Living in the Northeast certainly has its advantages for those of us who love being here. But it also has disadvantages as well. From about late November through March, one of the biggest disadvantages is how easy it is to bring the miserable winter weather indoors on your shoes and clothing. Keeping the winter outside is something that requires quite a bit of effort and some common sense thinking.
What are the biggest enemies this time of year? Salt and grime. Salt is a necessary part of deicing, but it seems to get everywhere. It gets into the cracks of the shoes and then ends up being carried effortlessly into the house. If you have pets, they can track salt in as well. And, of course, the grime of winter comes in by way of your clothing.
Below is a list of suggestions you can use to keep the winter outside this winter:
Laundry Basket for Shoes
A deep laundry basket is a great tool for keeping shoes contained during the winter months. Best of all, you can buy a cheap one for just a few dollars at your local big box store. Place the basket just inside your entryway next to a floor mat, and make sure everyone else knows that shoes come off and go into the basket immediately upon entering. The basket will not completely eliminate all of the salt and grime, but it will cut down on it significantly.
Keep Your Car Clean
We know, washing the car is not something we typically think about during the winter months. It should be, though. Keeping your car clean is one of the most effective ways of cutting down on salt and grime. A clean car is a car that will not get your clothes dirty should you accidentally brush up against it in the parking lot. It is a car that will not develop its own mountain of salt on the floor, a mountain of salt just waiting to be tracked into your house.
Keep Your Walkway/Driveway Clean
Clearing your walkway and driveway of snow and ice is first and foremost a safety concern. You’re asking to have an accident by not keeping them clear. However, making the effort to keep clear paths also cuts down the amount of grime that gets in your house during the winter. Just by shoveling a clear path to your door means you will be bringing less dirty snow into your home on the bottom of your shoes.
Use a Different Entrance
Our last suggestion is helpful only to people who have multiple entrances to their homes. If you live in an apartment or a small home with just two doors, this may not apply to you. For everyone else, look around your home for an alternative entrance you could use to cut down on salt and grime. For example, you might be used to entering through the front door after parking the car in the driveway. But what about entering through the garage? Using the garage entrance makes it possible for you to remove your dirty boots and coat before you enter the house, thus keeping much of the dirt outside.
Other alternative entryways include the basement and the rear patio door opening to the kitchen.
Either of these two options may be better than entering through the front door and your main entryway.
We cannot stop winter from coming, but we can do our best to keep it outdoors. Making sure winter stays outside makes for a cleaner and more enjoyable home during the cold months of hibernation. It also means less spring cleaning come April.