Embrace The Dropzone
Don’t worry, we’re not talking parachuting or skydiving – this drop zone is one you can enjoy from inside the comfort of your own home. It involves creating designated spaces throughout the house for outdoor items to be ‘dropped’ (hopefully not too literally) – with the idea being that this’ll lead to quicker clean-up times and fewer misplaced items. Home drop zones are quick and easy to create, and once the ground rules are drummed into your household, super-simple to maintain.
The front door/hallway drop zone
This is so often a bottleneck for outdoor items, as they’re quickly shed and deposited after a long day at school or work. It sounds simple, but try making sure everything has a home:
● Start by installing coat hooks by the front door and keep an eye on these – the coats that live on them should be rotated seasonally, so that winter coats and raincoats are swapped out for lighter summer jackets as the warm weather arrives. Out of season coats can be stored in wardrobes, under beds or packed into vacuum bags and loaded into loft space.
● Similarly, create a designated space for school or work shoes and other shoes that are in high rotation. A shoe rack under the coat hooks works well, or a standalone shoe cabinet will hide shoes away and also provides a neat console area that can also become home to other items…
● Such as your keys. Depending on what works for your household, you may prefer to keep keys in your handbag, rucksack or a secure coat pocket. But for some, keeping them in a visible place will help remind you to take them with you every time you leave the house. Whether you choose to pop them in a dish, hang them from a hook, or place them onto magnetic hanging key storage – just make sure they’re not too close to the front door or visible from outside, as this may pose a security risk.
● As for bags, again this will be down to personal preference but you can either pop them on a hook with your coats or ask people to take them to their bedrooms – this may be the best option for kids who’ll need to do homework later and will also be lugging home empty lunchboxes, drained water bottles and smelly PE kits.
The back door/utility room/garden drop zone
Just like the front door, the back door can easily become a mess of discarded shoes and toys. But, with a few simple tweaks, you can quickly create a sense of calm and order:
● Put a shoe rack by the back door but instigate a strict ‘one-pair rule’ – no one should have more than one pair on the rack at any one time. Simple slip-on outdoor shoes like Crocs are a great thing to have on hand for both adults and children. And, believe it or not, they’re actually fashionable right now! Wellies could also live here in the winter months.
● Just outside the back door, consider installing one of our garden boxes for your childrens’ toys and games. It’ll mean they always know where to look when they want to play and they won’t have to root through your dangerous and dirty gardening equipment to find what they’re looking for.
● Near the back door, set up a safe hand-washing station at the kitchen or utility room sink so that everyone can quickly and easily wash off any detritus from the garden. Whether that’s an adult who's been gardening or a child making mud pies, make it easy to freshen up as soon as you get indoors.
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