What if I told you there was a product that — almost like magic — worked just as hard as you do to keep your home clean and in control? Well there is, sort of. And it's not even really a product — you can whip this up for free at home tonight using things you already own.
If you've done the Cure with us in years' past, you already know about the legend of the landing strip (and have long stopped snickering at the name). The landing strip is a spot in your home that's designed to embrace you and your stuff as soon as you walk in the door. But it's not just a space — it's also a system. When you use it right, it's a guard dog, clutter catcher and storage workhorse, all in one compact package.
Your mission today is to set one up for yourself, or if you've already got a landing strip at home, review the assignment today to make sure yours is working exactly as it should be.
Set up a landing strip near the front door (or garage door, or wherever you most often enter your space).
Your goal here is to create a space that you'll truly want to use each time you come in to your home. It's there to help you sort through the stuff you're carrying in your bags, pockets and hands upon arrival — so you stay ahead of the mail, bills and items coming into your home — and also so you have a smoother time on your way out the door, too.
The components of your landing strip might include:
- A doormat to wipe off your shoes
- Wall hooks, or proper (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 small side table — 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
- A mirror for last minute check ups before you walk out the door
Once you've set up your landing strip, make it a habit to use it every time you come home.
When you walk in the door, hang your coat, put your keys and wallet in their spots and take off your shoes. Empty the things out of your bags that you won't need to take with you when leaving next time and hang your bags. Sort through your incoming mail and any other paper you've brought home with you (newspapers, flyers, catalogs) and immediately toss or recycle what you do not need. Put the mail that will require your attention later in an easily accessible, prominent spot. Then go through anything else you've brought home: groceries, purchases, empty lunch containers, dry cleaning, etc., and put it away where it belongs, right away. The whole thing will take just take a few minutes when you arrive home.
It's easy to allow a lot of stuff to make it in under the radar that we don't really think about it until its a full-on project to clean or clear it. Your landing strip gives you the opportunity to relax and fully enjoy your organized home, knowing that nothing is piling up unawares and that everything you need for your next trip out into the world is right where you need it, easily found and ready to go.