Easy Ideas for Making Your Entryway Work Better for Winter

published Feb 1, 2016
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(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)

With snow, salt, mud, and the other sloppy aspects of winter, it’s all too easy for the entryway to become a mess. Whether your door deposits you right into your living space or you’re lucky enough to have a mudroom, there are some things you can do to make your entry as winter-friendly as possible.

(Image credit: Handmaid Tales)

Shoe storage
First things first: boots. Caked with snow and salt, they drip water and ooze mud, so it’s advisable to take them off as soon as you enter the door so that you don’t make tracks around the house.

Boot trays—like these copper ones from Target used on Handmaid Tales’ front porch—are a classic solution for a good reason, but if you don’t have the space for boot trays, consider cutting a small rubber mat to size. Stowed under a shelf, resting under a table, or tucked in a nearby corner, a single pair of boots won’t take up too much space, and when they’re dry, you can rotate them to your closet, making room for another family member’s pair.

(Image credit: P&G Everyday)

What do do with coats, mittens, and scarves

This post from P&G everyday offers nine solutions to the winter accessory chaos. One of my favorite tips is that you can stow clothespins or chip clips with hangers and use them to keep mittens, hats, and scarves corralled in the closet.

(Image credit: Nicole Crowder)

Getting personal
If you have multiple family members, it can be helpful to keep supplies organized by person, rather than by type. For example, keep all of your son’s cold-weather supplies in one basket and your daughter’s in another. This will make the bundling-up process go much more quickly.

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

Supplies to have close-at-hand
Not only is it important to have a place for the stuff you take off, it’s important to have a few things at the ready when you get home. In my house, we keep towels near the door so that we can wipe our dogs’ paws after walks. We also keep slippers nearby—once the wet boots come off, it’s wonderful to be able to make your feet nice and toasty right away.

(Image credit: Carolyn Purnell)

Keeping it Clean

Winter means sludge, which means lots of wiping, mopping, and sweeping. If you have the space, I suggest keeping some basic cleaning supplies nearby, such as a spray bottle filled with a basic cleaning solution and a few rags. If you have a Swiffer mop or similar, stash it in the coat closet for quick, easy clean-ups between full mopping sessions, or hang an attractive broom in plain sight. As always, the easier it is to clean, the more likely you are to do it.