Thursday, October 17, 2013

89 UHeart Organizing: Drop It Like It's Hot!

If someone were to ask me, "What are the essentials for an organized entry?", a drop zone would be one of my answers.  A drop zone is a dedicated place to set down everything you carry inside on a daily basis.  I adore that my friend Megan from Honey We're Home, is here to show you an example of why a drop zone is so important, and how she added one to reduce the trickling pile effect.  Here she is now!


Can I share something scary with you?


This is the scene of our kitchen counter {the part that backs up to our breakfast room and living room} at least half the time.  What is all that mess?!  It drives me crazy and I feel like I'm forever attempting to keep the area clear.  But, despite my best efforts, it never stays clear for long.  I admit to being that type of person who gets uptight with this kind of clutter.  Especially in this area of the house because it's pretty open so you can see the junk from every angle.  

I identified 4 general categories of stuff that accumulates on our countertops: 1) the contents of my husband's pockets; 2) random items that don't belong there- juice box {always a random juice box somewhere}, sunglasses, my tote bag {Stella & Dot if you're interested}, cup, icy hot pack, receipt; 3) food that needs to be put away - peanut butter, syrup, sliced almonds, tortillas, bread; and 4) mail, bills and magazines.  The cute kid in the background can stay.


Because we often enter our house through the back garage, this is the first place we tend to drop things.  I knew we needed a new DROP ZONE, but wasn't sure how to incorporate it since the home doesn't naturally accommodate that specific spot. 


Then I had an idea to move the Overstock Dalton Mirrored Accent Table that was in our bedroom downstairs to see how it would fit under that window.  The table is pretty small, actually the perfect size for the space.  You can see from the picture below that we still have plenty of room to pass through.  Now, this space functions as our Drop Zone to hold all those odds and ends in the man's pockets as well as mail, magazines, and loose change. 


Underneath, I put a large basket {from Target} for newspapers/magazines.


I'm hoping that now that we have a specific place for the mail and for those random items, we'll be able to keep the counter more clean.



I got this marble stand that I normally use for fruit at Crate & Barrel.  It's a nice size and adds some height.


The gold tray is from West Elm.


The table has two small drawers that I'm currently using to hold receipts, extra keys, and small electronics I want close at hand.  I got the drawer dividers at The Container Store. 


In case you're interested, I had the drapes sewn with fabric I purchased at High Fashion Home. 


I still had to put away the bag, food, and random stuff but I can definitely breathe easier with these counters clean!  


Would something like this work in your home?  Do you have a specific drop zone in your house?




"My name is Megan and I am a lawyer by day, design and decor lover by night, and Mama to the sweetest 2-year old boy you've ever seen. I'm passionate about fitness (and chocolate!) and could not live without my relationships, girl talk, and my morning coffee. I've been blogging for two years over at Honey We're Home, sharing my love of keeping things organized and beautiful at our house.  My efforts to live in the moment and cook more are an adventure in progress."



89 comments:

  1. So pretty Megan and so well done! I need a space like this too but don't have a lot of room in our entry way. I'm thinking a small table like yours might actually work, now the mission is to find one!

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    1. Thanks Christina! I wish I had thought of this sooner!

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  2. Perfect! Definitely inspired by this. Love her blog!

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    1. Thank you! Makes me very happy to hear you love my blog! :)

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  3. One of my biggest pet peeves about this house is there is no drop zone. You literally walk directly from the garage straight into the kitchen! We are looking for a new house - and if it doesn't have a drop zone, on to the next one! It really is a life saver to have a dedicated direct space for backpacks, shoes and coats. A local home builder (Pulte) has built in drop zones as part of their new homes, and I'm completely in love with them. I'm trying to convince my husband to look at them - they are building on the other side of our current neighborhood!

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    1. Good to see that builders are taking note! We need a spot to put our stuff!

