WFMW – I’m outta here shelf

I have a designated shelf in my front hall closet right by my front door, not a very big shelf mind you, but a shelf nonetheless and it Works For Me!

Why? Without this shelf I would be LOST! You see, this is the shelf I use for all things that don’t belong in my house but somewhere else. You know, items that need to be returned to the store, a friend’s plate leftover from the last dinner party, the magazine’s I want to pass along to a friend, letters to be mailed, clothes that need to be dropped off to the thrift store, etc…. This is where I keep them until the next time I leave the house.
Out of habit I now know to always check this space prior to leaving the house so I can take whatever it is with me if it needs to go somewhere within the area I’m already going anyway. If I’m going to rent movies for instance I alway check for a thrift store bag since the thrift store is right near the movie store. The trick is to get into two habits…one to put stuff on the shelf that has to go out and the other to actually check the shelf before leaving the house. Usually before bed when I do my 10 minute tidy is when I corral any of these items and make sure they are where they are suppose to be because otherwise I won’t remember them as I’m going out the door, I just won’t and I know it. Between trying to keep the baby from running away from me and keeping his coat on and wrangling the diaper bag, not to mention two other kids and their “stuff” yah the brain is fried, like no more room for nothing. I have to make it as easy as possible for myself or forget about it.
My designated “I’m outta here shelf” well it definitely Works For Me!
Thanks Shannon for hosting this!
Filed under: Entrance, Organizing Solutions


47 Responses to WFMW – I’m outta here shelf

  1. 1
    Theresa says

    Great WFMW! I have a basket that I keep for this sort of stuff. Then I just grab the pretty basket when I head out the door.

  2. 2
    org junkie says

    Theresa, that is a great idea too!! Thanks for stopping by.


  3. 3
    An Ordinary Mom says

    I am going to have to get me an “I’m out of here” shelf or basket! Thanks for sharing. Your tips are always brilliant!

  4. 4
    Carrie says

    Great Idea, as always! I so need this right now too. thanks

  5. 5
    The Lazy Organizer says

    Great minds think alike! I do the same thing. I also check my return cupboard whenever friends and family come over to visit. That way I can send home anything I have for them. Some of them are even trained to look in it themselves!

  6. 6
    Passionz says

    Wow! That is brilliant. I just came across your blog and I will be coming back. A stay at home mother-of-three could always use some organizing tips!


  7. 7
    Becky says

    What a fantastic idea. I really need to implement something like that myself. I don’t have a closet by the front door, but I can come up with something! Thanks for sharing! Have a great day!

  8. 8
    Barbara H. says

    Great idea! I have also used post-it notes on the door or my purse to remind me to take certain things when I leave the house.

  9. 9
    Heather says

    Great tip! I call mine my launch pad. The basket idea sounds great, too. Thanks for sharing!

  10. 10
    AnneMarie says

    I throw things in a bag by the back door and do the same…

    gotta tell you- you inspired me
    I went to Dollar Tree and found some small 2 inch high crates.. placed them in my silverware drawer for lids for big kids’ sippy cups and medicine givers… I can never find them and now have found out I have TOO MANY! laughed and thought I should take a pic for YOU! hahaha

  11. 11
    Jill says

    I like that idea. When we move into a house that has better storage (hopefully this summer) I will keep that in mind. Currently, I only have room for my birthday cards (you have to check out my WFMW post to get that reference)

  12. 12
    Kelley says

    Great idea. I’m going to look for a spot in my house to do the same thing. We host our Bible study group (with kids) every week, so we do already have a “lost & found” basket in place.

  13. 13
    Honey says

    This is great!

  14. 14
    Kim says

    You are so cool! I have a basket that I do that with, but it’s not near the front door. I can use that empty drawer from yesterday’s tackle for that stuff since it’s right there in the entry. Sometimes common sense eludes me, and you are there to bring it back. Have a super day!

  15. 15
    annie says

    Great system!
    I am inspired by your “systems.”

  16. 16
    Shalee says

    This is quite brilliant, Laura! I would need the 3 weeks of habit making to get me into the habit of actually looking on that shelf… But it would be worth it if I could return MANY L & F items.

