There's nothing like remnants of fires past to keep you in a winter state of mind. We'll admit this isn't the most fun job, but at least you only have to do it once a year. Old ashes can make for a stinky room, so you'll want to sweep 'em up and wash it out. You won't be roasting chestnuts for a while, so go ahead and store the firewood bucket and poker set while you're at it. Then, buy a bunch of great smelling candles and line them up on your sparkling hearth.