The Drop Zone – a Desk on Steroids

 Fighting clutter and misplacing stuff are two of the irritations we battle at our house all the time.  One of the better new features showing up in new homes to combat these plagues is the drop zone.  The basic idea is to have a place to empty your hands and pockets as you arrive

home.  At one time a desk in the Kitchen or Breakfast Nook satisfied these needs, but today the lowly desk has morphed into something more sophisticated as our needs have changed. You may have seen them referred to by any of the following terms:

  • Home Center
  • Home Office
  • Pocket Office
  • Family Management Center
  • Home Command Center

They come in many sizes depending on the intended use.  They can be designed to accommodate any or all of these:

  • Cell phones – charging station
  • iPods – charging station
  • Mail – sorting and storing
  • Shredder – disposing of junk mail
  • Car keys
  • Communication center – the newest alliteration of the refrigerator note
  • School backpacks
  • Shoes, boots and umbrellas
  • Laptop computer
  • Desktop computer
  • Briefcase
  • Household file storage

The concept of the drop zone can easily be incorporated into a newly built home if planned in from the beginning.  It can also be part of a remodeling project.  In older homes where space may be at a premium, a drop zone can occupy as little as 24” x 24”. A countertop with sufficient electrical outlets can provide a place for charging cell phones and iPods.  Add a drawer below for storing the chargers.  Shelves below, with or without doors, can become lockers for school bags, boots and shoes.  Most cabinet companies now offer mail cubby units for mounting below a wall cabinet.  A message center on the back of a cabinet door or on the wall below the mail cubbies completes your mini drop zone.

 If there is a designated place for all the items you need when you leave home, you are more likely to actually remember to take everything.  Likewise, if everything has a place, it is more likely that you will store it in that place when not in use.  Having a well designed drop zone can help eliminate clutter and the infuriating task of tearing apart the house looking for a misplaced item.


Photo 1: Home by the Stafford Group at the 2009 Columbus, Ohio Parade of Homes; Interior Design by Andreas Furniture; Residential Design by Thomas Beery Architects

Photo 2: Home by Romanelli & Hughes Custom Home Builders at the 2009 Columbus, Ohio Parade of Homes; Interior Design by Romanelli & Hughes Custom Home Builders; Residential Design by Romanelli & Hughes Custom Home Builders.

Photo 3: Home by Bob Webb Group at the 2010 Columbus, Ohio Parade of Homes; Interior Design by Chapin Interiors; Interior Space Planning by Phil Davis; Residential Design by Brian Kent Jones Architect, Inc.


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