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time for fall: get the gear ready

Posted Oct 14 2008 5:00am

(This was such a popular post last fall from myownblog, I thought I would repost here.)

Since it's still not quite cold here in Washington DC, I’m not talking about getting my winter clothes out quite yet, but I am starting to get my entryway and coat closet prepared for the cooler/wetter temperatures. I will miss the season of Crocs.

Some people are fanatical about their kitchen or bathroom being clean and organized. For me, it’s my entry way. This started in Sweden when cold/wet weather struck right about mid-October and lasted into May. We had hats, boots, coats, mittens, gloves, scarves for four people everywhere all the time for seven months. Something had to be done!

So I got organized. Three years later, I am still the entry way Nazi here in Northern Virginia where the weather isn’t quite as harsh, but is more unpredictable. Coats and sweaters can be part of our wardrobe starting in September and carry us well into April, but there might be weeks of hot weather causing the even worse “are we done with boots or not yet?” syndrome.

I have a devised a Baby-Bunching-friendly way to organize my teeny tiny townhouse foyer and coat closet. Here are my tips for those with small children when you need to keep all the cold weather items right at hand to get out the door faster.

1. Get yourself a shoe cubby. I bought one from Target the first day we moved into this house. It holds 16 kid shoes and all their shoes are right there. Every time they walk in the house, shoes go in the cubby. When we get ready to leave, shoes are already in the cubby. No excess mess on my floors and very little looking for shoes later on.

2. Get two sets of hooks to hang umbrellas, coats, hats, bags, etc. right where you can get them all quickly.

3. Bring all the socks for the kids downstairs. Don’t keep them in the drawers in the bedroom. Keep them where you need them most--by the front door. I have all the kids socks in a vinyl shoe holder in my coat closet. These over-the-door shoe organizers can organize so much more, and kids' socks fit perfectly in the slots.

4. If you have room, add another vinyl shoe holder to put mittens, gloves and hats in so you can just grab and go. Then everything is right where you need it, and you can see it easily. The best part is the kids learn to put it back in the lower slots.

5. I have two medium-sized Rubbermaid tubs on the shelf that house all rain gear and another for snow gear. It’s stuff above and beyond what we use regularly.

6. On the floor is a two-shelf shoe organizer with our boots and wintery shoes.

7. This year I'm planning to add an extra carpet/mat in the entry way to help stop the leaves, dirt and water before it gets trailed around the house from the shoes being flung off and throw into the shoe cubby.

Bring on the cold and rain!

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