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46 degrees at my house this morning. That can only mean one thing – winter will be here in the blink of an eye! Cooler weather brings jackets, scarves and boots, which means your mudroom is about to see a lot more traffic. Use these tips to keep the mudroom organized and under control, ready to take on winter.

Clean out the clutter. If your mudroom is already packed full before the season even starts, you’re going to have a hard time keeping things organized. Make room for the essentials – go through all your old winter coats, hats and mittens and weed out those that don’t fit anymore. A great way to donate clothing as well as pick up some of your own is to attend a winter gear swap. Organize one in your neighborhood or office!

Storage, storage, storage. Mudrooms become out of control when the clothes and winter gear begin to pile up. Give everything it’s own home. Cubbies are a great way to store everyone’s items in their own space. Hang hooks to keep jackets out of the way, and use baskets and bins for storing hats and gloves without taking up too much space. Make the most of all the space you have – even small mudrooms can store a ton with the right storage accessories!

Keep the elements outside. Nothing makes a mudroom messier faster than boots tracking in mud and snow. It’s a good idea to put a rough mat outside the door for scraping off boots before coming inside. Invest in a boot tray to catch unwanted mess – they’re much easier to clean than your floors!

Give everything a home. Repurpose miscellaneous containers from around the house and use them as extra storage. An example: take an unused flower bucket and use it to store umbrellas, snow scrapers, sports equipment, etc. Be warned, though – don’t let this turn into a junk drawer!

Extra additions. If you have room to play with, consider storage for items beyond your winter gear. Think about hanging up hooks to make finding the car keys a cinch, or creating a mail station to keep things organized. If you aren’t struggling for space, it’s also a good idea to add some sort of seating to make boot removal quick and easy.