Why a Drop Spot is a Good Idea

Do you have one drop spot in your house or many?  If you find stuff scattered everywhere it could be because you don’t have a designated drop spot.  Are you surprised to hear that I am all in favor of a having a drop spot (especially when I’ve said in the past to keep flat surfaces cleared)?  You bet I am because one designated spot is better than several.

First let’s talk a little bit about what a drop spot is.  When family members walk in the door with mail, school papers, invitations, keys, wallets, library books, etc., where does it all go?  Does it land wherever the person does?  For some that could mean the coffee table, for others it could mean the kitchen counter, the floor or even the dining room table.  Yikes!  Before we know it, we have a big mess EVERYWHERE!

Do you see where I’m going with this?

Doesn’t it make more sense to have just one spot, one mess?  One area to tidy up just before bed.  It’s quick and easy and no one gets hurt.  You know what I’m saying? :)

Let me show you mine.  Of course I have one and you should too!

Mine happens to be right at the top of my stairs when you come in the door.

Crazy right?  Well maybe so, but there is a method to my madness, I promise you.

{and I’m not sure why my baskets look like they are too different colors in the picture, weird.  One of them holds library books, the other the kid’s electronic toys}

This table, conveniently located right where it is, means that everyone passes it by as they come in the door on the way to the kitchen.  You can’t help but toss your stuff on it as you walk by.  Papers and piles just gravitate to that area so it’s perfect.

I think it would be unrealistic to assume we don’t need an area like this.  I guess if we weren’t living life it wouldn’t be necessary but let’s face it, we are living life…as we should be.  The goal is to minimize the impact so we aren’t spending hours upon hours trying to stay on top of all the clutter and chaos.  If there is a way to reduce that time to something more manageable without setting impossibly high standards for ourselves than I think we are on the right track.

Consolidating the incoming tornado to one area makes the part where we clean it up during our nightly 10 minute tidy a whole lot easier.  It also means my kitchen counters and dining room table are more likely to remain clutter free and that makes this organizing junkie one very happy lady!

Wherever you choose to create a drop spot, even if that means your kitchen counter, embrace it for what it is and make sure the entire family knows that not only is it okay to drop stuff there but it is encouraged as well.  It might even help if you go one step further and tell them that things dropped anywhere else go into “clutter jail” and they will have to work for it to get those items back.  Works like a charm!

At the end of the evening just before bed I tackle that area and start each day with a clean slate.  Everything gets put away into it’s proper home.  And because I have to pass that table location on my way to the bedroom, I can be sure I’m not going to forget to do it either.  I also don’t want to let it pile up too much because like I said earlier this table is the first thing my guests see as they come in the door.  If that’s not motivation, I don’t know what is! :)

Do you have a designated drop spot in your home?  If not, how about creating one today!

Filed under: Clutter Control, Organizing Basics


18 Responses to Why a Drop Spot is a Good Idea

  1. 1
    Andrew says

    I call it a landing strip. Mine is two shelves in a bookcase facing the front door. One shelf has a bowl for each person’s keys (they happen to be plain ceramic pet food bowls, each bowl in a different shade of purple), and there’s a small jar for coins. The other shelf has a basket for mail, and a basket for coupon flyers.

  2. 2
    Lablascovegmenu says

    Oh dear, I’m so relieved you do that as well!

    We removed the cabinet we had at the entrance and now all the stuff gets piled on the next place.. witch is the sofa. Not a good move if you want to sit, I can assure you.
    At least at the entrance we still have the “drop keys” bowl. We leave there the keys when we arrive and take them when we leave, and since we do it that way we don’t forget the keys anymore!

    Also wherever I live I always have a “drop clothes” corner in my room, usually a chair or armchair for when I’m too tired. Keeps the mess there and it’s easier to tidy up. And one more thing, wherever I live I have messboxes for “cables/electronics that do not fit anywhere else”, “paperstuff that do not fit anywere else” and “underwear, belts and tights that do not fit anywhere else”. Sounds a bit maniac but works for me.

    Greetings from a big fan.

  3. 3
    romney says

    The kitchen table and counters.

    I didn’t realise this was a drop spot. But since its right inside our front door and there is no where else…I suppose I should start accepting it as what it really is and cleaning it up every day. You’re right, its easier when all the clutter ends up in just one place.

  4. 4
    Hilda says

    Oh I’m so glad to hear it’s “OK” to have a drop spot! I’ve been fighting a frustrating losing battle trying to get my family on board with not cluttering surfaces (i.e. no drop spot) and we end up with bits of clutter everywhere. I’m going to set up a drop zone now & keep it to one spot & then work on making sure gets cleaned consistently. Thank you for making me feel sane again :)

  5. 5
    Linda Stoll says

    Yes! The drop spot is the side counter in the kitchen, not used for prep or dishes … just keys, sunglasses, mail that’s coming and mail that’s going, cell phone, small projects and all things etc.!

