What Is a Drop Zone in a House

What Is a Drop Zone in a House?

Whether you are building a new house, renovating your current one, or shopping for a home, there are endless design considerations to take into account. Some of these may be front of mind, like appliances or paint, while others may be less obvious or even luxuries you add on at the end of the process. One thing you may hear about as you view homes for sales in Winter Haven, FL, is a drop zone. In this case, the name says a lot- this is basically a place you dedicate in your home to act as a catch-all for items you use daily. If this is something interesting to you in a new home, read on for information about drop zones and tips for setting one up.

Is a Drop Zone Just a Mudroom?

When many people think of a drop zone, what they picture is a classic mudroom. These are small rooms, usually placed in a secondary entranceway, used primarily to remove coats, boots, and wet clothing that may bring in mud or water to the home. Mudrooms often provide storage and some organization for items that are left there, but the main goal is to provide an isolated space for dirty items so that the main home can stay clean. In some ways, a drop zone serves the same purpose as these mudrooms, but they are used for much more, making them a trend with millennial homebuyers.

Drop zones can be used for anything, not just clothing items. Things like backpacks, coats, shoes, keys, water bottles, lunch bags, mail, memo boards, leashes, and anything else you take in and out of the house can be left in a drop zone. Picture coming home from work, school, or errands and needing to clear your hands- this is when you’d use a drop zone. Similarly, before you leave the house, everything you need would be available in this area.

But drop zones are not just piles of stuff- they include high levels of organization. Cubby systems, cabinets, and drawers are all commonly used to organize these spaces. Families may even designate an area for each person in the home. Drop zones are usually visible to guests and therefore remain aesthetically pleasing, even when they are well used.

Do Homes Come with Drop Zones?

Another difference between drop zones and mudrooms is that they are often not sectioned off areas of a floorplan. Instead, drop zones can be built in any entryway of your home. This may be a foyer, or an existing mudroom, or even a corner of the kitchen near the garage door. The important part of a drop zone is its convenience for you and your family, whether that means it is small or large.

For this reason, most homes do not have pre-designated drop zones on their listing. When you visit an open house, you may notice some built-in organization in an entranceway that a previous owner installed. If this isn’t there, you can scope out the space and determine where you would place your family’s drop zone.

How to Create a Drop Zone

The contents and setup of your drop zone will depend on your needs and the types of items you plan to use. However, there are key elements of drop zones that you may want to incorporate. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some common things we see in Winter Haven homes.

Coat Hangers

This may be covered by a closet in the entranceway, but others prefer not to have a separate area just for coats and jackets. The most common option is to use hooks on the wall to quickly hold outerwear. These hooks can often be decorative or placed in interesting patterns to add some personality to the area, or they can be simple hooks that are more industrial. If you are in a rental or don’t want to drill into the wall, you can also find a freestanding coat rack to place in the drop zone.

Shoe Storage

Whether you are worried about mud or not, taking your shoes off at the door is an important component of the drop zone for many people. You may also want to keep multiple pairs of shoes near the door for easy access, so you can grab your sneakers when you head out for a run and boots when it’s cold out. Many people use simple baskets to hold their shoes, and you can buy designated shoe racks. One great way to combine space is to choose a small bench that has shoe racks underneath- this way, you can sit to take your shoes off and put them on, and store them simply.

Personalized Cubbies

For homes with more than one or two residents, simply dropping everything at the door can get messy and cause more chaos than the alternative. Especially for those with children, setting up designated areas for each person’s items can help make sense of the area. Cubbies are one option, as are labels and separate areas.

Family Board

Often, a drop zone acts as a sort of central hub for the family. Everyone sees it when they enter and exit the home, which means it can be a great reference. Posting a calendar or whiteboard can help all members of the family understand what is on the agenda for the day and any reminders about upcoming schedules. It can also be a great way to leave notes and information for others when you don’t overlap in the home.

A Surface

This can be anything- a desk, a table, or a small shelf- as long as it acts as a surface to drop miscellaneous items. You may add a dish for keys or a bowl to hold incoming mail and packages. Having a designated surface for these items will help avoid them ending up on other surfaces throughout the house.

A Rug

If your drop zone is being used in lieu of a mudroom, you likely want to consider the elements in your construction of it as well. A rug that can be washed is a good way to allow for mud, snow, and rain to be wiped off without damaging the permanent flooring in that area of your home. A tile floor may be easy to clean if you have that option, but otherwise, a rug allows you to keep the space clean.


Drop zones have a practical use, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be fun. Since this is part of your home, it’s important to add small elements that make it feel like it fits your style. Artwork, fresh flowers, or a statement mirror are all popular options. One common idea for parents is to have a clip or something similar up where you can swap out kids’ artwork as they bring home new pieces from school!

Where to Put a Drop Zone

There are two main things to take into consideration when it comes to where you can build a drop zone in your house: space and convenience.

A drop zone can be done in a relatively small area if you keep it simple, so you do not need a large space. Think about the most important components for your needs and where you could fit those.

The more important element is based on your behavior. You may have ample space near the front door, but if your family only ever enters through a backdoor or a garage entrance, having the drop zone there may not make sense. Think about where you tend to drop items today and use that to determine where you build a drop zone. Common options include existing mudrooms, garage entrances, a foyer, back hallways, or the kitchen itself.

Building in a Drop Zone

If you are working on new construction or renovating your home, you may consider going beyond the above options and building out a specific drop zone. The benefit of this is you can build it specifically to meet your family’s needs and in a way that doesn’t take up space that you could use for other reasons. Additionally, if you plan to sell or rent your house in the future, the built-in drop zone could add value to your home in the future.

You may even be able to take a floorplan that includes a mudroom and use that to build off of as you move towards a drop zone. When you meet with a designer, you can discuss options and how to incorporate this.

The good news is that even if you are not building new, you can visit listings in Winter Haven and look for areas that could house a drop zone. Share with your agent that this is something you’re interested in, and they may even know of good spots or people who can help with building out the space and keeping it organized!

Posted by Florida Realty Marketplace on
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