Maybe you’re like me — right at this very moment — surrounded by gloves, hats, snow bibs, snow boots, wet towels, and more gloves. Snowmageddon came early to the upstate this year, and we’re up to our eyeballs in winter accessories! Below are my tips for maintaining sanity (and a sense of order) during the season when we need it most.
Tip 1: Check for Mates
Waiting until the last minute to find out that your favorite pair of gloves doesn’t have a match is awful. It’s even worse when it’s your kid’s favorite set. Save yourself some drama, and check for mates ahead of time. You’ll also want to make sure you’ve got a hat and scarf for everyone in the home. Sure, you won’t use them every time you venture out, but keeping them together will spare you the pain and suffering when you need them most.
Tip 2: Store at the Door
There is nothing more frustrating than having to run back through the house to find your leather driving gloves that you think you left on the kitchen counter. Instead, keep them in a bin near the door. I LOVE the three drawer container from Sterilite. It tucks nicely into a narrow coat closet and can be rolled around when you temporarily need it elsewhere. The drawers can be labeled to hold items for each family member or by size. We use two of our drawers for “Adult Cold Weather” and “Child Cold Weather.”
Tip 3: Prep for Wet
When snow actually shows up, it’s helpful to have a few beach towels in reserve. Lay these on the floor near the entrance so that snowy friends can peel their accessories off in one central location. This will also help to contain any mud that gets tracked in….because we all know the upstate is infamous for red clay. Storing these towels in the third drawer of that Sterilite container is just plain genius. Your pets and floors will thank you for such considerate preparation. It’s also a great idea to invest in a boot mat OR repurpose an unloved cookie sheet to contain those wet boots to one central area. If you’ve got a collapsible garment rack or a door casing that can hold a few hangers, you’re even more of a winner. Simply lay a dry towel below to catch any drips while your wet stuff hangs to dry.
Tip 4: Keep the Dryer Free
Kids love coming and going in the cooler temps, particularly when that white stuff is coming down. Help them to stay warm by tossing their wet accessories in the dryer between trips. Yes, I know, some of you are cringing. I cringed too….because only my clean stuff belongs in the dryer! However, a dry happy kiddo is more valuable than a dryer. To help alleviate my fears of “contamination,” the next “clean” load that goes through the washer/dryer system is the winter coats and snow bibs. If the dryer is going to have anything in it from drying unclean winter gear, at least it’s only getting onto my freshly laundered winter gear. (Side note: I’ve never actually had anything gross transfer, but I thought I’d throw it out there just in case anyone is worried like myself!)
Tip 5: Wash and Restock
This last tip is the most often neglected. Don’t forget that in order for an organizational system to be successful, it must come full circle. After the winter accessories have been used (and washed, if necessary), return them to their rightful place. Everything, including those winter accessories, should have a home. While it may just be temporary, like in a Sterilite drawer system for winter, it deserves a resting place. Homes for accessories allow everyone to find exactly what they need when they need it. And winter is no time to doddle, because, baby, it’s cold outside!