Drop Zones – Designated and Intentional

Everyone wants a Pinterest worthy mudroom but what we really need are drop zones – space for our stuff to land and our minds to be clear!

We all have them whether we know it or not. Drop zones can be the pile that accumulates from your kids paraphernalia that falls the minute they walk in the door to that nasty pile of mail and random papers scattered around your kitchen. It causes stress and that awful feeling of being overwhelmed. However, with the right system, this pile of stress can turn into allocated space. Over the course of different parenting seasons and moves to new homes, I’ve learned that drop zones can look and function differently. There are, however, a few static components that I’ve always find their way to the drop zone of our new home. 

The most important components are making your drop zone designated and intentional


I start by designating spot for all backpacks, purses, and coats to land when we got home from the day. It’s a tug of war. You can expect for push back in your house (or from yourself!). This requires consistency. There are times my kids are running straight from the school bus stop to the bathroom, their backpack landing at will. Often I am walking in the door with several bags going to different areas. That’s okay – it doesn’t have to be perfect! Simply making an attempt at consistency will go a long ways. When life gets chaotic and your stuff is scattered, take a moment to stop and gather items to the drop zone. Good times for this are often before or after dinner. It allows you to feel organized before winding down your night. It’s also an easy chore for littles to accomplish.

I’ve found that hooks for backpacks, purses, coats, etc. are always helpful. My youngest still has a hard time getting his backpack on the hook so he drops his backpack on the bench below. Either way, this keeps the floor clear. 

Once bags are dropped, we pull out anything important that needs addressed. Time sensitive material are handed directly to me and everything else goes in these convenient baskets. In reality…those time sensitive materials typically still end up on the kitchen counter. At least this way I am not left sorting through a mountain of artwork to get to it. When we had extra children in the home, I attached a folder to string that hung from each hook. Having a space for kids to drop their school papers allowed me to revisit it when I had time. It also put an end to sifting through backpacks at bedtime in search of forms to sign or artwork to hang on the fridge.

Another piece to the drop zone that always makes an appearance – BINS! I love a good bin. I always like to create space under the bench area of our drop zones for shoes and hats/gloves. It’s convenient! And while shoes don’t often make it into the bins, it is nice to have available when needed. At one point in time I also stored our dogs treats here. Unfortunately he figured out how to get in the bins and those had to be relocated!

Be Intentional

The intentional part is far more simple – yet difficult. Drop zones aren’t just about designating the physical stuff – it’s about setting aside what happened in your day and refocusing on what’s most important. Yes, you will need to tend to lunchboxes, homework, and bills, but they can wait. Once you’ve dropped your stuff, take a moment to hear about what happened in the day of your family, share a snack, or get excited about upcoming plans.

No matter what your drop zone looks like physically, you can get consistent with how you use it. Ask yourself what frustrates you when everyone comes home. Is it backpacks all over the house? Shoes? School papers or lunchboxes? Whatever is causing your brain to shift focus from what’s most important should be where you start. Keep the first things first by allocating the rest.

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