The Ingenious Way to Get Rid of the Clutter That Piles Up at Your Door

published Jan 23, 2023
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Apartment Therapy’s January Cure is a free 20-day program that’ll help you reset your home for the year ahead. Sign up here and get all assignments delivered to your inbox.

One of the best ways to stop clutter from forming is to have a solid system in place from the moment you enter the door. That system acts as a guard or gatekeeper, if you will, that’ll stop clutter spots from developing around your homes — like a pile-up of receipts, mail, or trash in one area and a mess of keys, loose change, and thingamabobs scattered across another.

At Apartment Therapy, we call the solution to this problem “a landing strip.” Here’s how you can set one up at the entrance of your home to instantly put a stop to this type of clutter.

Day 16: Set up a home landing strip

The landing strip should be one of the first things you see when you come home, so put it near the door you frequent the most (front door, side door, or garage door). 

A landing strip can include any of the following things (many of which you most likely already have!), but aim to have at least three, appearing from top to bottom:

  • A mirror for last-minute checkups
  • A surface, such as a console table, shelf, or side table, that’ll hold items as they come and go
  • A bowl or container for your loose change, wallet, and keys
  • Wall hooks for your outerwear, bags, and umbrella (and keys too if you prefer it here)
  • A wastebasket
  • A rug or mat for your shoes

How this comes together is totally up to you, but it should be within eyesight of each other as you walk in the door. For instance, I recently got a console table with three drawers for organizing my things. Nearby are some wall hooks, as well as a little container in one of the drawers to hold my loose change and small miscellaneous items.

PRO TIP: If you already have a landing strip set up — way to go! — consider updating it with anything you think is missing. Maybe you need another hook or dish or haven’t gotten around to incorporating a small wastebasket yet (see one that’s on our list here!). This is an ideal time to put some thought into what could optimize your layout now. 

What makes up your landing strip? Tell us in the comments below.

More ways to participate in the January Cure:

The Cure Program is a tradition here at Apartment Therapy — it happens every January, April, and September. Click here to learn more about the year-round program and when to sign up.