On the DVDs: Both.
I would definitely have a drop zone and an "on the way out" zone near the front door for lots of things, including rentals. These might be two spaces, or they might be the same space.
And by the computer I'd also have a place for DVDs and CDs and software disks, that's cleared out and put away at regular intervals.
Some random rambling about our solutions and non-solutions:
- By the front door we have a "bench" - it looks like a bench, and it can be used as a bench, but functionally it's really intended as a place to put coats and sweaters and packages and purses and backpacks, and a shield for shoes that we can kick off and kick underneath. Every two or three days I fold the sweaters and put them away, hang up the coats, take most of the shoes to the bedroom, and so on, so that it's empty again.
- Also by the front door we have several built-in shelves/cubbies with specific purposes: One for keys and wallets and other pocket litter, one for cellphones and other electronic stuff (that one has an outlet so we can charge stuff there), one for incoming and outgoing mail and anything small (like outgoing video rentals) that we want to remember to take out, and one for hats and gloves and scarves and other small outerwear. And one at the very top with a single vase in it that's there to pretend that it's all decorative.
- I mentioned the long shelf of Booklike Stuff, in the other thread. It's in a fairly central location between the living room and the bedrooms.
- We have a Trash trashcan and a Recycleable trashcan in the living room. And a split can under the sink with one bucket for garbage and one for kitchen recycling.
So incoming and outgoing works pretty well, except for incoming groceries.
Groceries are a mess. I never put away the groceries as soon as I get home. I dump bags on the floor and dining chairs and stuff the perishables in the fridge, and then I go away for a while. Later, I unpack the non-perishables and put them on the counter, fold the grocery bags, and go away for a while. Later the groceries on the counter start to annoy me, so I jam them into overfull cabinets, except the potato chips never fit, so they sit on the counters and annoy me.
So I need to:
- Clear out the food storage areas so that they're no more than about sixty percent full. They'd get fuller right after grocery shopping, but the idea would be for them to be cleared down to that sixy percent point at least once a month.
- Designate one cabinet shelf or pot drawer to be _empty_, so that when I don't feel like putting the groceries away properly, I can stuff them in there instead of stuffing them _everywhere_ and making orderly areas disorderly. Then I can put that stuff away in an orderly manner when I'm in the mood.
- Designate one refrigerator space, probably one of the crisper drawers, to be empty for the same reason.
Speaking of the kitchen, I already try to get as close as possible to having _nothing_ on the kitchen counters. The canisters and the salt and sugar shakers, for example, are in a cabinet, not on the counter. No knife block or utensil crock or cookie jar or crockpot or salad spinner or blender - they all belong on shelves or in cabinets.
When the kitchen is tidied, the counter should have some sort of soap dispenser, one or two sponges in soap dishes, probably a current clean hand-drying towel, and... and... I think that's all.
Oh! I lied. The mixer and the electric kettle are on the counter. That annoys me; If I can figure out a way to get them off the counter, I will. Especially the mixer, which we only use every week or two but the thing is _heavy_ to store elsewhere. (Maybe I should get rid of the stand mixer and go to a hand mixer?) Meanwhile, they're right next to each other, leaving the rest of the counter clear from front to back.
Laundry and clothes are a major problem. We have very little clothes storage space, and we're having trouble fully accepting that reality. We _could_ take space away from books or other things, but We Don't Wanna. So we need to get rid of at least three-quarters of our clothes, and that's that.
Er. I seem to be out of rambling, so I'll stop here.