Organize winter gear
Winter gear can take up a lot of space. Your entryway and closet are often the first areas you, your family and guests see, so you want them to be tidy. Rather than frantically looking for a lost mitten, piling up boots, or cramming and shoving everything into your closet until the door no longer closes, organize now to minimize frustration later. Gather all the winter gear. Sort through anything that doesn’t fit, needs repair, or has lost its mate.
Then try the following ways to organize all the gear.
Sterilite rolling drawer cart:
These portable carts can be placed inside a closet or tucked into an inconspicuous corner. You can label each drawer for each person in the family or organize by the types of accessories (mittens, hats, scarves).
A spare dresser makes a great winter gear station. If you don’t have space in your entryway, it would work well in a mud room, upstairs laundry room or garage.
Tucked into coats:
Get into the habit of placing mittens and scarves in hats. Then tuck the hat into the sleeve of your winter coat. If the scarf is too bulky, simply hang it on the same hanger as your coat.
Last year’s backpack:
If you’ve replaced your children’s backpacks, reuse the old backpacks to store their winter gear. Hang the backpacks on hooks. If you don’t have old, full-size school backpacks, use tote bags, cloth grocery bags or mini nylon drawstring backpacks. Each family member can keep their bag hung on their bedroom doorknob or a hook on the back of their door, or inside their closet.
Over-the-door shoe organizers:
Some are plastic and others are cloth. Both work well. The plastic pockets make it easier to see what’s inside, but the cloth organizer tends to be more durable for long-term use.
String a line and clip winter accessories to it with clothespins to see and access gear quickly and easily. It makes a nice place to dry wet items, too. If you don’t have an ideal location to hang a mini clothesline, try a chain-style toy organizer with clips. It only takes up vertical space and can be hung from the ceiling in a corner. The clips come in various colors, so you can color code accessories, too.
Tiered mesh hanging organizers, day-of-the-week canvas organizers or even tiered wire mesh produce organizers can hold winter accessories. Much like the chain-style toy organizer, these are hung vertically, so they can be placed inside a closet.
Bins and baskets:
Available in various shapes and sizes, they can be placed on a closet shelf, hung on the wall or sometimes placed on the floor. Plastic and wire work best to withstand heavy use.
Whatever method you use to organize, the key is to make it a habit that everyone adopts. Don’t move your winter accessory station around, and try to keep it as close to the door as possible. To make things easier, consider the following:
–Buy identical, multiple spares of hats, mittens and scarves, so if you lose one from a set, you can still use the others.
–Have a lost and found bin. Family members can check there for any lone accessories. Plastic mesh totes/baskets with carry handles work well for this.
–Label children’s accessories. This makes it easy for everyone to identify, or, in some cases, return their gear.
–For a tidy, space-saving closet, try closet doubler rods, Command hooks (which can be removed easily), Huggable Hangers (non-slip), or Wonder Hangers (space-saving hangers).