We’ve all got one. The place in our house where things just get dropped…and seem to remain indefinitely. This drop zone doesn’t have to remain a cluttered mess. A few tips will help you get the drop zone decluttered, straightened up, and prevent clutter from returning.
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In some homes the drop zone is a kitchen counter, or maybe that cute little table in the entry way.
In our previous home the drop zone was on the kitchen island…which just happened to be the very first thing anyone saw when they stepped into our house.
Talk about a frustration and an embarrassment!
And getting the people in my house to quit dropping their stuff in this spot seemed impossible. After all, it was convenient, their hands were full.
You’re heard the reasons. And you’ve likely used them yourself with your own drop zone.
How to tame the drop zone
The first step is to identify it.
Fortunately, this shouldn’t be too hard – just take a look at where the biggest pile of junk is in your home is.
Now that you’ve found your drop zone, it’s time to tame it.
I suggest you get either a box, or a laundry basket and put all of the stuff from the drop zone into this container. That’s right – all of it.
Move the box and clean up the area. Doesn’t it look great with out all that junk?
Come on, you know it does.
Next, it’s time to go through all of the stuff in the box. So take the box to your favorite chair, the kitchen table, or any place where you can start sorting through the contents.
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Start by sorting the contents into piles of things that are related. For example, put all bills together in one pile. But all mail together in one pile. Put any school papers into one pile. Put stuff that belongs in another room in one pile. And most importantly, toss out any trash!
Once you’ve got your piles together you now have an idea of the kinds of things that are coming into your home that you’re plopping down in the drop zone.
Next, decide where the stuff in each pile should “live”.
Do you have a regular spot for your bills? Then put the bills there.
Do you have a regular spot to hold incoming and outgoing mail? Put mail items there.
Take those things that belong in another room to that room – and put them away.
You’ll most likely find that the first time you do this is the hardest. Often we’ve got a drop zone because we either don’t have a place for these items to life, or because the place they “live” is inconvenient for others to put things away.
So here’s your chance to remedy this situation:
- Decide where things are going to “live” in the future, and
- Make it easy for others to put things away. This may mean actively showing your family members where things are supposed to go (I know, it sounds elementary…and it is…but sometimes it’s what’s necessary).
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The final step for decluttering your drop zone…
The final trick trick to keeping the drop zone looking nice…get a cute container so that other family members who can’t (or won’t) put things away to at least drop the stuff into so that things stay corralled and easy for you to organize on a regular basis. I’ve got a shallow wicker basket on our den table (the drop zone where we live now) where mail, bills, and other stuff goes until I can go through it. This keeps it from getting scattered and possible lost.
And then go through the basket or bin every single week! If you don’t, you’ll end up in the same situation with a drop zone that looks like a war zone.
- I think these metal baskets are really cute and would look great in lots of places.
- This wooden basket has a rustic look yet still looks stylish.
- Wicker baskets look great if your drop zone is in or near your kitchen.
- I’ve got several of theses woven storage baskets in various spots in my home.
Next week we’ll tackle that front entryway closet.