Reach in closet with shoes organized around window

4 High-Clutter Drop Zones and How To Organize Them

You get home from a busy day of work with just enough time to check on dinner in the slow cooker and make sure your kid is ready for soccer practice. You’ve got about 10 minutes before you need to leave for practice and, as is typical at 5:30 p.m. in the middle of the week, the house is a bit of a mess.

There’s a bunch of clutter near the door, on the kitchen counter, in your closet and the laundry room. These areas, where your family deposits their sports gear, backpacks and workbags, dirty clothes, mail and shoes, are called “drop zones.” If you don’t have an organization strategy for these various spots, they’ll quickly become unwieldy and cluttered.

Here’s how to organize four drop zones around your house.

Kids sneakers with pens and pencils not organized


The entrance used most frequently at your home or even by your front door—whether it’s a mudroom or the entryway off your garage—naturally becomes a spot for coats, work and school bags, shoes, sports equipment, lunch boxes and anything else your family uses daily.

Rather than trying to coach your family into carrying coats to the hallway closet and shoes to an upstairs closet, create an organized space here with hooks on the wall, a bench for putting shoes on and some shoe storage.

Fantastic mudroom and entryway idea to store childrens backpacks and shoes

Kitchen Counters

It’s very likely that at least part of your kitchen counter has become a place for school projects, permission slips, mail, bills and other important papers. While the best way to cut down on this clutter is to go digital, it’s impossible to cut down on paper completely.

Instead, consider moving this “drop zone” to your mudroom or home office. A simple inbox system—a basket or bin—can corral papers until you have a few minutes to review them each week and store them permanently. It’ll help you keep your kitchen countertops clutter-free.

Walk-in or Reach-in Closet Floor

No doubt your day involves a lot of hustle, which means that when you’re going from one activity to the next you likely throw your shoes on your closet floor. By the end of a busy week, the shoes that were placed neatly in rows are now in a pile on the floor, which only complicates your getting-ready routine each day.

Tame your closet floors with simple storage. Cubbies will help you easily store flats, sandals and sneakers. Dress and special-occasion shoes are better suited in their shoeboxes on a dedicated shelf. Adding shoe storage that’s not complicated or fussy will help you keep your closet floor tidy all week.

Organized boys reach in closet with sports gear and guitar

Laundry Room

Managing laundry each week can feel like a full-time job—between cleaning, folding and ironing clothes for the entire family. But having the right laundry room storage can make it a little bit easier. For example, adding two or three tilt-out hampers to your laundry room can cut down on that disorganized pile of clothes, towels and linens that end up in a heap on top of the washer. Instead, your family can organize clothes and linens into darks, lights, and dry-cleaning as they carry things to the laundry room.

Laundry Room

Having enough laundry room storage can also create a good place to fold clothes (rather than your bed or the living room couch). And a slide-out or fold-down ironing board take up less space than a normal ironing board and is easy to put away when not in use.

If your drop zone organization is a serious problem in your home, turn to the professionals for help! Schedule a free, in-home consultation with The Closet Works to find out how you can tame high-clutter spots with custom organization solutions.

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