We all do it. We walk into the house with keys, wallets, purses, diapers bags, that cute picture your kid made a church, the diaper bag, a book you want to read, bills, catalogs, junk mail….etc…and set in down on the counter or table. Do this for a week and you will be able to send in an audition tape for Hoarders. So you have to have all that stuff. How do you deal with it when you walk in the door? Solution: The Landing Strip.
The Landing Strip is set up on your path between the door and the kitchen, because that is the room you most likely will head toward when you come home. The closer to the door you usually use to enter your home, the better. The idea here is that, when you come in the door, this is where you stop and “land” or unload. The trick to making this work is that you (and your husband) have to commit to adding landing here first to your routine.
Step #1. Select your furniture – This can be a console table, dresser, sideboard, shelf floating on the wall, whatever fits your style. At our house, we use a cool old Hoosier cabinet because it has space for bookshelves (for our Bibles, Kindle and the books we take with us when we go out) and space for my purse, and drawers for bills, filing, etc. It doesn’t have to be a big piece of furniture and if space is a premium, think vertical instead of a horozontal “strip”. Some closed storage is probably good as you may not want your purse, diaper bag, or bills on display. You can get cool furniture pieces at second hand stores, garage sales, and on places like www.craigslist.org. A couple cans of primer and spray paint and you can give a piece new life with a color that fits your decor. Personally, I like the “distressed” look for a landing strip, mainly because this is in a high-traffic area and will see a lot of use. If it starts out destressed, you don’t have to worry about keys scratching it, or a kid banging thier giant rolling backpack into it. Be creative! This is a great place to add an unexpected piece to your decor. A pop of bright color in a mainly neutral color scheme, an older piece in a sleek, modern home – this is a great way to have some fun.
Step #2. Determine your needs – Do you need hooks for backpacks or keys? Do you need a place to charge you phone, iPod, or other devices? Do you want a bowl to collect loose change? Where will you put receipts? Coupons? Bills? There are endless ways to organize these things. Add a charging station for phones and other devices. Hooks or a bowl for keys. Be sure to put at the least an inbox for bills, coupons, receipts, etc to be dealt with later. Or if you want to get all that paper out of the way now, set up 3 boxes/bins/drawers (financial, filing, frugal – see Organizing with Threes for more information on thishttp://wp.me/p27sz7-5H ).
Step #3. Go over the process – For everyone who will use the landing strip, go over where they put their bags, keys, phones etc. Each person needs to know exactly where to put things they deal with.
Step #4. Start Landing! Begin using your new Landing Strip. Tweak the system as you go to make sure it works for your family.