a drop zone in a house with a basket to hold face masks and a wooden organizer to hold different paperwork

What is a Drop Zone in a House? Your Guide to Getting Organized

What is a drop zone in a house, you ask? In essence, it's a dedicated area in your home that acts as a catch-all for your everyday items.

"When everyone comes through the door, and you've got your hands full, you just want to unload everything. If there's something right beside the door, then you can put everything away," said Amanda Cummings, owner of Need It Neat.

Sound a little like a mudroom? Yes, but not quite the same.

Developing a drop zone is a great organizing option for a dedicated space in your home, most commonly in an entryway, where clutter tends to build up. You're less likely to lose things because you've got a designated spot for them.

"People have thought more deeply about the flow of stuff in and out of their homes. Having a place right by the front door or wherever you enter and leave your house -- where things get set -- is the concept of a drop zone," explains Katherine DiGiovanni, a principal with Neatnik, a DC-based home organizing services.

The term drop zone has become a little more popular over the years, she explained. In an episode of HGTV's "Love It or Leave It," a homeowner is adamant about having a drop zone, and the bubbly organizers behind Netflix's popular show "The Home Edit" created a jewelry drop zone for a client's walk-in closet.

Read on to learn tips to create your drop zone, get organized, and keep the everyday clutter at bay!

How Do You Make a Drop Zone

closeup of drop zone in house entryway with shoes placed in basket and coats and backpacks hung on hooks

As a professional organizer, DiGiovanni says she has been in many homes and sees how things function in real life.

"A lot of people might not have a designated drop zone. 'This is the place where I'm going to put my purse and keys,' but something by the door ends up being the drop zone, whether they like it or not," she said.

This will make finding everyday items easy, especially if you're on-the-go.

To get started, you can find any free-standing table or repurpose an existing one. You'llCummings said you'll then want to determine what organizing systems you're going to add or supplies you're going to need.

For example, she suggests placing small baskets to keep your sunglasses, mail, and keys organized. DiGiovanni also suggests using trays to sort items.

"There's definitely an elegant and presentable way you can have an organized drop zone near your entrance," she said.

Families will want hooks to put away backpacks, lunch boxes, coats, or hats. Cummings said if people take their shoes off when they enter, then buy baskets to place on the floor.

Command hooks, which are temporary and relatively inexpensive, have come a long way from the original bulky white plastic look. Nowadays, you can even find some with a nickel finish, she said.

Purchase large baskets if you want to tuck away shoes and other items such as umbrellas. A cubicle system online can cost between $30 to $50, but Cummings suggests investing in it only if you have space.

If you're in an area where it snows and the garage is attached to your home, then you can create a drop zone by the doorway before family members enter the house.

drop zone in a house with notes pointing to where masks, sunglasses, trash are stored and where message hang on cork board

For Cummings, her drop zone is in the kitchen, above the cabinet which houses the trash can.

"We had to get creative because our space was small," she said.

Newer and renovated homes are more likely to feature a mudroom because they are bigger, said DiGiovanni. But in older homes like in Washington, DC, which are 100 years old, that kind of space is a rare commodity.

Has reading about drop zones inspired you to do a little more organizing? You can check out our blog articles about timeless IKEA classics or the popular KonMari method of extreme decluttering. Or learn some very nifty ways to organize and store your workout equipment to help you create a new, healthy routine.

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