Professional organizer Cara Persram offers advice on how to get your home organized for the winter months ahead.
Think back five months to when you organized your home for the summer season. It’s now time to reverse the process by getting your home winter-ready.
“If you have a well-organized house, you won’t have a lot to do,” says Cara Persram, a professional organizer in the West Island. “But there are things to do at this time of year to ensure that the items we need during the winter are easily accessible.”
Known as The Passionate Organizer, Cara works with her clients to organize their homes and free them from clutter. And she has some advice for anyone who wants to create an orderly living space throughout the winter months.
She suggests beginning the organizing process at your home’s front entrance. “My entrance hall closet has had spring and summer jackets and umbrellas in it for the past few months,” she says. “I’ll switch them out for winter coats so that everything is accessible when I reach into the closet. A storage container such as a basket near the front door can hold hats and mitts. And it’s useful to get a hanger in the closet for scarves.”
Winter hats, mitts and scarves can be freshened in the dryer, while spring and summer jackets can be laundered before being stored for the winter, Cara added.
Lay a boot mat in the entryway to protect the floor, and if there are no hooks on the walls for children’s coats and backpacks, now is a good time to install them.
“Get a good, solid boot shelf on the floor of your closet,” Cara says. “I recommend a solid-steel one. And you need something that will accommodate tall boots.”
In the bathroom, seek out your winter lotions and creams to replace the lightweight ones you used throughout the summer. “You can keep a heavier lotion near the front door,” Cara says. “And you may want to change your makeup for the season, if you like to change the colours and weight.”
Lightweight bedding used during warm weather can now be replaced by layered bedding for the autumn and later, a duvet or comforter for the winter. “You can change the weight of comforters according to the temperature,” she says.
Replace the summer clothing in your closet with your winter wardrobe. “The summer clothing can be stored in plastic tubs in a closet or under the bed,” Cara advises. “Or you can store it in sealed vacuum bags.” Winter sweaters can be arranged in hanging shelves in the closet.
Do wash your home’s windows before the weather gets too cold. “It’s important to do it now because they can’t be done in the winter,” Cara says.
Other outside tasks:
* Clean garden tools and hang them in your garage or shed. “A sealed plastic box is also good to prevent rusting,” she says.
* Have your dryer vent professionally cleaned. “The outside vent is most important.”
* Clean outdoor furniture cushions and ensure they’re completely dry before storing them in a sealed container, she says.
Prepare a winter emergency kit for your car that includes hand warmers, a phone charger, blankets (including a space blanket), protein bars and juice boxes, a pocketknife and a fluorescent SOS sign. “I’m from Saskatchewan, where people prepare their cars for bad winter weather,” she says. “I always keep a cup in my car. If I’m stranded, I can melt snow and have something to drink.”
Cara recommends creating a spreadsheet with a list of tasks for winter organizing. Of course, each one that gets crossed off the list is a step closer to an organized home for winter.