Snow is so pretty while it’s falling...and for about an hour after that. Then it’s a mess: black with city grime, trapped in the soles of your heavy-duty boots and, inevitably, puddled on the hardwood floors in your house.

We asked Lakshmi Bhargave, of the Oak Park-based affordable interior design website Roomations, for ten quick tips to help us snow- and winter-proof our pads before the next blizzaster.

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Tame puddles before they start

No boot rack? No problem. This handy rubber tray ensures your boots won’t make puddles as the snow and ice melt off them.

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Use an ultra-absorbent mop

You?ve seen them on TV for years, and they live up to the hype. Shammy towels and mops soak up more melty runoff than you can possibly imagine.

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Melt ice the organic way

Instead of spreading salt all over your steps, pick up some gritty alfalfa meal. It melts ice naturally and is a great fertilizer come spring. Look for alfalfa meal at nurseries and pet stores.

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Stow your boots upside-down

Boots take up a ton of floor space. Get them out of the way with a drip-dry boot rack.

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Stop snow at your doorstep

The Heat Trak heated doormat keeps things dry and looks stylish, too.

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Turn on a stylish humidifier

When the heat’s turned up, your skin can dry out fast. Middle Colors makes a chic humidifier that you don’t have to hide.

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Leave the yuck outside

Before walking in the door in those snow-packed boots, swipe them through a scrubber like the Scrusher.

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Organize your gloves

Use an over-the-door clear shoe rack to keep your gloves in pairs and, well, on hand. You can also use it for storing earmuffs and scarves.

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Swipe away watermarks

If those puddles have morphed into watermarks on your floors, rub on petroleum jelly and let it sit overnight. In the morning, you’ll be able to wipe the mark away.

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Use light to fight the blues

Keep your mood from going downhill faster than a sled by investing in a light box. It mimics the light of the natural sky on a pretty day.

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