Mudroom Management

The Four-Bin Method for Keeping Your Entryway Organized

The four seasons — and all the gear that comes with each season — are integral to our way of life here in Vermont. But dealing with all those bulky items can be never-ending. My four-bin method for organizing your seasonal gear not only ensures that the right gear is accessible at the right time, but it means you only have to deal with your stuff three times a year!

The first step is to gather four large plastic bins with covers, a marker, and labels. Label the bins: Winter, Spring/Summer/Fall, Shoes/Boots, and Accessories.

September: Pack away any lingering spring jackets and summer gear in your Spring/Summer/Fall bin. Evaluate for size, wearability, and enjoyment, and put only the items that you truly love into the bin. Intentionally bring out the fall gear that works for you at this stage of your life.

In Late October: Pull out your winter items, and sort and purge You don't want to wait until the first snow to discover that you don't have snow pants that fit your 5 year old! Pare down and pack away any fall gear in your Spring/Summer/Fall bin.

In April: Evaluate your winter items, and put away the things you’ll be excited to see next winter. Bring out the spring and summer gear and check for wear and usability.

In my family, the bins for our Shoes/Boots and Accessories primarily alternate between our winter items and items for the rest of the year, but I encourage you to adapt this system so it works for you and your household.

TIP: I also like to have a separate basket for each family member that holds their hats, mittens, etc. This makes it easier for people to find their own stuff and know where it needs to go. For younger children, it’s helpful to use a larger basket so things don’t spill out when little hands go digging for their favorites.