Let’s Clear the Hotspots in Our Home! Day 1 (Entryway + Landing Spot)

Are you joining me for our 5 Day Hotspot Challenge this week? WELCOME to Day #1!

Here’s everything you need to know about this challenge:

  • Each day this week, we’ll be tackling one hotspot in our home. If you want to join us, GO HERE to sign up and I’ll email you the schedule.
  • Every morning, I will send you an email (and post here on KOAB) the details of that day’s challenge area. If you want to tackle something else, feel free. But I think it’s pretty fun and motivating to be doing the same thing as more than 250 other people!
  • Every evening, I will send you a follow-up email, detailing the progress I made in my challenge area — and asking you to share your success story (or struggles – that’s okay, too!).
  • Don’t worry if you didn’t start with us on Monday. You can just jump in whenever, and catch up next week on the other days’ challenges.

Today’s challenge is our entryways and landing spots.

Some of us are blessed with beautiful entryways with cute side tables; others have a Pinterest-worthy mudrooms (I’m jealous!); and still others walk straight into their home, with almost no entryway to speak of.

No matter what your home’s configuration, we all have a LANDING SPOT – and for most of us, that LANDING SPOT is HOTSPOT #1.

It’s that place where you and your family members kick off your shoes and coats (Ugh! Winter gear!)

That place where you drop your keys, purse, school bags and mail.

That place where purchases that have to be returned go to languish…

and where school permission slips, dog leashes and goodness knows what else get lost!

Our goal today is to CLEAR all the clutter, ORGANIZE what remains, and find a place to CONTAIN the stuff that actually needs to be in our landing spots. 

So how do we begin?

You may already have your own method, but if not, here is the 7-step process that I follow whenever I attempt to clear a hotspot.

#1. Set a timer for 15 or 20 minutes

Working for any longer than 20 minutes will lead to burn out. Work as quickly as you can, but don’t worry if you can’t get to all of it (or even most of it). Success leads to success, so if you make progress in these first 20 minutes, you’ll be so much more motivated to set a timer & tackle the landing spot for another 20 minutes later today or this week.

#2. Define the Zone

For those of us who are not blessed with a clearly delineated mudroom, the stuff likely flows over into more than one area. For me, for example, we’ve got the immediate entrance (about 3×5 feet), a small cubby, and then the dining room table. So, when I go to clear the “entryway hotspot”, I designate those three places as the areas I’m going to work on. Doing this is hard enough, don’t make it harder on yourself by expanding the zone.

#3. Toss garbage / recycling

The quickest win you can get is by quickly going through your zone with a garbage bag in hand and toss all the garbage (by generous with your definition of garbage!). Then do the same with the recycling. If the situation is really bad, you may just want to toss the recycling into the garbage. Just this once!

#4. Declutter

Are there piles of shoes? A mountain of bags? A jumble of papers? Grab a laundry basket or two and toss into it  anything that shouldn’t be in the landing zone. With shoes, for example, I tell my people that we can have one pair of shoes per person at the entrance. The rest go in their rooms. If kid #1 has Shabbos shoes, boots, sneakers and Crocs at the entrance, I will toss three of those pairs in the basket and have him put them away in his room when he gets home. Remember: You’re not organizing or “containerizing” at this point; you’re culling the clutter.

#5. Organize

After steps 1-4, you should be left with only those items that you want to stay – somehow, somewhere – in your landing zone.  Now it’s time to organize. Gather like items into piles. Group all school bags together; corral all the keys and sunglasses; stack up the school papers; etc. etc.

#6. Containerize

The last step is to “containerize” – ie. to find a place to store/keep/display all the stuff you just organized. This is the last step for a reason: Because you can’t organize clutter. If you focus your time on buying baskets, you will still be left with mountains of garbage and clutter. Focus instead on culling what you’ve got down to what you really need (some might say what “sparks joy” 😉 ), and THEN and only then should you find a (cute) way to keep it contained. For example, I recently got this three-drawer system from Ikea to contain my kids’ school books. Instead of dumping them on the dining room table – and leaving them there all week – they now get sorted into their drawer.

#7. Maintain

Once your landing spot looks and functions how you want it to, it’s time to maintain it. Let’s face it: If we don’t spend 3-5 minutes on daily maintenance, we’ll be right back to where we started in a matter of weeks (or days!). That’s why I put together a handy list of daily maintenance chores (those who are in the challenge already have theirs in their inbox). Sign up for the 5-Day Challenge to get your copy.

Keep in mind: This is not a CLEANING list! These chores are intended to keep your hotspot CLEARED (not clean). Cleaning is a different kettle of fish, but I will tell you that if you struggle with cleaning, having your area cleared will make the job 1000 times easier! Check out my 30-minute daily cleaning system to see how I keep my home clean – without paying a cleaning lady.

Are you ready to conquer your entryway / landing spot? Go set your timer and let’s get to work!

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