By Kelly O’Roark
Perhaps you're wondering how to incorporate a drop zone in your house design. Having a drop point in between the garage entrance and your kitchen is the perfect way to keep clutter off of your kitchen counters. Keys, cell phones, mail, magazines, and bills have a designated drop-off spot as soon as you come through the door after a long day. While it may keep your kitchen table and countertops from being strewn with junk, your drop point has now become a pile of “stuff.”
That’s what it’s there for, right? Well, it is there to keep your keys, phone charger, and the dog’s leash out of your main living areas, but it’s not aesthetically pleasing to have an unorganized pile of paper, electronics, and other items in plain sight when you have house guests. Do you want your drop point to look magazine-ready, but aren’t sure how to achieve that? It’s easier than you think to make your drop point look like a perfectly polished nook, and it can be done in four easy steps with these drop zone plans.
If you're wondering how to build a drop zone, follow these tips to turn a messy drop point into the perfect organization station.
Clear Everything Off and Start with a Clean Palette
It’s best to take all of the mail, bills, and other items off of the drop point area so that you can truly clean and organize instead of just rearranging the mess. This is a good time to go through that stack of papers that’s been sitting there for two months so that you can throw away any junk mail, receipts, and old magazines that you don’t need.
It’s also a good time to get rid of things that don’t belong on a drop station, such as empty coffee mugs, grocery bags, toys, and any other random item that just happened to be placed there for convenience. It’s a good excuse to dust too since it only gets done once a month. (Oh, and by “once a month,” I mean “never.”)
Start with the Bottom Shelf, and Work Your Way Up
Since this drop station doubles as a workstation, make sure that the desk area (the first shelf) provides plenty of room to do work. Since this is where checks are written, invoices are mailed, and online bills are paid, be sure to make it an inviting space to do those important tasks. As much as you dread paying that monthly mortgage, it’ll become a lot more tolerable if you have a bright, clean space to work in.
Placing the laptop in front of the chair, and putting a small desk lamp in the corner is an optimal setup for paperwork. Having a pen and small notepad nearby is perfect for writing down phone messages, creating a grocery list, or leaving important reminders. You can also add one or two small decorative items to add warmth to the space.
Pro Tip: Always be sure to keep envelopes, stamps, and pens stocked in the drawers so that they’re easily accessible, but not taking up room on your workspace.
Create Space for Everyday Items on the Second Shelf
The middle shelf is an ideal spot for items that you use on a daily basis. Your keys, your sunglasses, a landline phone (if you still live in the dark ages as I do), and practical items such as tissues, can be easily reached and are at the perfect “grab-and-go” height for days when you’re rushing out of the house. (Also, putting things like keys in the same spot every time eliminates that panicked search when you’re running late!)
Find a small basket or bin in which to place the keys, dog leash, sunglasses, etc., so that they don’t slip off of the shelf. This shelf is also a good spot for your monthly bills, as they’re still somewhat at eye-level when you’re sitting at the desk, but won’t get lost or forgotten inside of a drawer. Find a bin for those too or use a slotted organizer so that you can separate the bills in the order of their due dates.
Use Bookends and Other Decorative Items on the Third Shelf
Even though this is a functional space, you still want it to have aesthetic appeal while also feeling homey and charming. Adding unique touches such as a family photo, flowers, and books (with creative items that double as bookends!) will make the most of the top shelf by combining practical items with home décor.
This is also an ideal spot for things that need to be of your little ones’ reach (and line of sight), such as expensive iPads!
Making the most of your drop station and workspace is as easy as organizing and decluttering to create room for the essentials. The “before” and “after” is not only a dramatic transformation, but will provide some much-needed motivation to pay the bills, sign permission slips, and play a few games of solitaire on the computer when you’re supposed to be working. (It’s the little things in life.)
Images used with permission, courtesy of Kelly O'Roark