Although it’s one of the cornerstones of an organized home, I’m amazed how many folks haven’t heard of the landing strip. The concept it very simple. Organization comes from things having a place and being in their place. Probably the time when this rule is least observed is when we come home. We come from work exhausted, often carrying our work bags, groceries, and the mail. All we can think of is changing into jeans and flip-flops. Stuff just gets tossed down and then later we’re too occupied to clean up. If instead you have a place to “land,” and a routine for doing so, you’ll avoid disorganization from the get-go.
A landing strip in your home should be at the entrance you most often use. The idea is that when you come in, you stop here first and unload. A small table, sideboard, or credenza will do. Your landing strip should have a designated place for everything, so when you come in all you have to do is put everything in its place. I like a bowl to use for my wallet, keys, cell phone and watch. On my way out again, I know exactly where I’ll find them — no wasting time hunting for my keys. Hooks are great for bags. On the wall or on the side of the furniture, just drop of your bag there and keep going.
An inbox is also a must. When you come in with mail, just drop it in. Don’t bother sorting through it. Anything that needs your immediate attention would have come certified, so don’t worry about it. Then, once a week, when you have time, grab a cup of coffee and go through all the mail, tossing out most of it, paying bills right then and there. By batching the mail sorting to once a week, you save time and you reduce the stress that comes from feeling like you have to address each piece of mail.