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Creating the Ultimate Summer Drop Zone for Kids

dropzone entrance kids cuttler organization summer systems Jun 01, 2024

Is your dropzone already an area of frustration? Summer is here, and with it comes the delightful chaos of kids coming and going, bringing with them an array of items from swimsuits to sports gear. As a professional organizer, I've seen firsthand the transformation that a well-designed drop zone can bring to a household. A drop zone is a dedicated area where kids can drop their belongings as they enter the house, keeping the rest of your home clutter-free. Here are some practical tips and systems to create an effective summer drop zone for your family.

  1. Choose the Perfect Location

The first step in creating a summer drop zone is selecting the right spot. Ideally, this should be close to the entrance your kids use most frequently. This could be the mudroom, a corner of the garage, or even a section of the hallway. The key is to make it accessible and convenient.

  1. Designate Specific Zones

Once you've chosen the location, divide the space into specific zones for different types of items. Here’s a simple breakdown:

  • Shoes and Sandals: Use a shoe rack or cubbies to keep footwear organized. (CAN Link, US Link)
  • Bags and Backpacks: Install hooks or pegs at a height that your children can easily reach. (CAN Link, US Link)
  • Sports Equipment and Outdoor Toys: Large bins or baskets work well for balls, rackets, and other outdoor gear. (CAN Link, US Link)
  • Swim Gear: A waterproof bin or basket is perfect for wet swimsuits and towels. (CAN Link, US Link)
  1. Incorporate Kid-Friendly Storage Solutions

Kids are more likely to use the drop zone if the storage solutions are easy for them to access and use. Consider the following:

  • Open Bins and Baskets: Open storage solutions are great because kids can easily see where things go and put items away without hassle. (CAN Link, US Link)
  • Label Everything: Use clear labels with pictures for younger kids who can’t read yet, and written labels for older children. This helps everyone know where items belong. (CAN Link, US Link)
  • Shelving: As your kids grow, their needs will change. An easy shelving system can adapt to hold different items over time. (CAN Link, US Link)
  1. Create a Routine

Even the best-designed drop zone won’t be effective if it’s not used consistently. Establish a routine with your kids to ensure they use the drop zone every time they come home. Here are a few tips:

  • Model the Behavior: Show your kids how to use the drop zone by using it yourself.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Praise your kids when they use the drop zone correctly, reinforcing the habit.
  • Consistent Reminders: For the first few weeks, remind your kids to put their things away until it becomes a habit.
  1. Add Personal Touches

To encourage kids to use the drop zone, make it fun and personalized. Let them choose colors or decorations for their individual areas. You can also add a family bulletin board or chalkboard for notes, reminders, or fun summer messages.

  1. Maintain and Adjust

Regularly check the drop zone to ensure it’s functioning well. As the summer progresses and your kids’ activities change, you might need to adjust the storage solutions. A quick weekly tidy-up can keep the area organized and clutter-free.

Sample Layout for a Drop Zone

Here’s a sample layout for inspiration:

  • Wall Hooks: Install a row of sturdy hooks at kid-friendly heights for bags and hats. (CAN Link, US Link)
  • Shoe Rack: Place a low shoe rack or bench with storage underneath for easy shoe removal and storage. (CAN Link, US Link)
  • Baskets and Bins: Use large labeled baskets for sports equipment and smaller bins for personal items like sunglasses, sunscreen, and water bottles. (CAN Link, US Link)
  • Towel Rack: A separate area with hooks or a rack for wet towels and swimsuits to dry. (CAN Link, US Link)
  • Message Center: A small board for family notes, summer schedules, and reminders. (CAN Link, US Link)

Creating a summer drop zone doesn’t have to be complicated. With a bit of planning and the right systems, you can turn a chaotic entryway into an organized, functional space that keeps your home tidy and your kids’ belongings in order. Enjoy your summer with less stress and more organization!

Read through all of the steps above. Then start organizing an area of your home. Scroll down for products to help you get the job done!
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