Mittens, Gloves, and Hat Storage ~ Winter Gear Organization Made Simple

Someone should write a book titled, Living up North with Children for Floridians. When we first moved to West Virginia, from Cuba, I had a few kids who had never worn socks before! It wasn’t long until winter arrived and I was overwhelmed with winter gear. At that time we had five kids, so we had more gloves, hats, boots, and scarves than I knew what to do with.

For many years I placed a big basket by the door and the kids dumped all their gear in the basket when they came inside. This worked well until someone tried to find something in the basket. They would end up throwing half of the contents onto the floor and running out the door. Then when they came in 5 minutes later dripping wet, they would walk all over the mittens and gloves on the floor and I ended up doing laundry all day long.

Then last year I was visiting a friend and saw probably one of the simplest, yet most brilliant ideas of my life. She had all her winter gear stored in a shoe holder which was attached to a closet door. Each child had a few pockets to store their hats and gloves. I finally purchased a shoe holder last week and set it up.

Mittens, Gloves, and Hat Storage ~ Winter Gear Organization Made Simple! | The Happy Housewife

Little kids on the bottom, big kids towards the top. It has only been two weeks, but already I love it!

Mittens, Gloves, and Hat Storage ~ Winter Gear Organization Made Simple! | The Happy Housewife

The best thing about this system is that it is portable. No matter where you live, you will probably have a door you can use to store your mittens, gloves and hats. This year I am considering marking everyone’s name on the pockets with a sharpie so they don’t take each other’s gloves, which tends to happen in a family of nine.

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  1. Love it! Now I need a door to hang it on…

  2. LOVE this, those are the greatest things. I have bi-fold doors but know others that would love this for their doors.

  3. Cuba to Wva would be a big shock! I love the idea – we also have 5 children and this will SSSOOOOO work in my house. Thanks!

  4. What an awesome idea!

  5. Now that’s a great idea! I need to try this. 🙂

  6. That works soooo much better than my “throw them on the bookshelf” approach!

  7. I have three of these to hold “stuff” and they are awesome!! I need to get more so that “stuff” will be picked up off the floor and stored vertically.

  8. What a great idea! Thank you for sharing it.

  9. That is a neat idea! I think I have an extra shoe holder around here, too. 😀

  10. What a wonderful idea!!!!!

  11. Ummm Big FAT kisses to you!

    I too am a Florida bumpkin far from home (we live in Indiana now).
    My gloves…..which I have had forevah!!!! are lost in the winter closet right this very minute.
    I have a house full of teens…..and an ADHD hubby….

    I am going today and buying this shoe holder….!!!!!

    WOW! I’m happy!

  12. i saw this somewhere else the otehr day and the shoe holder is on my current “TO BUY” list for our house! Thanks for the reminder

  13. That is great. I think I will incorporate that in my house. Thanks.

  14. We do this, too, and it is wonderful! We actually have one by the front door, for their “good enough for school” supplies, and then one by the garage door for their “going out to play” things.

  15. Loved the idea! Put a cooling rack on a cookie sheet and put their wet boots on it. That will help dry the boots too. My mom used to dry our gloves and hats on the open oven door (with it set to low) by that isn’t a good idea with kids around (plus it drives up your gas/electric bill).

    About your comment on my post: sadly, most people are already starting out with debt. We, too, thought we needed everything NOW that my parents had worked twenty years to get. That’s what plunges you into debt. I hope my kids are wiser.

  16. Stephanie says:

    We use this too! We found a mesh one from Wal-mart, so even slightly damp, there is room for air to circulate. Last year we left it hanging up after the mittens went away and it became the place to store the things that get lost and cause panic — soccer shin-guards, swimsuits, leotards.

    Then I added another one upstairs– but plastic like yours — and it became our “junk drawer” organizer instead of using a drawer. Love them.

  17. That’s so funny – that’s exactly what we have on our front door! I leave the shoe organizer there in the summer too, and fill it up with sunglasses, bug spray, sunscreen and other summer goodies. Great minds think alike!

    Homemaker Barbi (Danelle Ice)

  18. Oh my…gotta get myself one of these. Today. This minute. Our coat/mitten/hat closet is insanity.

  19. That is a GREAT idea! If I had a place to hang it, I would so do that. We have hooks and a shelf behind our door. It works, but it is messy. Very messy.

    Maybe I will just get on and hang it on the front door, and see how it works… hmmm.

