Friday, May 27, 2011

Drop Zone

Do you have a drop zone by your front door? I do, where I drop my daily essentials- purse, keys, phone, mail to post, and sometimes books to return. I use an Ikea basket by my front door for this purpose, and hooks on the wall above to hang keys and an umbrella. Its important to restrict this zone purely to essentials; sometimes the basket gets full as other bits and pieces creep in- lip balm, tape measure, hat, sunscreen, cardigan, etc etc. If this happens I de-clutter the basket and put the offending items back where they belong.

My drop-zone basket is placed here on top of a piece of furniture that is actually a shelf extender turned sideways- not the most beautiful thing!!! One day I will buy a lovely piece of furniture to replace this but thats not on our current priorities list. This shelf-thingy is multi-tasking- its also a cat scratching thingy for our cat, Princess. I nailed a spare piece of carpet onto the side and she just loves it.

Also, the shelf-thingy is used to store my magazines underneath- I've used a bread-board holder (made out of stainless steel) to keep the mags upright- nifty, eh? I hated the bread-board holder in the kitchen- too big and ugly to have on the bench; and anyway we only use one really big board for bread/ vegies and one other board for meat. I knew the board holder was too good to throw away- and was very pleased to give it this new wonderful purpose so my magazines don't have to be stacked. I know this doesnt look the prettiest- but its functional so thats good enough for me for the time being. I would love for our home to one day look something more similar to Chez Larsson's...

Hanging off my drop-zone basket are the 2 bags I use the most often. Also there in front of the basket is a shopping bag that rolls up. I also have my yoga mat here by the front door, otherwise my baby-brain would make me forget it on my way to preg-yoga.

My keys- including Lego Man brought back from Germany by my father-in-law, and my Aldi shopping trolley token

Does a drop zone by the front door work for you or do you have another system so you dont lose your keys?


  1. Love your blog - I am very organized and take pride in that, but I love the way you put it all into words, I've never been able to explain my thought processes as clearly as you do!

    I have a special shelf on my desk for that sort of stuff - keys, cell phone, wallet, watch. I empty my pockets/bag there every time I come home, so it's always there. And I always know where to find my phone when it rings, too!

  2. We have an old Buddhist altar table we bought second hand, that sounds very exotic but it's a simple piece with a high shelf and several drawers. From the outside it looks quite elegant with two pots of orchids on top of but each inner drawer seethes with "near the door" stuff. It's been a good resolution as DH is a "dropper" once he gets in the house and we used to spend ages looking for his keys, wallet etc.

  3. Great space :)
    I have a thin but tall buffet and hutch that lives behind my front door. It stores books by subject order for homeschooling but the neatest thing about it is that it has two drawers at waist height that I store my keys in + the kids' sunglasses for when we are running out the door. My hubby wasn't able to get into the groove with this one so I watched where he kept dumping the things out of his pockets when he got hom (wallet, keys, coins etc) and then put a cute little black box in that spot. Now he naturally goes there and it's easy for him to find and to keep all his stuff together in one spot. It took me a good few years to work out not to try and force him to 'fit my systems' but rather see what worked for him and find a way to make it work for us both! lol :)
    I tried commenting on the hoarders post but blogger wouldn't let me. I was wondering if I could maybe email you my comment instead?
    Love Lusi x

  4. Never mind! Blogger let me post (finally!) yay!

  5. i like that you have named it drop zone - perfect. I have a basket for hubs drop zone as he drops any and everything in his there is a circular fluorescent light tube in there ATM. I have two big prepaid postage envelopes in my that I pop clothing items my kids have grown out of into and send on to friends with smaller children. My handbag by them and some mail to forward to the previous owners of this house. I love you have re purposed the bread holder thingy! Great work.

  6. This post is very timely, as DH and I have been discussing "why does everything end up on the kitchen table"..together we need to devise a plan for within our small foyer..
    More urgent thing "on my mind" these days is emergency survival supplies...

  7. Hey
    welcome to this blogging world
    I would love to get tips from you regarding organizing as we in India have very small spaces to live and more things to handle...
    I am a great fan of Rhondas blog and wish you too enjoy similar love and popularity...

  8. Hi Sarndra!

    Thank you for stopping by my blog & leaving a comment; it was great to read your thoughts! :)

    I dont have much of a drop zone for my stuff; I just leave it all in my handbag & hang it on the back of the door. If it's not in my bag i've no idea where it's gone!

    In response to the question you posted at my blog about rearing your own meat supply, I think the following 'rule' is a good one: "We do not eat pets"! ;) Growing up my grandparents used to supply the family with lamb/mutton from their stock, but there was a clear distinction between those animals that were pets & those that were stock. Anything with a name is a pet!

    Even though my grandparents were good at making this distinction, I'm not, so I'm quite content with my vegetarianism. :)

    Have a nice weekend!

