Every home has them…. Dump Zones!
I define a “dump zone” as an area, surface or room where family members leave their miscellaneous items to sit temporarily until properly put away. Items such as mail, keys, school papers, books, clothing, shoes, toys, and electronics are common items found in dump zones.
Whether it be the kitchen table, mudroom floor, or stairway, every single home has at least one dump zone, and for most homes, several dump zones.
The good news is…it’s perfectly normal to have a few dump zones.
The bad news is….left unmaintained, they can become big headaches!
Here’s a few tips to keep your “dumping zones” under control.
Tidy Tips for Dump Zones
1) Designate 1-2 places in your home as a “dump zone”. That’s right! Pick a couple of the most common places your family places items and make it a designated place to put stuff.
2) Give your family a head’s up. Show your family members where the designated dump zone is located and that it’s a spot where items may be stored temporarily.
3) Use a basket, paper tray or bins as collection containers for your dump zones. Paper trays are great for kitchen tables where kids can place their school work. Larger baskets or bins are good for various miscellaneous items such as; clothing, toys, books, etc.
4) Make sure at least once a day, your “dump zone” items are stored properly where they belong. I highly recommend doing a “before-bed” family courtesy cleanup and have everyone grab a few items from the “dump zone” container to put away.
5) If items start collecting in non-designated dump zones, kindly remind the family that they can either pick up that item and put it where it belongs, or put it in one of the ‘designated’ dump zone containers.
6) Be patient and creative with yourself and your family as you practice this tidy tip. It takes time, consistency and some effort. So, take it one day at a time as you gain control of your dump zones. It’s a tool to help you.
When used to our advantage, dumping zones can become great assets in our family home; because they aid in convenience, functionality, and order.
The key is to make sure you have a designated dump zone, with containers placed there to collect items, and the daily act of putting those dump zone items away so they don’t grow out of control.
Who knew a “dump zone” could actually be a good thing! Now the question is…Where’s your dump zone going to be?