Once the temperature drops and the snow starts to fall, out come the hats, boots, scarves, gloves, and of course, your collection of wool and down coats. While all that outerwear keeps you warm this time of year (and gives you an excuse to have a separate holiday wardrobe), all those extra layers can create clutter in your entryway and coat closet — especially if you have a small space. That's why having some tried-and-true storage hacks for your bulky winter apparel is key.
Then, there's the matter of keeping the outdoors out of your home. After schlepping through snow and slush, it inevitably gets tracked inside. For parents with kids, the mess multiplies, and people with pets know that muddy paw prints (and dog-sized coats) are all part of the snowy season.
Luckily, there are some easy ways to help keep your place clean and your essentials close at hand. Ahead, find expert tips from the pros at IKEA, Functional Creative Design, and Havenly, which can work for any space and on any budget. From stylish storage ideas to sleek organizers, you'll find plenty of clever solutions — and all of them are chic. With just a handful of simple hacks, you’ll be able to keep your home neat and tidy all winter long.
Create A "Landing Zone"
Janice Simonsen-Design, spokesperson for IKEA USA, says that the first step to containing winter messes is to make a designated "landing zone" near your front door. "If space allows, look for an item that provides a seating space to remove boots," she advises. Plus, a piece that also has "space for shoe storage and hooks for hanging coats, scarves, and bags to keep damp clothing all in one place" is truly multi-functional.
Shelby Girard, head of design at Havenly, agrees that multi-use furniture is a great way to utilize space and keep clutter at bay. "Try using a bench with storage in your entry or mudroom," she says, as it's "a functional way to store things you'd like to keep by the door."
Another design tip to add flair and functionality? "Use a beautiful dresser in your entryway instead of a bench or console for even more storage and for a cottage feel," she says.
But for tight areas, you can easily store coats, hats, and scarves on a rack that's secured to the wall. Girard suggests using a "cute vertical coat rack to save on space."
Another hugely helpful hack is putting an absorbing mat near the door. Whether it's a long runner or a rectangular doormat, this is an easy way to keep foot and paw prints off floors after trudging through puddles.
For Small Spaces
If your cozy abode doesn't allow for a lot of extra furniture, there are plenty of creative ways to get the most out of your space — and your budget. "Awkward and unused corners can be filled by stacking interesting baskets," says Sarah A. Abdallah, CEO and owner of Functional Creative Design. She adds that installing shelves above a coat rack and lining them with baskets is another easy way to stash cold-weather accessories.
Have a stunning collection of scarves or hats? (Maybe you even knit them yourself.) Abdallah suggests hanging them on display for unique and convenient wall decor. While you can purchase some chic hooks, the designer points out that really, "all you need is a nail."
And for those extra pieces you don't wear every day, Abdallah mentions that they can be hidden away around your home. "For extra storage around your living room area, why not use vintage suitcases that suit your style?" she says. "You can even use a vintage trunk for a coffee table, [and] couple this as extra space for sweaters if you're living in a small NYC apartment." She adds, "There are also some great storage-ready pieces of furniture if you're ready to commit to a bigger purchase, like a platform storage bed."
For Wet Clothing, Boots, & Sporting Gear
"Tracking wet, dirty boots and shoes through the house adds a lot of extra clean up during winter months," says Simonsen-Design. "To solve this problem, try placing a small rack near the entranceway to allow shoes and boots to dry." She also mentions that waterproof boot trays will catch melting muck, whether placed under a shoe rack or used as a landing pad for boots.
When it comes to soggy knitwear, Simonsen-Design suggests a clever rack where items can be hung up to dry — perfect for parents with snow-loving kids. "A fun little drying rack, placed low enough in a laundry or mud room for children to reach, will encourage them to hang their drippy gloves and hats up after coming in from playing in the snow," she says.
Those into winter sports know that drenched gear can make a clunky mess. For that, Simonsen-Design says a cute plastic container is in order. "Winter sporting equipment can be cumbersome and wet," she points out. "A large waterproof bucket or basket in an attractive color can keep things contained in your mudroom or garage." (Or, you can use it to line up soaked boots, among other things.)
As for pet parents with coat-wearing canines, Simonsen-Design says to account for their clothes when it comes to winter organization. "Even your furry friends have extra clothing to be stored during cold weather," she notes. "A small hook by the door, specially for their use, keeps a nice warm coat close at hand." These adorable hooks can also hang collars, harnesses, and leashes.