We are in the middle of our annual winter mess. There are boots and towels and winter gear everywhere. It's not like we don't know it's coming. Every summer we make moves not to end up with a winter mess.
Two years ago we added extra large area rugs in the foyer and the family room to corral all the winter boots. This eliminated using all our towels on the floor to keep all the wet boots organized.
We put in a three row shoe organizer and a credenza with baskets, drawers and an open shelf last summer. We spent a bit of time organizing our hats, gloves and scarves so we'd be able to find things quickly. The girls put their backpacks on the shelf. In the morning they just grab and go.
I realize now that it's not about being organized. We are pretty organized. In the summer we seem to have enough space. Oh, there are flip flips and baseball caps all around, but those don't take up as much space as all our winter gear.
The reality is we have four people with seven pairs of boots. The girls and I each have a pair of snow boots and a pair of warm, fuzzy "walk to school" boots. Poor Daddy somehow survives with only one pair of boots. No matter how organized we are, for a few months we add seven pairs of boots to the mix. Of course the boots don't fit into the shoe organizer so they just sit on the floor by the door.
We have lots of scarves and mittens and hats drying whenever we're out in the snow. Last Wednesday the weather changed from rain to sleet to snow during one walk with Oreo. It was snowing hard when I walked him after dinner. I had two coats and two of everything else spread out across chairs and tables drying.
It's just a fact of life during winter. No matter how we try to avoid it we will have a winter mess for a few months each year. I think we'll just stop trying to avoid it at this point. We can plan and organize as much as we want, but stuff takes up space.
We're going to embrace it as a sign of a busy, happy family. Some day we'll look back on it fondly when the girls are in their own houses and we only have our own boots, hats and gloves to worry about.