For those of us that live in a climate that snows, you can relate to the fact that things can sometimes get a little bit messier in your home. Winter requires a little extra cleaning. A little extra wet and dirt that tends to walk itself in. As well as some bulkier clothing that you have to manage. Below are some ideas to help keep these things in order.
First, lets address the bulkier coats and storage of hats, gloves, and scarves. Since, these are seasonal items not used as much until the winter months they tend to get tossed about more. Make sure you have an easy catch all system for these items in order to keep the clutter under control.
When thinking of a system for these items think ‘simple’. Especially if you have children, you want to make sure its easy for everyone to follow the system. If a systems get too complicated people do not want to spend the time to put things away. Then these things just get tossed in a pile.
Make sure you have a place to hang the bulkier coats. This could be a coat closet or a coat rack you have to find a space for. If space is limited try to enforce a one coat per person rule. This will help so that you do not have an overwhelming amount piling up.
A coat closet is ideal, but if you do not have one then there are some alternatives. If you have the wall space in an entry then hang a coat rack on the wall or get a coat rack/bench combo that you can set up in that space. If you do not have the wall space you can see about an over the door rack or a narrow standing coat rack that can go out for the season.
Once you have the coats sorted out think about hats and gloves. I find bins the best for this. You can organize your bins different ways. By person may be best if you have children so that can easily find their stuff and know where to put it. Another alternative is by type of clothing. Gloves in one bin. hats in another, and so on.
Create a shelf in the coat closet for these items and label the bins. If you do not have a closet then you can see about adding a shelf above your coat rack to store them, or under a bench.
When thinking of a solution make sure to think about maximizing your vertical space. This especially useful when space is limited.
This is a big one, the stuff you can drag into the house with your shoes! Rule number one, take them off when you walk into the door. In order to be able to do this successfully it’s best if you have a place to sit and take the shoes off and then an easy place to set them when they are wet.
A good floor mat for your entry is important for this as its the first thing your feet will touch. So you will want something washable and effective at absorbing moisture.
Next you will want a mat or place to set your wet shoes. Ideally if you have an entry into a garage, laundry room, or basement this would be the best set up. But you may also need a place for guests at your main entry. Whatever option you decide is best for storing your wet shoes make sure it is also easy wash, it shouldn’t be the same as your entry mat unless your mat is large enough that you wouldn’t be blocking the door. This is a tripping hazard and causes shoes to get kicked out of the way and create a cluttered mess.
Splashing in and out of the house with wet feet can really do some work on your baseboards so staying on top of this more frequently during the wet winter seasons will be helpful. The more on top of it you are the easier it will be to keep clean.
Baseboards are a bit of a pain because they are awkward to clean, for daily maintenance find a tool that you can use without bending over too much. Like a baseboard buddy or a duster/mop that you can easily use to do a quick wipe.
Then every so often you may need to do a deeper clean but since you are maintaining this it should make the deeper clean a bit easier.
So now we have a good floor mat and a place to store wet shoes. This should minimize the spread of dirt across your floors. However, there will still be some traveling mess.
For hard floors I go between two items. I have my Bissel Crosswave which I love for easy maintenance. It vacuums and mops at the same time so it really minimizes the effort you need to put into cleaning the floors. It is a little bit of a process to clean it when you are done using it. So, for smaller spot cleaning messes I will usually keep my Bona Mop near by. I like this because I can do a quick clean of a smaller area and just wipe and toss in the washer.
For carpets this is a little bit more challenging as it is harder to just wipe up a mess. I would consider for carpets to get a larger floor mat where possible. Then for wet floors grabbing a portable scrubber may be best. This way you can spot clean and the scrubber will suck up the moisture. I also personally have a cordless hand vacuum that I can use for quick clean up with out pulling out the whole vacuum cleaner.
Keeping on top of the floors will help minimize the spread to the rest of the house as well. Think if you walk on it with your socks or bare feet the dirt will travel.
Those are the biggest pain points I know in my house during the winter season. Share some of your pain points and advice that you found works for you!