We’ve all experienced those times when we’re running late and are about to walk out the door then realize we can’t find our keys, or the present needed for the party we are about to attend, or the charger for our phone that’s at 2%. Our anxiety levels skyrocket as we run around the house, tossing couch pillows and blankets to the floor, digging through piles of dirty (or clean!) clothes as well as through mail and magazines. Then the dog starts barking (which never helps). Finally, after a frantic five, maybe fifteen minute search, we find the misplaced item and run out the door. Phew! The unnecessary stress we put ourselves through.
For some of you, this is a daily occurrence, and you’ve most likely accepted it as the norm. But I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way. All you need to do is organize a launch pad. What is a launch pad you ask? A launch pad is designating a space near your main entrance that stores everything you’ll need when you leave the house such as the keys, umbrellas, purses, backpacks, sack lunches, mail, possibly coats and cold weather accessories (depending on the size of your launch pad and the season) as well as the daily to-do items (such as the dry cleaner receipt that’ll be ready to pick up on Wednesday or the water bill that you have to pay in person, or the library books that are overdue).
So, how to organize a launch pad?
First: decide what items you want to put in this area. Keys, purse, and wallet are number one. Maybe the mail, newspapers, or magazines. Possibly space for shoes or jackets. Finally, a section for your daily and weekly to-do items.
Second: Choose your spot. Now that you know how many items you’ll want at your launch pad, you can choose the best area that’s near the main entrance (e.g. garage, front door, mudroom, or kitchen).
Third: Finally, design your space. I recommend one of the following four ways:
- Use a counter, drawer, or cabinet in your entrance area and empty it for your launch items. Then hang individual hooks inside the cabinet door or at the back of the counter for purses, backpacks, keys, or jackets. You can also put color coded mini baskets in the drawer to hold family member’s change, keys, wallet, phone charger, etc.
- If you don’t have a counter, drawer, or cabinet, you can purchase a wall organizer for the basics (keys, purses, mail, and reminders). Amazon sells this Black Mesh Metal Wall Mounted Storage Rack / Hanging Mail Sorter w/Cork Board & 5 Key Hooks.
- Or purchase a piece of furniture for the entryway. This Honey-Do 4-Tier Bamboo Entryway Organizer is perfect to store umbrellas, walking canes, as well as shoes, backpacks, purses, mail, magazines, and whichever additional items you need for the week.
- If you have the space (ideal for a mud room like area), you can build a cubby space for each person in the household, with hooks for jackets, purses, and reusable grocery bags, as well as a bottom area for shoes and boots. Then have additional room for sports equipment, backpacks, etc. These are my favorites.
- Extra! You can also hang a calendar (like these) in this area as a reminder of what appointments or special events are coming up (or whose birthday is tomorrow!). As you stop at your launch pad to grab everything you’ll need for the day, a quick glance at the calendar will have you prepared for the day and week.
As you can see, there are limitless design options for your home launch pad. The main principle I recommend you follow when creating one for your home is to choose the organization method that fits your personal lifestyle. You organize for you.