Easy Ways to Organize Winter Gear

Give coats, scarves, and mittens a home this season with these smart storage solutions.

drawer storage hats shoes gloves
Photo: Jay Wilde

Living in a location where the winters get frigid can have its advantages. There are a slew of indoor winter activities to enjoy, including sitting by a cozy fireplace or making homemade cookies, plus even more outdoor pursuits, including building snowmen, having snowball fights, and sledding. Even if those pastimes aren’t an everyday occurrence for your family, accessories are needed to keep you warm as you go about your day during inclement weather or freezing temperatures.

Rather than let hats, gloves, and scarves pile up in the entryway or wet boots ruin your floors, use one of the following winter gear organization ideas to keep everything tidy and in good condition for years to come.

1. Hang a Sweater Cubby

Not just for sweaters, hanging cubbies can be a seriously versatile organizing product. Anything from jeans, towels, and even toys can be kept neat in these storage essentials. So why not use one for winter accessories? Carve out some room on the rod of your coat closet to hang it, and roll scarves or roll them flat before placing them into the individual cubbies. For smaller items, such as mittens and ear muffs, use an organizer that comes with a couple of drawers so you can easily keep them contained. This not only prevents them from falling out but also hides clutter. Add labels using a bin clip or hanging them off the handle.

2. Repurpose a Shoe Organizer

Similarly to a sweater cubby, an over-the-door shoe organizer with pockets can be a multitasking maven. It’s also extremely helpful if your coat closet rod is maxed out and you simply can’t hang anything else on it. Instead, loop a shoe organizer over the inside of your door and use it to corral the family’s winter accessories. Roll scarves and place them vertically, keep glove pairs together in individual slots, and slide headbands in another one so they don’t get lost. If you or anyone in the house is more of a visual person, opt for a door organizer style with clear, vinyl pockets so items are easily identifiable. 

3. Incorporate Drawers

A stackable drawer organizer is a resourceful tool to have around the house. Whether you want to place one in the front closet, mudroom, or entryway, choose a tall, slim style so it takes up as little floor space as possible. If it’s in your budget, spring for the slightly more expensive metal versions as opposed to plastic as they will last longer. Plus, you’ll be able to add sturdy dividers inside the drawers to keep hats separated from scarves. Give each family member their own drawer to store their stuff and add a label with their name. As a bonus, when winter ends and spring starts to roll around, the cold-weather accessories can be put away in storage and the drawers can hold warm-weather necessities such as sunscreen and sunglasses.

4. Assign a Basket

The simplest solutions are sometimes the best. Consider handing each household member a basket to store their stuff. This helps everyone, especially little ones, know how to store hats and gloves. When they come in from playing, and the items are dry, they can toss them into their assigned basket. It doesn’t necessarily need to be neat inside as long as they’re contained instead of creating clutter throughout the house. Fabric bins can be monogrammed with each person’s name so there’s no doubt about whose is whose. Let them live on a shelf in the coat closet or mudroom so they're ready for snow days.

5. Employ Closet Dividers

If you have a large family, or simply an overflow of winter coats, you know that things can become disorganized in the closet pretty quickly. This is when dividers become invaluable. The good news is that they’re inexpensive and can be found in a variety of shapes to fit both round and rectangular closet rods. Sort coats either by family member or by style, such as heavy down coats and dressy wool coats, then use dividers to know where one section starts. Label them using a permanent marker and label tape, or get really creative and customize vinyl labels to fit the divider.

6. Try an Upright Boot Stand

Tired of cleaning your floors after the kids, or even you, traipsed in salt and snow after being out in the slush? You could place a boot tray near the door you enter, but they generally hold one or two pairs of boots at most. Instead, consider an upright boot stand that can hold up to six pairs. It consolidates how much space the boots take up and keeps the soles facing upward to dry, avoiding drips on the floor. Stick one of the genius organizers in the mudroom, garage, or wherever you have a little extra floor space.

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