  17. 17
    Lauren S. says

    Great idea! So many times I have gotten somewhere and realized I left what I needed at home. Getting into the habit of checking the same spot every time is fantastic! Thanks!

  18. 18
    janiswrites says

    Great idea! This would help me to have a place for all of those things that need to be taken care of. Thanks for sharing!

  19. 19
    Jenny says

    Great idea Laura.
    Thanks for sharing!

  20. 20
    Qtpies7 says

    Wowser! I wish I even HAD a closet to do this with! We have nowhere to really deal with our coats and shoes and it is a BUMMER!!! We have to trek all the way through the kitchen to an area with hooks to hang on, but no way to shut it in.

  21. 21
    Mari says

    I love that it is out of the way, yet close enough that you remember to check it. My shelf is NOT out of the way, and I still forget to check it!

    I love your organizing ideas! Thanks for all the great tips!

    Slowing Down
    Franklin Foto
    Come visit me. I’m a nice girl!!

  22. 22
    Kim says

    Looks like a great place for those kinds of things!


  23. 23
    ~yolanda says

    Hey Laura,

    What a great idea to use your hall closet for that. I like the fact that you talk about having to make two habits; one to put it there and one to remember to look for it. I am in process now of tweaking my systems to make sure that they work for me. You learn a lot about yourself when you realize why things do and don’t work for you. :-)

    Thanks for your site.

  24. 24
    Susanne says

    This is an absolutely great idea!

  25. 25
    Chappyswife says

    That is a great idea, & your neat, clean closet looks great, too!

  26. 26
    MC Milker says

    Great idea! I have just the place for it!

  27. 27
    Barb says

    What a great idea, Laura. The closest I could come to this is what I’m already using since I don’t have a space available inside like you do. The garage! It’s where everything that’s on it’s way to somewhere else ends up. But it’s organized. I promise.

    And congratulations on the participation in your Menu Monday this week. Awesome!

  28. 28
    ShariJoy says

    Hey Laura…Yeah haven’t bumped into you in awhile….lil P.T is getting big…three months to go…wow soooo fast haven’t even started to tackle getting his room ready!! You’d be proud of me i finally blogged one of my renos!!!
    maybe see ya at overwaitea picking up your stuff for meal mondays!!

  29. 29
    Sarah says

    Lol I SO need an “I’m outta here shelf”…but would I remember to put things on it? That is the question.

  30. 30
    Amanda says

    Oh yes! Everyone needs a place like that.
    I just recently put a HUGE basket that my father-in-law made on top of our bookshelf by our front door to house items like returns, etc. It works well and hides the clutter (sometimes too much and I forget what’s in there–hehe!).

  31. 31
    KarenW says

    WOW! That is an awesome idea. I am going to have to find a spot like that . . . whenever we find a house!

  32. 32
    shaz says

    omg! this is one of the best organizational ideas I’ve heard! honestly!! thanks!

  33. 33
    JIM says



  34. 34
    JIM says



  35. 35
    Jeannette says

    Good idea! For now, I just pile it next to our aquarium. It keeps whatever-I-need-to-remove-from-my-house fresh in my mind; however, it looks terrible and it annoys both me and my husband.

    Thanks for the tip!

  36. 36
    fifty/fifty says

    Great ideas! I am going to find an outta here space right now.

  37. 37
    Becky says

    I’ve got a shelf like that too! But I call it the OPP shelf (other people’s property).

    I use it for anything that needs to be delivered…. Gifts for people at church, library books, dishes to be returned, anything i’ve borrowed…

  38. 38
    Mary says

    For my “otta here” stuff, I take it right to the car so it is ready to go when I am out and about. No need for a shelf or remembering to look on it. I live in the country, not close to any town, so it is a major trip for everything. So I make multi stops when I go out. Thanks for all the great tips. I especially need to tackle the recipe books and loose recipes soon.

  39. 39
    Tiffany says

    I keep a basket on the passenger seat of my car for all the stuff that needs to go somewhere else. This way there’s no excuse- it’s in the car already!

  40. 40
    Amanda says

    Great idea! I always forget stuff and not to mention where its put. I think this will help tremendously!


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