  9. I don't really have a drop zone. When I come in the door, my keys go right into a pouch in my purse, my phone goes on the charger if needed or back into my purse in a designated slot I have in there, and if I have things I need to remember to take with me like mail to post, I just leave it sticking out of my purse. I keep my umbrella in the car as the car is very close to the front door or I can just go out through the garage door and not worth putting up an umbrella. So keeping it in the car only makes sense to me. AS far as anything big that I need to take with me on my next errand, I just place it in the car ahead of time. Now Mr H on the other hand, keeps his wallet, keys, phone and such on top of the microwave so he knows where to grab them. Another thing we do is when we come home from work is take out all of our small change and place them in designated cups. We have cups for quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies. Since we are leaving soon (3 days from now!!!) for my sons Marine graduation and vacation combined, we will cash in all of those coins to use as spending money on vacation. We did this last year over the summer, cashed in the coins and had over a hundred or so in cash. I am sure it will be the same for this vacation. It is a system that works well for us. Oh and lastly, when we come home from work, we or should I say Mr H, goes through the mail immediately and sorts through it and rids junk mail, places bills in the checkbook and anything else gets taken care of right away so there is no mail clutter and build up.
    By the way, I am loving your blog and all of the organizing hints and help. It is a subject I am very fond of.
    Have a great day!

  10. Hello ladies- thank you all for sharing what u do with your daily essentials, some fab ideas there!
    Lusi its great u worked around your husbands ways instead of expecting him to change- coz we all now that wont happen with our men hey ;-)
    Tammy thats such a good idea about your prepaid post packs. Love it.
    Hi Mahek, thanks for visiting :) my place is small too so i will be posting in the future more on living in small places, and making the most of the area that u have (definitely needs creativity doesn't it :-))
    Laurie your husband is so organised! Have a happy graduation- you must be so proud of your son :-)

    Xoxx Sarndra

  11. Your drop zone is great! i love the name for it too! However in my house I have a dumping zone (dining room table) shocking I know, but I need to have an elegant drop zone now! Must create one when I get home!

    BTW on the subject of keys, I drive a newish Mazda that has fold in keys and I was forever losing them in my handbag. Well obviously one outing too many with my dad and he suggested that I make a small key pocket in the next handbagI made, did this and it works a treat!!!

  12. Hehe thats cute Car. I have days where I'm tired and grumpy and dump everything on the floor/table. Thats a great idea of your dad's- I think he should patent it :-)

    P.s. Does anyone know why I can no longer see my followers? :-( i read on google it may have soomething to do with cookies but i dont know anything about that- except i like to eat chocolate chip ones Lol :-D

  13. The internet is having major problems all over the world right now. We can only wait until the problem clears up.

    Anita - aka Granny Patches

  14. We have a bowl made of recycled paper from the oxfam shop for wallets, phones and keys and occasionally thing like headphones and access cards for work. I always put my 'stuff' down (usually whatever is in my hand) on the table or edge of the couch so I am trying to train the brain to put it away so i don't have a panic before work coz I cant find my wallet.

    Loving the blog! Would love any tips you might have on organising the pantry in the kitchen. Right now it just looks like a mountain of food following the weekly shop!

  15. Hi Cara, thanks for the request, will def. do a pantry organising post soon.

  16. Multiple drop zones here- just inside the back door which opens directly into our living room; the kitchen bench (for keys, bags, etc.) and the dining table for everything else.

  17. Slightly off-topic, but you mentioned an Aldi shopping trolley token. Can you explain how that works? Is it a reusable token? Here in the US we still have to put the quarter coin in the cart each time.

    And yes, I often use little dishes to organize things. :)

  18. I love the drop zone concept! We live in a cosy 2.5 bedroom unit/apartment(this is our choice-I'll tell you more about this another time!) 2 adults and one sweet 8yr old girl. We have come up with lots of space saving ideas, and your drop zone idea is similar to the space we utilise behind our front door. We have two rails and hooks and small baskets from an IKEA kitchen storage range. The hanging baskets store keys/sunglasses/outgoing mail/sunscreen, and the hooks hold school bag/shopping bags/bag with library returns/bike helmets. If I could post a pic I would!
    Annie Jones we don't have Aldi in the state of Australia where I currently live(Western Australia) but our local supermarket, Coles, has a reusable plastic token you can purchase ($1)that fits the trolleys. Here in Western Australia(and is probably the same all over Australia) you need a $1 or $2 coin for a trolley. I keep my reusable token on my key ring, and it is very handy if I don't have the correct coin.

  19. I should add - Annie Jones I live in a different state to Sarndra and was just sharing my experience of shopping tokens!

  20. HI Linnie
    Thanks for your comment, I would love to hear more about your space-saving soultions. Its definitely a topic I will be discussing in the future :) Our Aldi trolley concept is the same as your Coles one. Its so handy to have on the keyring so I don't need to remember to have either a $1 or $2 coin with me. Thanks for visiting!