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Operation Clean House: Action Center & Drop Zone Revamp

A clean home can only remain clean if nothing else comes in or out; unfortunately, that is never the case.  Endless items are transported in and out of the house all the time.  Groceries in, trash out, toys in, donations out, and on and on it goes.  How do the houses in magazines do it?  The most well kept homes all have one thing in common, successful systems.  In order to keep a newly organized space, well, organized, systems need to be in place.  There should be a home for all things coming in and going out.  That is how clutter is kept at bay.  Until recently, our systems weren't very well defined and certainly not consistently followed.  I feel mostly to blame for that as I believe it's my job {and my gift} to create those systems in our home.  But enough with the blame game, it's time to clean house!

Like most husbands, my hubby works for a living.  That means that he brings the most "stuff" into the house.  Often times, that also means that he regurgitates everything on his person onto the kitchen counter.  He empties his pockets, takes off his watch, charges his work phone, basically, lays his work down so he can be home with us.  Much to my dismay, it would leave a messy counter, and it has taken me this long to finally get some control of the space while still making it his drop zone.

Regardless of the size of your abode, there needs to be a home for the things we bring in and a command center from which all other homey tasks can flow from.  In our abode, those two crucial areas live side by side in a cozy little corner that functions as an extension of the entryway and transitions into the kitchen space.  Let's take a look and the pitiful before.

I had the right idea by utilizing wall space in tiny living quarters, but the clearance priced wall file that I thought would work, only ended up being a catch all for other things.  It didn't fit file folders and somehow, that tiny wall file managed to make that small wall look huge!  The fun preschool calendar on the adjacent wall doesn't do much for the eye either.

Dump is such a fitting word for this space...receipts, keys, chargers galore and an unused phone case and digital photo frame.  This space needed help, badly.

Talk about dumping, well dump no more!  Take a look at what some purging, re-assigning, and planning can do.

I quickly replaced my misguided wall file purchase with a beautiful full sized wall file {and got it on sale!}.  The floral accordion file is our reference file which holds our community's calendar of events, and other reference type papers that flow in and out of the house on a monthly or quarterly basis.  The fabulous Martha Stewart file folders contain all other incoming paper.  When mail or other paper comes in, it goes in one of these three folders {act, file or pay} to be dealt with at the appropriate time.  The key box that was previously empty and imprisoned in the crowded coat closet, has been set free and is finally serving its intended purpose.

Here's a closer look at the fabulous file folders.

Why I waited so long to purge this space, I'll never know because I just love how a space looks after a good purge!  Junk out and essentials in.  Now my hubby can finally fit all his drop zone duds in this lovely space and I even managed to hide those hideous charger plugs and put away the non-functioning digital photo frame.  I would much rather look at a beautiful landscape on the wall than harsh, ugly, black rectangles.

Better use of wall space for action center

Uncluttered drop zone

Action center and drop zone together

Ah, another sigh of relief, and another space clean.  I can't seem to get enough of that tiny little space.  There wasn't much to it, but the gift of re-thinking the space did wonders in the end.  Moving the paper towel holder to the other side of the sink was a no brainer; relieving the coin bank of its closet shelf duty, now keeps stray coins corralled when exiting the pants pockets; covering the outlet with a calendar is probably the best stroke of genius I had when updating the space.  So often it's the little changes that make the biggest difference.  Now that our things have a better home, systems can now keep our home working great.  Paper can flow through the house in a much more organized fashion and the hubs can come home and unload his workday onto an uncluttered space.

Do you have an action center and drop zone that are working well for you?  Maybe your home is crying out for one or both!  I'd love to hear about it.

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