It’s the time of year again, where we wish you the cleanliest and tidiest of homes for the holidays. The front entrance is your home’s first impression, and it’s not always easy to make it a good impression. With kids and pets running in an out of the house several times a day, last night’s clean-up job could be squashed by noon.

There are a number of low-maintenance ways to eliminate winter grime dragged in from wet snow and muddy lawns. Three words: organize, organize, organize. Simple organization will go a long way this winter, here are our latest suggestions for keeping a warm and welcoming entryway.

Enter Here

Where does your family typically enter the house? Through the front door? Side door? Garage? Perhaps, if possible, keeping most of the traffic entering and exiting your home through the garage is the quick-fix solution for a tidy home. This hides any mud tracked in from the outside and any winter clothes thrown haphazardly about.

Of course, not all families live in homes with garages, so confining the area where shoes and jackets are taken off to the area immediately beyond the door is a second best alternative!

Pack Away

Pack away any non-seasonal shoes, clothes, accessories, and outdoor activities cluttering the entryway. This includes sandals, light jackets, and summer toys. By stowing these articles in bins for the garage or storage unit, you will quickly free space for heavy winter jackets and snow pants.

Hang It Up

Command hooks are a perfect temporary, inexpensive solution to creating storage space. Hang jackets, scarves, snow pants, even backpacks. Furthermore, hooks create air circulation to air out damp outerwear. Another drying remedy is to purchase a portable drying rack. Drying racks are easily taken out and stored in the closet as needed. Luckily it doesn’t take long for things to dry in Colorado!

Bins, Drawers, and Shelves, Oh My!

Bins and drawers store the items you seem to lose year and year again: hats, gloves and mittens. If you have a large family, organize your entryway with bins labeled for each member in your family. This is one way to keep track of whose gloves are whose, avoiding mixing and matching as much as possible.

Catch My Drip

Two words: Boot. Tray. These handy plastic or rubber floor coverings will catch any snow and mud residue from shoes and outerwear.

For dogs, keep a towel handy to wipe their paws before bring them inside.

Last Word

If your master plan for a clean and organized winter is going to work, keep it simple. Your tactics should be functional and easy for kids to use on their own.

Lastly, donate any unwanted winter jackets, hats, gloves, etc. This is yet another way to minimize clutter, and is also the perfect way to help spread warmth and cheer this holiday season.