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  4. Love it! I really wish our current townhouse had a 'drop zone' area other than my kitchen counter/bar. But it's the first thing you see when you walk in the front door. This is pretty inspiring though, maybe I can figure something out.

    http://make.rewynd.net

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  5. Megan, I found that this was the first thing I planned in our new condo, but the last thing to actually get done! In fact, it is still on our to-do list....and I've gone through a couple of different solutions that might work. Hanging key rack, bookshelf underneath with bin storage? Hanging key rack, shadow box above for small stuff, table below for more storage and just a basket for shoes? Still haven't found the right combination yet, but I'm working on it. Keep the good ideas coming, and your comments are always welcome on my blog too! www.domainstudio.wordpress.com

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    1. I like the idea of the hanging key rack. If we didn't have the window there, I would have taken more advantage of the height of the wall.

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  6. My house desperately needs a drop zone, but I have a small house and a tight budget. I would love to add something like this, but I will have to find the right size and the right price. Any suggestions for people who don't have space for another piece of furniture?

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    1. Hi Marissa! Check for an inexpensive bookshelf. You can maybe even snag one from a garage or thrift store. They can hold drop zone items and baskets on the top shelves, and even shoes on the lower. If you don't have room for a piece of furniture, there are quite a few inexpensive DIY wall options out there as well. Best of luck to you!!

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  7. Very pretty! I don't have a drop zone but I do have a system. Instead, when I leave the house, I use an "errand bag" as I call it. It stores my to do list, sunglasses and anything else I need to do or drop off. When I leave each store, I place the receipt in my purse and transfer it to my bag once I am in the car. That way my purse stays neat. I grab whatever I need for the next errand out of the bag and keep the bag in the car. That way, my purse is always neat and I have what I need.

    When I come home, I pick up my mail and put it in the bag (we have a mail tree across the street). I place the contents of my bag away: mail and receipts go in a tray on the desk until they are processed later that night, keys are hung on a ring near the door and my empty errand bag is hung up on a 5 hook coat rack on the wall ready for the next time. Any other contents in the bag are put away in their home. I never vary from my system and it keeps the house looking neat.

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    1. Sounds like a really great system! I tried doing something similar with a "returns" basket, however, it wasn't as convenient as a tote would be. Love your idea, thank you for sharing!

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    2. Love that idea too! I have something similar in my car for errands. You've reminded me that I've had "clean out purse" on my list for a week!

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  8. I was wondering and I LOVE those curtains!

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    1. Thank you! The curtains were sewn with fabric from a local store.

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  9. What a perfect solution for you and your family! We don't have a defined entry (unless you count a small tiled space before stepping in the the living room) so I did my best to make an organized entry for us by adding a dresser and giving each drawer a purpose and dividers. We also added coat/bag hooks between the dresser and door. Mail still comes to the kitchen island but I am okay with that because it means I will do something with it right away since I hate piles and paper clutter. Before the dresser we had a small bit of counter space between a wall and fridge that was our drop zone but always was piled high and looked awful. In order to eliminate that hot spot I moved my cookbooks and home binder to that space so it had a defined purpose.

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    1. I love a dresser for that purpose! The drawers provide lots of storage.

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  10. I love this update and it looks like it's a system that'll be easy to use and maintain. Plus I like that you used what you had and made it work for you in a new space!

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    1. Yes, that table was previously in the bedroom. We also have two mirrored nightstands, so I'm glad to have found another home for it. Three mirrored pieces in one room seemed a bit much.

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  11. I have the same problem with our kitchen counter...I have storage options there, but training everyone in the house to use them is a whole different story...here's hoping you have better luck with that!!

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    1. Oh yeah! But I admit to my fair share of dumping too:)

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  12. So pretty, and I love the idea of a drop zone! I so need one of those since my kitchen island seems to be collecting those items as of late.

