Clear the Clutter With an (Organized!) After-School Drop Zone

Backpacks, jackets, shoes, homework — why is it that all of this stuff can feel like it's taking over the entire home? Keep it all corralled with these DIY ideas.

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July 03, 2018
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Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza Photography

Smart and Stylish

If you've got spare wall space, we've got some seriously stylish solutions for taming the clutter and creating the after-school drop zone of your dreams.

Family Shoe Stash

Reimagine an entertainment console into a stylish shoe stash station. With the perfect dimensions for holding lots of shoes, this is a super practical way to store your kids' shoes. Plus, by creating a dedicated space for shoes, you may never have to hear that familiar refrain, "Mom, have you seen my shoes?" again!

Cheerful Chore Charts

Keeping kids accountable for helping around the house can be a full-time job. Simplify this task with erasable chore charts on their level.

Ready for Rewards

Use interchangeable labels or write in your own tasks. List the allowance or rewards they can earn as a visual incentive, then hang them in a prominent location so kids have daily reminders of their responsibilities.

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Let's Make a Date

Today's modern family is busy, so keep everyone on track and on schedule with a weekly calendar. An erasable version means you can easily make changes on the fly. By only listing the current week, you can give everyone an overview of what's on deck instead of an overwhelming monthly view.

Motivational Monday

Aside from the practical reminders ("don't forget your homework"), remember to send your family out into the world with some broader advice, too. A customizable letterboard lets you showcase your family mantra, weekly quotes or a simple "you are loved." This makes for a nice message to read at the start or end of a busy day.

Papers to Pack

Once homework has been checked, it can be clipped to each child's area as a reminder to take it to school. This can also work for permission slips, field trip checks or anything else that needs to be returned. Attach a magnet directly to the wall and use a magnetic clip to create this simple system.

Seating With Storage

When it comes to kids, anything that can offer storage solutions is a winner. Stylish upholstered ottomans work as seating, stools and storage containers. When it's time to clean up, simply take off the top and fill 'em up.

Shoe In

Studies show that it's cleaner and more hygienic to remove shoes before you come inside your home. But if your kids complain of chilly feet, a basket of flip flops or slippers solves that! Place a stylish basket right near the spot where they remove their outside shoes to keep everything handy.

Hooked on Organization

Give each family member a dedicated space to hang up their things. Clear labels make staying organized even easier.

DIY 'Lockers'

Create wall 'lockers' tall enough to hold coats and bags by adding two hooks for each child. Anytime you can create vertical storage space, you can also prevent the floor from becoming ground zero for clutter.

Helpful Homework Station

Help your kids turn in their assignments on time with an organized homework station. Hanging file folders hold homework the kids need to do. Once they've completed their work, they move it into the "Homework to Check" folder for Mom and Dad to look over.

Take Note

Mini white boards are great for leaving little notes for each member of your family. Parents can help kids stay organized with specific directions or a personal word of encouragement on a test day. A strip of adhesive magnet applied directly to the wall holds these in place, making them easy to remove and replace.

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