Task 3 – Declutter 52 Things in 52 Weeks Challenge

by Katrina - The Organised Housewife

The Organised Housewife Declutter 52 Things in 52 Weeks Challenge

A new Decluttering task will be published on the blog each Tuesday from February (during January it will be randomly as I am publishing The Back to School Series).  I will share a link to the task on facebook and in the Tuesday Daily Task newsletter (subscribe to newsletter here).

Follow along on instagram with hashtag #declutter52

View previous Decluttering Challenge Tasks here


Decluttering Header Task 3

Drop Zone – where you put keys, receipts, phone,etc

The drop zone is the area when you come home and you drop your keys, handbag, shopping, phone etc.  However typically now that you have dropped items here throughout the day it continues to become a drop zone with paperwork, junk mail, toys and all other bits and pieces you don’t have time to put in its proper home, soon enough it’s a mess.

Todays task is to tidy up this drop zone and consider how to continue to keep this area tidy.  Here are a few ways I organise some of the drop zone items.

I made a charging station from a breadbox – this breadbox tidily stores and charges all our phones, iPad and iPods.  If my phone isn’t still in my handbag, it’s usually sitting in the charging station.

I hang my handbag in our school bag nook – when I come home I hang my handbag onto the hook, I don’t like putting handbags on the kitchen bench or the floor, read these reasons why.  You could also use this type of area to hang scarves and jackets.

After hanging up my handbag, I drop all my shopping (groceries of course go to the kitchen) on my bed.  So then when I am pottering around through the rest of the day I can put the shopping away, which I make sure is done before I go to bed.

{The Organised Housewife} Decluttering Challenge Shopping

Once I unpack my shopping I put all my receipts into my receipts box

All extra change is placed into our money tin

For keys, phones and the blokes wallet, you could create a little basket specifically for these items, the basket will keep the ‘stuff’ confined and tidy.

{The Organised Housewife} Declutter Challenge - Keys 1

{The Organised Housewife} Declutter Challenge - Keys 2

Junk Mail is another item that can easily clutter a dumping zone.  This picture below is a few years old now, I have changed my pantry around, but the recycling bin has stayed put.  Read further about how I deal with Mt Junk Mail.

What items have you found in your drop zone?

dividerview all challenge tasks here

 Please join the Declutter Challenge, I truly hope that together we can make a difference in your home


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Miss Maudy January 16, 2014 - 3:07 PM

Ah yes, the little basket for the bloke stuff – that accumulates all manner of other crap because, despite endless cries of “where’s my…”, the ONLY time the bloke’s stuff ends up in the basket is when I put it there!

Of course, I am blessed with being naturally perfect {ahem} and always hang my keys and handbag on their respective hooks when I walk in the door so I don’t waste hours of my life searching for keys (except when aforementioned blokes ‘borrow’ my keys to look in the shed for all their stuff).

Now, my reading glasses are another thing all together! yes, they DO SO live in the fruit bowl.

Julia K January 17, 2014 - 11:17 AM

Oh – HAD to laugh about the reading glasses – don’t know HOW many times I’ve run around looking for them only to discover they’re perched on my head !

Katrina January 17, 2014 - 12:30 PM

Isn’t that always the way?! 🙂

KezUnprepared January 16, 2014 - 4:00 PM

I am always trying new ways to organise the ‘drop zone’. I fear that I am fighting a losing battle. HOW DO YOU GET YOUR HUSBAND TO GO ALONG WITH IT?! 😉

Katrina January 17, 2014 - 12:30 PM

Perhaps you could give him his very own basket to drop all his things in? At least then all his things are together in one spot?

KezUnprepared January 17, 2014 - 3:56 PM

I think you’re onto something. Maybe I can find a way to make his “drop zone” really cool and blokey.

Kay Dekker January 17, 2014 - 6:57 AM

We receive advice from our Neighbour hood watch service that at night keys to cars and handbags etc should be hidden so that if you do happen to have a break in they can’t steal your car. I always worry about the drop zone as it would make it so easy for a burglar to just grab everything. I am probably paranoid but wonder if anyone else feels like this or has any great hiding places for keys and bags at night?

Eszter January 17, 2014 - 10:59 AM

I’d prefer the thief to steal my insured car than come into my bedroom searching for the keys. If someone is brave enough to brake in to a house with me in it I wonder what else they are brave enough to do?? A car is not as important as our safety.

Miss Maudy January 17, 2014 - 2:55 PM

I think you would need to do a mini cost benefit analysis and weigh up the definite benefit of having things where you can find them against the relatively low risk of a break in while you and the car are at home – and if you lock the front door while you’re at home, the risk is even lower. It might be easier to remember to snib the security door and make sure the accessible windows aren’t open at night than remember to hide everything and get it all out in the mornings.

