So my sister and niece were visiting last week and our dining table quickly became a dumping ground for hand bags, toys, water bottles, glasses etc. This meant we couldn’t eat at the dining table without moving a lot of stuff. From my view, that’s a big functional fail. But it did make me realise the importance of having an effective functional drop zone in your home.
What makes a good drop zone
A good drop zone is purposeful. This means you need to think very carefully about what you want to ‘drop’. For example is it shoes, bags, coats, keys or other things. Everyone is different. The stuff you need to leave the house and the stuff you need to drop somewhere when you come home varies for everyone.
Ordinarily I need a key hook for my keys which is close to the front door. This piece has a shelf for letters. A few steps away from this a coat rack for jackets and scarves. I also keep my dog’s bag here with her lead etc. My office is a few steps away from the coat rack and this is where I leave my hand bag.
I take off my sunnies, put them my desk. I then take my phone and water bottle from my handbag and head into the back living area.
My mum’s routine is different. She puts her coat in a nearby storage cupboard and takes her handbag upstairs to her bedroom.
So the key to a good drop zone is to observe your behaviour and choose a piece or pieces that suit your routine and your stuff.
Location of your drop zone
Where your drop zone is also important. It doesn’t always have to be at the entrance of your house. It has to be where it’s most convenient to you. It could be in the living room, under the stairs or in the garage.
You could also have a different spot for different pieces. For example, you might leave keys near the front door but your bag closer to the living room or your bedroom.
A lot of my clients are showing me inspo pics of mud rooms. This is a cute idea and it looks good. But like a butler’s pantry (designed for actual butlers) there is a specific purpose for a mud room. It literally is a space for people returning from farming or hunting to remove muddy items of clothing. And it’s usually at the back of a house.
So while the pieces that create a ‘mud room’ drop zone can be useful, think carefully about whether this option suits you and your family.
Another important factor to consider with your drop zone is a change of circumstances. As mentioned above when we had guests our drop zone/s didn’t work. Maybe there isn’t an easy solution around when guests come to stay for a few days.
But at least we all used the key hook and coat rack at the entrance of the house which is the beginning of a functional drop zone.