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How To Make A Functional Drop Zone

by Kuhrich on Monday, May 13, 2013

Where does everybody shed their coats, leave their book bag, and stash their stuff when they come into the house? ┬áThat’s your ‘drop zone’ and it usually is a source of irritation and complaint. Every home has one, but some people have figured out how to set up their drop zone so that it is an efficient area, one that is welcoming and functional. A drop zone should be the place you put your things neatly so you can find everything when it is time to run out the door.

These areas should be designed to fit the family that uses them:

  • Coats, jackets, gloves, hats, etc. need hooks or cubbies to put them in. How many people come in this door? Have a place for what they need to remove. Custom cubbies or lockers are popular with families, a coat closet is a classic area that can work if you use it right, and hooks are faster than hangers.
  • Boots, cleats, and shoes often are shed right here. Have a bench for sitting to remove them and a logical place to put them.
  • A landing counter is great for bringing groceries in, particularly since most grocery trips end with products in different places in the house. You can get them all in on the counter and sort to stash from there.
  • A charging station can have multiple outlets and get everyone’s device good to go. This can be custom-built into the landing counter as part of the cabinetry, with storage space underneath for what you decide is needed.
  • A mail station — with a shredder and waste can — and a spot for each person’s correspondence lets you deal with the day’s mail in one place. Some folks like to add a bill paying feature here, with files and a place for your laptop, but it is up to you!
  • Sports fans have equipment. If there isn’t a place somewhere else, you may want to think about corralling it here.

A custom home builder can help you take your irritations at the mess in your current drop zones and come up with solutions in the new house. They can also do a remodel of your current place that solves the drop zone problems. You could get an entire new mud room, with the washer and dryer included, right off the garage so the soccer players come in from the game and shed all the uniforms and equipment right there. One wall could have bulk storage behind nice doors, and the grocery-landing counter can also be where clothes are folded.

Other families don’t need a whole new room but could really use an elegant cabinet that holds the charging station, mail sorting station, and keys with space for book bags and a tray to put papers that MUST be signed. The key to a well-designed drop zone is working with the way we naturally function. If it isn’t easy to do it right, the coat will go on the chair or the floor.

+Ken Uhrich is lead Estimator and Purchaser at Custom Home Group, a Design/Build company, located in Lancaster County, PA. You can follow Ken on Twitter: @kuhrich Or visit his company website: www.customhomegroup.com