Kate January 20, 2014 - 9:01 PM

Hi, we had a break-in at about 4 am on Christmas morning, while we were asleep for a few hours between Church services. The thieves very obviously knew where people customarily place valuables as they come home. We had been smart enough not to keep things in 3 of the 5 spots searched, unfortunately some precious items were in the remaining 2 spots. And our doors were locked, one window just hadn’t latched properly. It has changed my thinking about these matters.
Just so you know, here are the 5 places obviously searched:
1. Just inside the front door.
2. Bottom drawer of filing cabinet in office
3. Desk drawer in office
4. Top of the fridge
5. The shelf just inside the kitchen door.

Jennifer Hawkins January 17, 2014 - 8:12 AM

Our our drop zone is a dressing table inside the front door, but.. I have a system so this doesn’t get too cluttered. Keys either stay in the car or go straight into the basket on the bench, as do phones. Shopping goes to respective bedrooms, and tags removed and binned. It’s become a routine now, even hubby is in on it most of the time. The quicker things like this are done, the easier it is to keep the entry tidy and have less tripping hazards. I have a bookcase in the dining room/kitchen where I keep my handbag so I know where it is.

Katrina January 17, 2014 - 12:31 PM

Good on you! Once it’s become a habit, you’re set!

SmittenKitten February 3, 2014 - 12:00 PM

Hi, sounds like you are super organised, just wanted to let you know up here in North QLD we are having huge problems with car thefts, some are the standard unlocked car but the theives also easily jimmy open roller doors and if the keys are still swinging in the ignition bingo! Off they go with your car keys and whatever else you keep on the keychain.

Police encourage us to lock our cars in our locked garage and hide our keys and handbags as there is a lot of break and enter grab and run thefts. Not trying to scare you but make you aware, hopefully you live in a nice suburb where this isn’t a problem

Karen January 17, 2014 - 11:57 AM

My biggest problem is my receipt box and finding the time to enter the information into my budget. Does anyone know of a good app that is multiuser across various platforms where users can enter spending straight in. This would save me heaps of time and reduce clutter as important receipts could be filed straight away.

Bee January 17, 2014 - 5:58 PM

I use Quicken. I see the major advantage as a way of reconciling with bank statements online.

Mon January 18, 2014 - 8:11 AM

We have track my spend, not sure if it is the kind of thing you are after though. Its put out by money smart (by government). Hubby has it on his phone (iphone) i have it on mine (android) and we can access it on the desktop as well.

Megan Jamieson February 9, 2014 - 9:14 AM

My husband and I use bank that is integrated with our Bank http://www.anzmoneymanager.com.au, I’m pretty sure it works with all banks, and it’s great because I just need to go back in and change the categories and it has a budget and everything. We don’t use all the functionality, but it’s great for what we want.

Sarah Hudson January 17, 2014 - 4:17 PM

I like the breadbox charging station. I think the idea has merit with older children too – you can make it a family rule that all phones go in the box, on silent, at bedtime.

Katrina January 19, 2014 - 5:29 PM

Yes, exactly! And also good to make sure us adults wind down away from the screens too 🙂

Carissa October 14, 2014 - 8:43 AM

I love that idea too! So tidy. We have a USB multibox type thing which is really handy for all the phones, ipods etc. I would love to convince the kids (teens) to leave them in there overnight. Maybe moving to the hallway and then we all have to move in the mornings when the alarms all go off!!

Jade January 28, 2014 - 10:47 AM

I love all these decultter ideas! I just bought some old lockers of gumtree to keep bags, shoes, keys, shopping bags and other things in. Its a bank of four, one each for the family. The industrial style doesn’t necessarily suit everyones decor, but man, it’s handy and tidy!

Katrina January 28, 2014 - 6:28 PM

Whatever works for your family is best!

Gayle January 31, 2014 - 8:02 PM

My kids bags are driving me insane and they’ve only bene back to school a few days. I love the idea of jooks, pin up boards butt he challenge is finding a suitable place to locate it. I was thinking of trying to find a “locker” style cupbaord where everyone has their own pigeon hole for bags, etc. I’ve got me thinking and inspired to up date my most hated area.

Katrina February 2, 2014 - 11:30 AM

That’s great you’ve started brainstorming! If you don’t mind the open shelves, the Ikea Expedit can be good to use for kids – and it works horizontally or vertically!

claire February 8, 2014 - 11:01 PM

I have just converted our old change table to a drop zone inside our entrance hall along with a hat stand for hats, coats amd bags. Top shelf bowl for keys, toast rack for mail to read sort and file, bowl for change plus a pen and paper.five boxes (repurposed cardboard boxes from a4 paper reams from work… covered in matching contact and labelled … recycle, return, donate, repair, library books) sit on the shelves below creating homes for previously homeless items … have saved a tonne of time since creating the zone mostly from not having to hunt for keys (our previous place for keys was too out of the way for everytime I walked in the door, arms laden, sleeping kid in arms, busting to go to the loo etc.)

Laura June 12, 2014 - 8:11 AM

This is a really cool idea 🙂


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