Most of us have to do some winter organizing, and it’s best to get it taken care of before everyone is rushing to the nearest store for the essentials. Think of it this way: The sooner you organize, the sooner you can sit back with your feet up in front of the fireplace enjoying a cup of hot chocolate. You don’t want to be left without the things you need to get by in case an early storm hits. With the unpredictability of the weather these days, it pays to be organized. (Don’t forget to organize your garage so you can fit your car back in it, too).

Have ice melt on hand.

Not every store will be selling salt right away. If this is your go-to for ice removal for your walkways, keep an eye out for it. Don’t wait until everyone else also needs salt, because you’ll be lucky to find it during a snow storm. If you prefer a more environmentally-friendly ice-removal solution, you can always make your own. Mix one tablespoon of Dawn dishwashing liquid, one tablespoon of rubbing alcohol, and ½ gallon of warm water. This will do the trick to prevent slipping outdoors.

Place winter door mats.

Winter calls for a heftier doormat. The decorative doormat of summer day simply isn’t going to grab the dirt and grime (or wet) that winter produces. Place winter doormats at every entrance to your home to reduce the amount of dirt that makes its way into your hallways.

Avoid a drafty house.

Weatherizing is one of the most important steps of winter organizing. Replacing sheers with insulated winter drapes will keep heat inside and prevent cold air from creeping through your windows. Door guards, which can be bought or made at home with socks, can seal entryways from cold breezes as well. You may have windows that are older and need more than heavy drapes to keep the draft out. Grab some window sealing kits before temperatures get too low.

Stock up the pantry.

If a snow storm hits unexpectedly, you want to be able to bunker down for a few days until the roads are safe to travel. Stock up the pantry with household essentials like soup, pasta and rice. Don’t forget staples like peanut butter and cereal. Canned meats, veggies and fruits will last for several months, and you should have a case of bottled water on hand.

Start your donation pile.

You’ll start to hear a lot about clothing and coat drives as well as requests for donations for families in need. Start a donation pile now as you rotate your closets and dig things out of storage. Anything in good condition should be donated. Anything that isn’t worth donating or keeping should find its way to the trash can.

Even if you’re not mentally ready for the colder temperatures, you can make sure your home is prepared and cozy for the winter months. Procrastination is organization’s worst enemy, so make the most of your days to prepare while you still have another few weeks of fall sunshine.