DIY Drop Zone
The Difference Between a Drop Zone & A Entry Way
Drop zones are areas to place all your belongings that are not necessarily used inside the home. Generally, a drop zone is in the entry way that just your family uses. So, it is not seen by guest who come to your home. It is the area that can be a little messier or have things you would not want your guest seeing.
Whereas an entry way is decorated and clean always for that surprise guess. Oh wait… we have cell phones now only your mom shows up unannounced. Either way an entry way can be more of an art expression of the family that lives in the home verses the actual living part. Imagine that formal dining room no one can touch unless there’s a big event or holiday.
Not all homes have two different points of entry. In which case, your entry way is more than likely already collecting drop zone type items. So, installing or implanting a few organizational products can help give it that more art expression feeling.
Key Factors of a Drop Zone
Every drop zone should have a few key items in place to help store the average items that will be kept their daily. Depending on your climate and family dynamics (homeschool or public schools) will help determine which items are more important to have.
A place to keep everyone’s shoes is a great start and if you are doing this on a budget I strongly suggest starting with this purchase first. In my family, we take our shoes off as soon as we walk in the door and I know a lot of families who do the same. Why fight your family to put their shoes away when you could simply make a drop zone just for the commonly worn shoes. I suggest limiting your family on the number of shoes kept here. I believe that two pairs per person is reasonable amount depending on space.
Keep in mind and you will hear me say this throughout…keep whatever shoe organizer easy and functional for your family. In my family, my S.O. is more of a kick them off and walk away type of person. So, having something open but hidden is better for my household. Something like a cubby shelf that is low to the ground. The kind you used to have in grade school for your share and tell toys. There are so many different types of shoe organizers out there, so find what works best for you.
Having an area to place your keys is essential for eliminating the daily hunt for said keys. I am a big fan of decorative hook boards for holding everyone’s keys. They add a personal touch and still provide function in your drop zone area.
Backpack/ purse holder
For a while I used a larger decorative hook board to hold both my keys and purse. This was due to lack of space for a full-sized drop zone area. Depending on the space you have to work with there is so many different ways to hang/ put the backpack and purses away.
One of my personal favorites but also space consumer is the individual space design. I love that these have cubby like holes at the bottom for shoes, a hook for backpacks or purses, and a top shelf area for miscellaneous. Best part in that this organizational build generally has seating for everyone in their own little space. See an example on the DIY Command Center board on Pinterest. I have started to include drop zone pins to this board.
Outgoing mail/ packages
For those who read the DIY command center post last DIY Thursday saw that I included a space there for outgoing mail. This is completely up to you were you put your outgoing items. Try both areas to see if one is easier to remember than the other.
Umbrella & towels
I always suggest to my clients that they keep their umbrella’s and a few towels in this area. The umbrella is one of those things that is easily forgotten if it is not needed immediately. So, having it in your command center where you already gather all you belongings will help remind you to grab it on the go. Plus, umbrella holders can be super cute.
Keeping a few towels here can save your floor and sanity on “those days”. Everyone has “those days” from time to time that nothing goes right the coffee spills, the kid pees on you (happened to me today), it starts to rain cats and dogs, etc. A towel placed in your drop zone area can offer that bit of relief that you do not have to track mud, poop, or water all over your house. Have you seen the wine rack turned towel holder idea?
Combining a Drop Zone and Command Center
How your family operates and goes about their day is your best determining factor to consider when deciding if your command center and drop zone should be combined. For my family, it does not work for us to have it combined. I like to see my calendar, meal plan, and to do list somewhere I walk by more frequently. However, your needs may be different and there are several great ways to combine the two. I would also consider the space you have to work with. If you are limited on storage space for a drop zone area then having your command center there would not be the best.
Combining the two can have great benefits since everyone will be stopping there anyways to drop off or pick up their items. Plus, you are more likely to remember and write whatever new appointment or event down when you first walk in, verses coming all the way inside and getting distracted.
Where to put a Drop Zone
A drop zone is best served in the entry way or mud room. Where your family comes in at least 98% of the time is the best place for your drop zone. For my family, we never use the front door it is always the garage that we enter through. Our garage door enters the laundry room which is small, but has just enough room for a tiny drop zone make up. Entry ways can be a bit trickier since your guest will also enter in there. Keep it organized and find organizational products that allow for hidden but easy access for getting and putting way items.
How to keep it Organized and not cluttered
Keeping this area clean and clutter free is no small task and this one is truly a family effort. That is why finding organizational products that work for your family and home are a huge aspect to a drop zone. Going through the drop zone area once a month, add it to your cleaning schedule, will help eliminate clutter. It will also show you what products are working for your family and what may need revising.
Limit the number of items each family member can pile in the drop zone. The larger the family or smaller the space just means less items should be kept there. For my family, it is so easy for us to pile every single pair of shoes we own there that I normally do a collection at the end of each week. It is a habit we all, this includes me, have.
Drop zones like command centers are a great way to stay in touch with your family. Parents can easily manger their children’s backpacks and phones by making a rule that they must be placed in the drop zone area at night. It can help families get out the door faster and start whatever trip off in better spirits. When you avoid looking for something you wear (shoes) or need (car keys) your stress level will go down.
Who is going to start their own Drop Zone? Need Help Go Here!