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  13. Haha - I breathed a little sign of relief when I read this because I adore Megan's "spotless" kitchen and her style, and now I see that she's just as prone to pile-ups as the rest of us! :) I've tried many different drop-zone methods and am still figuring out what works for us - and where. My difficulty is in finding time & energy to clean up the drop zone areas and put everything back where it belongs, or toss what's trash.

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    1. Definitely yes! The kitchen counters were often worse than the day I snapped those "before" pics!

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  14. Love it! I have been working on our drop zone lately, too. I have a big basket like that where the kids drop their backpacks. Thanks for the ideas!

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    1. Backpacks and coats, shoes are a big one. I use our mudroom for those things- but it's on the opposite side of the house.

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  15. Love it Megan! I would have never thought to put that table there, but it's perfect and brilliant!
    xo,
    amber

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    1. Thanks Amber. It took me awhile to think to move it too.

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  16. now if my home could look just as clean as yours does dirty.. then I would be happy!

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    1. HA! I thought someone might say that! :)

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  17. I was just talking about needing this area with my husband at lunch and came home to read your post! I wish I could find a spot that we could do something like this. I have one area, that already has a piece of furniture, but my twin one year olds would be able to reach all the stuff a bit too well. I am in need of another option for a drop zone desperately!!!

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    1. Try using wall space, I just posted an entry about it right now, coincidentally! I have a 1 year old son as well, so understand completely!

      http://www.simply-in-control.blogspot.com/2013/10/apartment-entryway.html

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    2. My son is 3 1/2 and very well trained not to touch certain things- but also, he's not that interested anymore, he's more occupied with star wars and his iPad.

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  18. Love this...great ideas:)

    Really like your blog and I am your new follower!

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  19. I have that same purse!! There are so many pretty things at Stella & Dot!

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    1. LOVE that tote bag so much I also have the blue and white striped one. One is my everyday tote, the other is my gym bag. So lightweight and had different compartments and I love the pocket on the outside- that's where I always put my phone and keys.

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  20. It looks beautiful Megan! We also have a drop zone too, but magazines and mail also end up on our dining room table and it drives me batty!

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    1. I know, mail is crazy. I'm letting a few of my magazine subscriptions go.

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  21. I love how your husband doesn't have a wallet but instead uses a binder clip for his cash and cards

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  22. Wow! This is just beautiful! Funnily enough I just posted an entry on my blog about how to make an apartment entryway functional too! It's not as gorgeous as Megan's but it's a different aspect! :)

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  23. I feel like every room in my house has a drop zone! They have all been driving me crazy too!

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  24. Yes! We have an entry table and my husband drops all of the things in his pockets in one of the drawers. I also keep the dog's leash and the back gate key in there (since we have a pool it's always locked). I have a small ledge on the bottom of the table that's perfect for my handbags. It's worked out great for us!

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    1. This gives me hope that our solution will work too!

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  25. After reading your post I felt much better that everyone's house looks like mine! Hee Hee. My drop zone is the kitchen table and some spills over to the kitchen counter. I look forward to the day i have a mud room so I can drop everything in there!

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  26. I love how Megan used such a pretty table for such a practical set up! Beautiful touches with the stack of books and I love the raised tray for her hubby's things.

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  27. We have 2 drop zones in our home. One in the entry way for mail and hubby's work bag and pocket contents (keys, phone, wallet and randoms) and one just behind that in our hallway for me and the kids. It holds my handbag and the kids randomness. They'll be getting a revamp when I do my new launch pad but for now they keep the chaos to a minimum.

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    1. So glad to hear you found something that works in your home. Separating the two spots is a great idea.

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  28. I need a drop zone too!! Will rack my brain hard since putting a table near the entryway is not possible. hm...

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  29. This is so beautifully done. Megan, you inspired me to order 2 more West Elm trays {I already had 2} to organize a few areas better. And, I'm swooning over your kitchen-LOVE!

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    1. Yes, love their trays! I have a gorgeous red lacquer one in my son's room.

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  30. Love. Looking for a spot to use that table in our home.

