With the arrival of the snow last night, my big project of the day was to come up with a way to organize the tremendous amounts of winter gear for 6 people.  It only made sense for everything to go into our entry-way closet, so I started out by emptying the closet and starting with the bare bones organizers.  After just one snow day, I realized I needed several things:

  • a place for dry gear and extras
  • a section dedicated to each person, for their gear such as hats, gloves, etc.
  • a place for damp gear to dry
  • a place for boots
  • a place for big, bulky items to hang (parkas, bibs, etc)
  • a place for lighter jackets for those periodic warmer days

The bare bones included the hanging rod (top) and the little shelf with hanger underneath.  Last year, we got great use out of baskets and drawer systems, but we discovered some flaws.  First of all, the baskets and drawer bin we used were way too small to hold everything.  But it was a start.  I decided to purchase some larger, equally-sized drawer bins for the primary small-stuff storage, and to use the baskets only for damp things so they could easily dry out overnight.  This is what my final result was:

You can see in the pic the kids’ lighter-weight jackets, as well as S and my jackets and parkas hang from the top rod.  The little shelf is perfect for the kids to hang those damp parkas and bibs on, though I would recommend hanging such a shelf a bit higher than the tallest child’s parka/bib will hang.  Ours is a bit low here.  The boots sit nicely right underneath.  Off to the right, is the new drawer system, with each person’s drawer labeled with their name.  I already know I am going to love that bin (though I wish it weren’t plastic!). 

So there you have it.  A great way to keep all that gear off the floor and in the closet.  One last thing I would like to do is find/purchase a cheap, washable rug to go over that entry-area floor.  I am already tired of the water and muck that gets tracked in the front door!  I have considered having the kids remove their boots at the front door, before coming in, but it is so cold, that their little feet would be just miserable next time they put them on.  I think an absorbent rug will be the best option.  If you use any organizing systems you really like, I would love to hear your ideas!  I am still working on my design for the farm “mud-room” area, and need all the ideas I can get!