Missing Mittens: How to Organize Gear for Winter Fun

Published Tuesday, January 29, 2013 3:17 AM

Nothing derails the fun of a snowy, winter day faster than a missing mitten. And arriving at the mountain with one ski pole instead of two? Big bummer. Take time to organize yourself for maximum winter fun. 

Winter Staples: Cold winter weather means wintry ailments like the flu, chapped lips and runny noses. Stock up essentials like chapsticks and tissues online. And be sure to stockpile necessary meds such as fever reducers, sore throat lozenges and cough syrups before illness strikes; dragging your feverish self to the pharmacy is never fun. Consider purchasing travel sizes of chapsticks, hand cream and tissues to keep in your hand bags or the car so you're never caught unprotected.

Winter Bag: If your family skies (or ice skates, sleds, etc,) create a designated to-go bag for every member of the family. Store hats, scarves, gloves and ski or skate passes and other must-have items here. Don't forget the sunblock! Sun exposure during skiing and skating can take a toll on unprotected skin. Take time to restock the bag after each use, so when you get an unexpected snowfall, you're ready to hit the slopes, confident that all your needs are close at hand. 

Winter Swap: Makeover your hall closet or mudroom into your winter command central. Swap out the off-season gear and create a caddy that houses tissues, extra gloves, chapsticks, etc. so family members can help themselves. Task hanging sweater organizers or bins with storing rolled up ski pants, hats, gloves, etc.

Winter Wet: Winter means dripping boots and bulky gear. Designate a metal tray to capture wet boots and shoes near your door and use a coat rack protected with outdoor paint for hanging sodden snow suits and accessories to dry. Apartment dwellers may want to place an attractive rattan hamper near the front door to capture wet items.

Winter Savings: Ski trips and skating outings can all add up quickly. Ward off empty-wallet syndrome by clipping coupons and taking advantage of promotions. Designate a small wallet or pouch to keep savings offers close at hand. Your bank account will thank you.

Waning Winter: When the cold weather draws to a close, evaluate what gear and apparel need to be replaced, and stock up on sale items for the following season. If kids will have outgrown items by the following winter, don't store the bulky items during the warmer months. Arrange to pass along the unneeded items to friends or relatives or donate them to charity.



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