooling savings.

  • If your home does not have a mudroom, ensure that your family’s boots do not track snow and ice onto your floors. Set up a door mat and plastic tray (available from the dollar store) for wet footwear right by the door, along with a folding chair to accommodate anyone coming and going. Make this your staging area for putting on and taking off winter footwear, and your floors will thank you!

Outside your home:

  • If you live in the snow belt, make certain you have sufficient ice melt before a storm hits. Got a detached garage? Avoid slipping on icy patches by keeping a gallon shaker of ice melt in the garage and one inside the back door. This way, you’ll always be able to get to your vehicle safely.

  • Speaking of safety, it may cost a little more, but always buy ice melt that is kind to plants, pets and wildlife, driveways and walkways!

  • And be sure to keep your shovels inside your home at night. Should there be an overnight storm, you’ll be able to dig out more easily!