If you needed your car keys right now, would be able to find them? What about the latest water bill? Or your purse? If you answered no, keep reading for some creative drop zone ideas for your home, big or small.
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What is a Drop Zone?
A drop zone is simply a place where you land when you walk inside your home. It could be in your mudroom, an entry hall, or the wall next to the back door.
Not having a designated drop zone is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to clutter.
Is a drop zone the same thing as a mudroom?
Traditionally, a mudroom is a secondary entrance for shedding muddy or wet boots and coats. A drop zone expands on that to provide storage for the other items you’re carrying when you enter your home.
Keys, purse, mail, jackets, backpacks… it all has to go somewhere. And without a designated drop zone, that ends up being dropped on the floor, crammed in a closet, stacked on a nearby table, or somewhere that leaves you scrambling when it’s time to leave.
Let’s end this clutter and find the perfect spot for your household drop zone.
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How to Create a Drop Zone
A house drop zone is located near the entry to your home. You can consider any area in your home a drop zone if it’s a convenient spot.
Before you decide where to create the family drop zone, do a little space planning. Thinking about how you use the space and who is using it will save you a lot of time and money.
Drop Zone Organization Ideas
STEP 1: Make a list of the number of people who will be using this space and make a list of everything that will go in this area so that it functions the way you want it to. Here’s a sample list to help you brainstorm:
- dog leash
STEP 2: Choose a space that will accommodate your storage and daily needs. A great place to start is an area your family naturally uses. Some options include the kitchen, garage, laundry room, mudroom or even a nearby corner.
STEP 3: Take measurements. Measure counter space, shelves and wall space. Be sure to measure height, width, and depth. Record the measurements on a memo app on your phone, on paper or whatever works best for you.
STEP 4: Count drawers, shelves and cabinets. Write those numbers down, along with measurements of those spaces, too.
STEP 5: Design your Drop Zone. In this step, you’ll plan where to place storage items, hooks and any other items you need. If you have children, keep their height and reach in mind. This design plan is just a rough draft. They almost always change when you start putting a space together.
Once you’ve figured out a space plan for your home drop zone, you can purchase and gather any furniture or other items you need.
What to Put in an Drop Zone
Here is a list of some of my favorite drop zone furniture items and essentials, depending on your needs:
- Hooks for backpacks, jackets, purses, leashes, hats
- Shoe storage
- Cubby or Basket for wallets, hats, mittens, books
- Key Hooks
- Bench for putting on and taking off shoes
- Hall Tree if you need the additional storage space.
- Table – a small table or console to place a basket for mail, keys, wallet
Keep in mind what will work best for your space. Once you’ve gathered all the necessary items, it’s time to install it in your drop station according to your space plan.
I recommend letting each family member sort and organize their belongings in their designated space. This gives everyone a sense of pride and ownership in the process which means they’re more likely to keep it tidy.
How to Decorate A Drop Zone
While form follows function, it is fun to add a personal touch to your home drop zone.
- You can hang baby photos of your family above their designated hook or cubby.
- If you have the wall space, create a gallery wall of meaningful photos. I created a black and white gallery wall of my family tree above the hooks of the drop zone in our last home.
- If there’s space, set a plant and a lamp on the table. Or add a floor lamp or tall plant to a corner.
- Use antique or vintage finds for hooks, furniture, or storage. Maybe an old wine crate could corral shoes. Or an antique hall tree would work for hanging jackets. At one time, I used my husband’s childhood toybox as a bench.
Once you’ve created your house drop zone, be sure to show your family how to use the space. It may take some practice for everyone to get used to the new system, but with consistent use it will serve you well.
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