A Simple Daily Habit That Anyone Can Adopt to Keep Their Home More Organized, Around the Clock

Apartment Therapy’s January Cure is a free 20-day program all about loving on your home and preparing yourself and your space for the new year. Sign up now to get daily lessons sent straight to your inbox!

Morning pick-ups and weekend cleaning sprees are great habits to maintain a home that stays spotless. But the most important clean-home habit might be the one that happens at the door, each time you walk into your space.

No matter what size or style your home is, you need to equip your space with a place near the door to drop off the effects of your outing, from your bag to your coat to your keys to your shoes.

Drop off your things right when you walk in the door—it’s critical to making sure that your home stays neat, and that those things don’t clutter up the living room or kitchen or the other spaces you need to rely on while you’re home.

The daily drop zone — we call it a landing strip — might seem less important now, if your routine has shifted to the point where you might not be leaving the house at all. But I think it’s the perfect time to make sure the entryway of your space is well-equipped to keep the outside out .

Here’s what you can do…

Day 16: Set up a home landing strip.

Set up a welcome zone — we call it a landing strip — near the front door (or garage door, or wherever you most often enter your space).

You can compile this together from pieces and things you already own. Raid the kitchen for a bowl, for example, or borrow decorative items from other rooms.

The components of your landing strip might include:

A rug or mat to wipe off your shoes.

Wall hooks, or usable space in a coat closet to hang your outerwear and bags.

A dish or hook for your keys.

A bowl or container for change and your wallet.

A surface — like a shelf or side table or small corner of a console — to sort the mail and other items (newspapers, books, magazines, purchases) as they come in.

A small wastebasket and/or recycling bin to hold your discarded incoming mail and other stuff to be recycled (you can also consider a shredder here).

A mirror for last minute check ups before you walk out the door.

It doesn’t matter how you orient or style these things. They can be clumped in one stop-and-drop area, or scattered around a small space. All that matters is that you can easily unload your things when you walk in the door. Then you just have to make it a habit.

If you’ve done the Cure before, you may already have a space like this set up, but there’s always room for improvement. Do you need more hooks? A place for papers? Use this time today to assess how your existing landing area is working for you.

More Ways to Participate in the January Cure:

Sign up for email updates

Visit the 2021 January Cure page and catch up on assignments

Save or print your own January Cure tips workbook

Download the January Cure calendar

Join the Apartment Therapy Cure Facebook group

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