This Is the Foolproof Way to Stop Clutter Before It Starts

published Jan 22, 2024
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Apartment Therapy’s January Cure is a free 18-day program that’ll help you reset your home for the year ahead. Sign up here and get all assignments delivered to your inbox.

The best way to stop clutter is to get ahead of it by implementing organizational systems, and a great place to start is right at your front door. Here, you’ll want to do something that’ll prevent clutter pile-ups and be the command center for all the things that come and go in your home — like receipts, loose change, keys, and bags.

Apartment Therapy has coined this the “landing strip,” and this is how you’ll set one up at your home.

Day 14: Set up a home landing strip.

The landing strip will be the first thing you spot when you come home, so it should be located by the door you frequent the most, whether that’s the front door, a side door, or the garage door.

The components of a landing strip include any of the following items, but you’ll want to aim to have at least three:

  • A mirror for last-minute looks.
  • 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 them here).
  • A basket or trash can.
  • A rug or mat for your shoes.

A landing strip will be unique to your home and needs. For instance, it could look like a console table in your entryway that has drawers to store things in, a little dish on top to hold your keys, and a mirror above for a last look. Or maybe you have a wall organizer that has a shelf and key hooks, plus a little basket on the floor for trash.

PRO TIP: If you already have a landing strip set up (way to go!), consider taking this time to level it up by adding one thing that could make it more efficient. A storage bench like this one from Article, which won in our 2023 Organization Awards, combines three things: a spot to sit and get ready, storage for your things, and a tray to hold your items built next to the seat.

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.