Yesterday was Day 9 of Apartment Therapy's "January Cure" the task was to create a "landing Strip" in your home, or as we call it, the "staging area". We already have such an area by our front door, whose purpose is to house keys, sort mail and any other things we might need to head out the door. Even though we had such a space it was in much need of tweaking. Here are the changes that only took me 15-20 minutes.
The biggest red flag that called me to address this project, was the overflow of our staging area onto other surfaces. You can't tell from this picture but there is a metal mail sorter housing all of this overflow.
After: I simply removed the sorter, and pledged that this table would remain clear!
Before: The primary table by our front door had a receiving dish where keys and coins were dumped to mingle, inviting other non essential items to take root (receipts, mail, etc) resulting in a mess. And hence the overflow to the other side table. (Plus the mail was moved to the side table to make room for our Christmas tree, but had not been moved back.)
After: I moved our trash from the side table to below this primary table. Before it was too crammed and hidden between a table and a chair... and perhaps not used as much as it could have. whoops! Now it's right by the mail area providing for immediate mail sorting. Apartment Therapy also suggests having hooks for coats and bags and a mirror in one's landing strip. I would love to have these things should we have the room.
After, Detail shot: The tray that holds our keys now houses a little coin specific dish, giving the tray more division and only enough room to hold our garage door opener, keys, and coins! I also chose a different container for our mail sorter. This container will only have one slot in the back for mail, a side compartment for pens, and the very front compartment for stamps. I feel that by restricting my space- I will keep the area even more tidy and organized. Plus it helps that we don't get that much mail.
Overall, I'm happy with the subtle changes I made to the area. Ideally I would have the plant live on another surface and replace it with a picture frame and a decorative object of some kind, but this table is prime sunlight territory, so the decision is made for me.
ONE MORE TIP:
Apartment Therapy made the point that the biggest change one can make for their home is to clean it and keep it clean and to set up an organized system. It's the most cost effective upgrade one can make. (This helped calm my angst over pining after the sofa of my dreams. There are big changes I can make in the meantime that wont cost me anything that might have a greater impact on my happiness when it comes to how I feel in our home.)
It's not too late to sign up for Apartment Therapy's January Cure! (up next, organizing the top of my dresser!)