Declutter Your Home with Mini Drop Zones

Ever drop by someone's house and you're impressed by how clean and tidy their living room looks?  How do they manage to keep this room so organized and in such good order you wonder?  Their secret, a Drop Zone. 

The Drop Zone is a thoughtfully designated area, usually near the front door or back door, of your home where you can "drop" the things you are bringing in that you don't have time to put away right now. Think umbrellas, pet gear, jackets, backpacks, etc. Drop zones can be as simple as a single large fabric basket to as extra as an entire wall of cabinets featuring hooks and a command center. The point of the Drop Zone is to corral the clutter to one area, so that that clutter doesn't find its way all over the room.  Then, once a week or whenever you have time, you can sort thru the contained mess to declutter and organize. 

Messy room before organization

So that's how you manage clutter at the front and back doors.  Why not apply the Drop Zone concept to each room of your home?  We've all had friends or parents call to say they were dropping by in five minutes or we've had a long day at work and the last thing we want to see is a cluttered room.  We don't have time or energy right now to clean or organize.  That's where the mini drop zones comes in and a simple fabric storage basket or plastic storage bin will do the trick.  Below are some more tips and tricks to setting up a mini drop zone in a room. 

Don't make it look like it's a drop zone

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Mini drop zones don't have to be huge like the ones by the front door.  If your mini drop zone is in a public room, I suggest splurging for a nicer woven fabric storage basket or decorative stroage bin to tie in to your home decor so it looks like an accent piece and not like you're hiding anything.  Mini drop zones also don't have to be on the floor. Smaller baskets or bins lined up on a bookshelf also helps with pre-sorting clutter. 

Use bins and baskets that hide what is inside

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The point of the drop zone is to hide clutter from view till you have time to sort thru it. Acrylic clear storage bins and molded baskets with large holes probably wouldn't be the best go to option here. If you want something with sort of a view so you don't forget what's stored in there, try the above storage basket that has smaller holes that still sufficiently hides away clutter. 

Do not get anything with a top cover or lid 


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You have drop zone so you can "drop" things inside, quick and easy.  You wouldn't be creating mini drop zones if you had the time to zipper up fabric covers or putting back any lids. Don't even try the attached flip up lids.  Believe me, all you'll have is a pile of clutter on top of or surrounding your bin and basket if you get one with a lid. 

Hooks and Coat Racks are not just for entry ways

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Double up your drop zone space by going vertical.  Hooks have become very decorative and I use them on every wall and door of my home. If your drop zone might collect long or delicate objects such as dog leashes or scarves, consider adding a wall hook or mounted coat rack to protect your things from getting damage and being smushed. The last thing you need is trying to unknot the dog leash when your dog has to go. 

Do some sorting with a mini drop zone

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If you live with others or have kids, designate a mini drop zone for each person or by category with their own storage bin or fabric basket. Sort of like toy sorting. That way nothing gets tossed in the trash by accident and you don't have one big bin or basket to sort thru when you're ready to declutter and organize. 

I know it sounds a little like cheating, pretending that your home is organized and tidy when all you did was dump everything in a spot. I look at it as smart planning. I know I don't have the time to organize right now so I'll save some time throughout the week to contain my mess when I am able to go thru them. I have mini drop zones setup in each room.  I have kids and I break it down further to have a mini drop zone designated for each kid.  I'll drop things off in their bin as I quickly tidy up throughout the week.  Mini drop zones make for quick and easy clean up too because things aren't scattered all over the floors.  I find that we lose less things this way and find things quicker.  Then we all take an hour on a weekend morning to clear out the bins and put things away.  



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