  20. They work well for sorting hair decor and Barbie paraphernalia too!

  21. I am getting one of these right away! How smart! My kids are always looking for the missing glove.

  22. Oh my – that is a lot!

  23. This is the best idea EVER! Thanks so much for sharing it!

  24. what a good idea! I am heading to IKEA for the first time tomorrow to find some of my own organizational solutions! Hope you had a good time shopping tonight.

  25. Love it! We have 4 kids and a wicker basket by the door now. What a mess that is! Why is it that I never think of these applications on my own? We have a shoe organizer in every several other rooms organizing everything except shoes…but I never thought of using one here. Now I just need my husband to swap out our sliding closet doors so I can hang one in the entry way. 🙂 But he’s pretty creative, I bet he’ll find a way to make this work for us.

  26. Love the idea. Wish I would have used it when my kids were little.

    Does this mean that they would have actually worn all those things if they could have found them? Mine survived by learning to run “very fast” and to share a set of gloves between them.

    They also learned to keep warm by building snow houses as shelter when they were out playing.

    Oh well. Live and learn!

    Mom to 5- who somehow survived;-)

  27. I do the same thing with our winter stuff. It works very well.

  28. Wow. What a great idea!
    Living in FL, we don’t have this problem, but this is great idea I’m going to pass onto my sister up north!

  29. Somebody's Mimi says:

    Do you think each persons’ name should be marked on their “pocket”? Or is that going too far???

  30. I am totally doing this! I added a shoe holder to my list for Walmart on Saturday. I have been pulling my hair out over what to do with all the winter stuff. Thanks!

  31. That is a great idea! We have sliding closet doors in the front hall so I may have to improvise… but this is a great idea!

  32. This is pure genius!

  33. Look at your new header – I love it! Crazy cute. And congrats on your nod on Org Junkie’s blog. This idea is quite genius.

  34. What a great idea. I do believe I have one of those that isn’t getting too much use. I know what I will be doing with it now.

  35. That is the best idea! I have been digging through the shelf every morning in search for my son’s gloves and hats! Thanks!

  36. This is such a good idea.
    Too bad its too hot here to wear mittens.
    But still clever.

  37. This is the best idea ever! Thanks for sharing. I think I will be heading out to get me one of these to put on our coat closet door ASAP!

  38. Great idea!! I think I’ll be doing this to keep my own coat closet organized.

  39. That’s what we do, too! Ours is mesh, though, so if things aren’t completely dry when they go in, they cans still “breathe”.

  40. This is exactly what I need. Hide it on the inside of the closet door and bye-bye mess! What a great idea. Thanks so much!!

  41. With our county receiving 3 inches of snow last night and 6-10 more tomorrow 🙁 I am running to WalMart to buy one this afternoon!

    Now I just need something to organize boots for the summer months. For some odd reason everyones boots but our oldest sons are in this one box in the basement. Needless to say I had a very grumpy 8 year old because he can not play in the snow ar school today! And here I was just happy he still fit into the snowpants.

  42. Kelli Cessna says:

    What a great idea. I have one in our laundry/mud room for shoes. And I use one for art supplies in our school area. Now another one is on my list! 🙂

    For those who don’t have a door that it could be hung on could it hang on a heavy dowel on brackets inside a closet or on the wall. I would think that would work…just a thought this morning.

  43. This is a great idea, and I hope I can find a place to hang one here. My bigger problem, though, is what you do with the snow-encrusted stuff when the kids come in? They won’t melt/dry in the garage, my dryer usually is already full and/or running, and they’d make big puddles in the back hall. What do other families do about this?

  44. Linda Wood says:

    Love this idea!! I have bi-fold doors in the back room where this would work best, as I have noticed others also have this ‘problem’. I solved the problem by using nails and hanging the shoe bag behind the exterior door. The door opens up along a narrow wall that is the closet that the bi-fold doors are on. The shoe bag fits perfectly. I have been using it for flip flops in the summer, but will now box up those and use it for hats, gloves & scarves in the winter. Year round organization! 🙂

  45. Love it! What a great alternative to the hodge podge basket I’ve always used. Thanks for sharing this! I put a link to this on my website, so my readers can benefit from your idea. Thanks!

  46. Thank you for the idea. I live in Florida now but am preparing to move up north to Colorado. My kids are not used to cold weather and the items that go with it so I have wondered how I would keep it all organized. I have heard from others who have moved north that all the winter stuff brings such a mess. Maybe with this idea we could just enjoy the cold without the scattered mittens and hats. Thanks.

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