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    1. It's pretty small. Make sure to look at the dimensions before ordering. I was a little surprised, but it happens to work well here.

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  31. Love love love this idea! You've inspired me to create a stylish "drop zone". Thanks for sharing!

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  32. I love this. We just moved to a no drop zone house. Eventually we are going to redo the kitchen and put in a designated area but until then its good to know we could easily put something like this together.

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    1. That sounds awesome to get to redo the kitchen exactly to fit your needs. Hope this temporary solution works well for you.

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  33. I wish I had an entryway of any description! I finally managed to corral my shoes and make a space for my "daily" bag. But paper/bills/etc are a nightmare. There is nowhere to put them so I end up either loosing them or accidentally throwing them away. If anyone has any suggestions for organizing a "no entry way" please PLEASE share!

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    1. Send me a pic so I can see! Sounds like we need to get creative.

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  34. I love everything about this space. Can you let us know where the mirror in the background came from?

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  35. I thought I was the only one with a kid and fiancé who just throw EVERYTHING on the counter. Whew my anxiety level just went down a bit. Our island is our collect all and it'll be clean when I leave for work then when I get home it's crazy like yours. I've put a small cabinet by our front door, but my love hasn't grasped the idea of this is where you leave everything, probably because he comes through the garage, so I'll have to come up with something like you....or just train him better. ;-)

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    1. Ha! You are not alone my friend! Gotta train that man! :)

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  36. Totally unrelated but - where did you get your dining room table?? I want one just like that!

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    1. That table is from Pottery Barn. It has held up extremely well for 3 years.

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  37. Everything piles up on our kitchen counter too, and I can't stand it. There really is no place for a seperate table when coming in through the backdoor, but I think I should add a basket to the kitchen counter to collect the mail and odd and ends that pile up. Thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one that clutter irritates! Glad this helped!

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  38. I love Megan's style! I need that mirrored table! We have a major problem with clutter on our kitchen bar and on our kitchen table. It drives me bonkers!!! I have to find a way to deal with it and I think that mirrored table would work perfectly for my space. Love it!

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  39. So pretty and functional! I'm working on revamping our entryway right now. Its a tiny space so its been a challenge. Thanks for all the inspiration!

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  40. I definitely need something like this. My purse, random receipts, and mail all tend to pile up on the countertop until I can't take it any longer! I love the marble stand and organized drawers! Maybe add a bag hook on the wall, and I'd be all set!

    thecraftygrad.blogspot.com

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  41. Our drop zone is at the entrance of our flat, we have a piece of furniture where we store our shoes and we usually leave our keys, sunglasses and bags on the top which is pretty handy !

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  42. What is the name of the curtain fabric and where can I buy it?

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  43. Great idea! I love that you are able to combine style with function and organization.

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  44. love this idea, my house needs a drop zone...

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  45. Thank you, Thank you. Thank you!!! I feel less inadequate now in my getting orgainsed crusade to know that even the ones already winning the battle still have areas like this!! lol Our kitchen counter just in from the front door is the same. I have tried various ways to get it tidied up but Hubby is a force to be reckoned with!! It's my personal mission to get him tidied!!

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  46. This is what our kitchen table normally looks like

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  47. Wait a minute. Were you taking pictures of my kitchen counters? Seriously they look just like my kitchen counter. I love the end result of your new drop zone. I will have to figure something out in my own home. Beautiful pictures too! Thanks for sharing!

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  48. My kitchen table is a total drop zone! I've tried to create a new zone before but it's never worked. I'll have to categorize my junk first. Hopefully that will work! Awesome suggestion!

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  49. Love this idea! We could definitely use a drop zone at our house, and I *think* I can even fit one in if I move some things around. Thanks for the inspiration, Megan and Jen!

    ~Abby =)

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  50. I have the same problem in my kitchen--mainly my island. I think I need a better drop zone...apparently ours isn't working right now.

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