15 Decluttering Tips for the Cold Months
From a pair of mittens to a ton of firewood, keeping cold-weather-related necessities accessible but clutter-free is difficult. Check out our smart decluttering tips for storing all your winter stuff.
1 / 15
Logs and Firewood
There's nothing more cozy than curling up before a log fire or wood-burning stove in the depths of winter, but where do you store a winter's worth of logs? And buying in bulk is often cheaper (see our tips for buying firewood), but finding a place to keep logs looking tidy can be tricky. For in-house storage, firewood stacked under a stair alcove makes a great focal point, or try a shelter built on to a shed or outer wall for an outside solution. Then keep a few logs by the fire (but not too close) in a wicker basket or brass scuttle for genuine rustic appeal.
2 / 15
Christmas Decorations and Accessories
You only need them for a few weeks, so keeping Christmas decorations and accessories tidy is a must. And get organized with plastic storage boxes for your delicate tree ornaments. Also, protect individual ornaments by putting them in disposable plastic cups. Wind tree lights around boards or onto a reel to avoid frustrating tangles next year, and keep artificial trees in a large storage tube. Check out our other Christmas decluttering tips.
3 / 15
Hats and Gloves
There's nothing more frustrating than searching for a lost glove or hat when you're in a rush, so take control of those warm clothing items by giving them a home of their own. And just string clothespins on aluminum wire (it won't rust) and stretch it between screw eyes on the back of a closet door. These winter preparedness tips will some in handy, too.
4 / 15
This nifty closet organizer keeps scarves (and ties and belts) in order. Scroll down in this collection of great organization tips for complete instructions for this scarf holder. And for bulkier winter scarves, make the scarf holes larger.
5 / 15
Coats & Jackets
Bulky winter coats and jackets take up a lot of space and you've got to consider how to store them when they're wet. And when considering decluttering tips, the simplest solution is a line of coat hooks in your entryway. Make sure they're well spaced to allow for drying. A free-standing storage unit like this one gives you a lot of versatility. Also, you can include shelves and cubby holes for accessories, or leave the inner shelves out to accommodate longer coats.
6 / 15
Whether you like a huge golfing-style umbrella or a compact handbag design, an umbrella is essential for braving the unpredictable winter weather if you're not in a snow zone. And wet umbrellas that leave pools of water seeping across the floor are unsightly and can cause accidents. Umbrella stands allow you to hook your umbrellas off the floor, and usually have a drip tray to catch stray raindrops. And, these stands allow you to find your own umbrella quickly when you're heading out. But umbrellas are just as happy in a storage container, such as a brass pot, a plastic tub, or an open design with elastic sides for maximum aeration.
7 / 15
Rather than putting your wet and muddy boots out of sight into a corner, you can buy drip trays. But making your own is simple and inexpensive. And this one looks much better, too!
8 / 15
Wellies scattered about your entrance area are a trip hazard, and also cause problems when you're trying to match pairs. There's no reason why wellies can't be stored on a shelf or in a cubby, but a welly tree makes an attractive alternative. And for an up-market option, choose one that's made of fine wood, perhaps with a personalized name plate attached. But making your own welly tree is a straight-forward job. Simply insert pairs of dowels into a sturdy wooden base–vary the length to allow for larger and smaller sizes. Outdoor storage is also possible–a storage rack attached to an exterior wall near your door keep indoor clutter to a minimum. And why not take a look at our other tips for weathering the winter?
9 / 15
This wall-mounted shoe organizer is easy, takes only a couple of hours, and can be done with scrap wood and dowels. And for less than $20, you can make a shoe rack that's customized to fit your available space. It lifts footwear off the floor for easy cleaning, and prevents scuff marks and mud prints on your walls.
10 / 15
Ice Hockey Gear
Winter sports are exhilarating, but usually require a host of accessories. And our decluttering tips will solve your sports gear storage headaches in no time. Ice hockey players not only need their skates, but also extras like hockey sticks, a helmet, gloves, padded clothing and more. Hockey stuff takes up a lot of space and it gets super-smelly if it doesn't get a chance to dry out. So designate an out-of-sight spot so the pile of equipment doesn't get in the way.
11 / 15
Snowboards can be stored horizontally on a shelf, or hung on a rack to save space. And you'll also need a place for all the extra bits and bobs needed to enjoy this winter sport. With the right DIY garage storage system you'll have room for your snowboarding gear and more.
12 / 15
Snow shoes and accessories
Snow shoes and accessories are best kept handy by the door so you can access them easily. But they're cumbersome and take up a lot of space, so storing them neatly is a must. And these storage lockers, made from closet bifold doors, are attractive and perfect for winter gear storage.
13 / 15
Ski equipment needs plenty of space, especially if the whole family takes part. And open wooden storage boxes on castors will not only keep your equipment safe and tidy. But can also be moved around to wherever is most convenient. Storing skis on a rack under a garage or shed roof keeps them flat, but out of the way when they're not in use. See our other decluttering tips using garage or shed roof space.
14 / 15
Mixed Sports Gear
If you're raising a family of sports fanatics, you'll likely have more than one batch of sports equipment to store throughout the winter. And the best option in that case is an integrated storage system that takes care of all kinds of accessories. This garage or backdoor storage center is packed with features to allow you to store everything you need for cold weather pursuits. It has slots for storing long items like hockey sticks or skis, wire racks for drying shoes and boots, shelves with lips for keeping balls in place. And it has hangers that hold coats away from the wall for effective drying.
15 / 15
If you're lucky enough to have space for a mudroom, you know how quickly it can go from clean and neat to down and dirty, especially in the winter. And provide a place for all of the gear and outerwear with a mudroom storage cubby. This wall-mounted frame includes space for boots and overshoes, a seat with hinged lid for hidden storage of dog leashes, mittens, ear muffs, etc. And there's a coat rack and hooks on the exterior for bags, scarves and hats.
Originally Published: November 29, 2017