    This whole potpourri joins a huge old crock filled with wooden spoons, a vintage bread box encasing a box of tissues, a tin filled with pens and pencils, and my electronic picture frame which is on more than off!

    If we ever move, we’re going to be lost without this space!

  6. 6
    Corlina says

    Our Drop Spot used to be the kitchen counter which drove my hubby nuts! Finally I purchased one of those 9 hole cubby cabinets which hold the canvas totes. This is located right in our kitchen area which works great for us. I left a few shelves empty (no totes) in order to fit larger items like my camera bag and lunch boxes. In the totes I hold items like the cords to our cell phones & mail. I even ran the cords to a plug behind the cabinet and into the totes from behind so all our devices charge in the canvas totes. I have a cute basket on top which hold our sunglasses. So far it’s worked great for us!

    • 6.1
      Natalie says

      I would love to see a picture of this if possible. That sounds great!!!

  7. 7
    Awkward Kitchenette says

    We have one – but what do you do with a husband that keeps things in his pockets?! I need to try some pavlov training on him or something…

  8. 8
    Andrea says

    Good for you! That table is so pretty I wouldn’t allow it to be used for that :)..a showpiece you’ve got there, lol.
    We have a tall white 7-drawer plastic thing inside our coat closet that’s labelled “mail here” on 1st top drawer, then son’s “library books” (from school, not public) on next drawer done and so forth, then “mom”, “dad”, “daughter’s name”, “son’s name”, bottom drawer is empty.

    Works like a charm. Mail & flyers go in top drawer- whole family is trained for this, and it waits there until we are ready for it :), then mom’s keys, wallet, sunglasses, etc go in “mom’s” drawer, kids put their items once inside in their respective drawers…etc. Keeps it neat & uncluttered. School library books never misplaced, keys never lost, etc.

    This system work for our family and we have NOT misplaced an item yet :) since using this for a couple years now. Best of all, it’s “hidden” behind the nice closet doors. So impossible for entrance to look like a disaster :) (Backpacks go on our top shelf inside, jackets hung up, shoes on shoe shelf inside.)

    • 8.1
      Andrea says

      …also this is a time-saver. There is no tidying up before bed!

  9. 9
    Susanne says

    I have a small one, a basket for the little things. But I’m stuck on a good drop spot for my son’s motorcycle stuff. Can’t seem for find one that works and he resists carting it up and downstairs.

  10. 10
    Lisa says

    When I redesigned my kitchen I took out the planning desk and built in pantry in favor of a 9 foot counter with storage above and below!

    This leaves our island free for cooking, eating and homework. I am embarrassed to say the 9 foot “landing spot” is almost always maxed out! But it can be cleaned in about 30 minutes.

    The best thing is that we usually don’t have to move anything to start cooking!


  11. 11
    Lynn Neinast says

    My problem is that my husband thinks any and every flat surface is his drop spot. He’ll use the kitchen counters, the desk, the table & the bookcase and just put something on each spot. I can’t ever seem to get him to stick to 1 spot. It’s driving me CRAZY!

  12. 12
    Raven says

    My problem is that the rest of the household doesn’t use the designated drop zones. Yes, I do have more than one but for similar reasons and same set up that you do.

    One: My desk. This is where all school notes, mail, and assorted stuff gets dumped. I clean it daily.

    Two: a small table with a hook over it next to the garage is *supposed* to be for DH to put his boots under, set his workbelt, ID badge, tools, and such on the table, and then hang his work jacket up. He comes home nasty much of the time and immediately tosses his clothes in the laundry and goes up for a shower, so I *thought* this would be easy for him.. apparently not >.<

    Three: Bench at the bottom of the stairs has a tote underneath for library books, kids shoes, backpacks on top of the bench, hooks for coats and sweaters.

    What happens? This stuff gets left EVERYWHERE. not even places I can say "ok, I'll make a dropzone here". More like.. the middle of the floor. Of every. Stinking. Room. DH leaves his stuff everywhere too. It's horrifying and frustrating.

    Bonus? I can't put 95% of it in "clutter jail" because they are things they have to have the next day.
    No idea what I'm going to do about this yet.

  13. 13
    Veronique says

    This is such a necessity. I live alone so I don’t need a whole table, but there is an area of my kitchen counter that I’ve designated as the drop spot…it’s right by the front door and is really wasted space otherwise, since I can’t really use it for preparing food. It works perfectly, and I also try to organize it by the end of the day. Works wonders, otherwise mail ends up on the living room floor or the couch :)

  14. 14
    Melissa S says

    I really love the table!! Where did you get it?


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