Create your own recombobulation area

One of the challenging parts of airport security is making sure you keep track of your personal items. You have to take off your shoes and jacket and place them in a bin. Your laptop needs to come out of the suitcase and into a bin. Your keys can’t be in your pocket. Your mobile goes into a bin, too.

Once you clear the checkpoint, you have to put it all back together. It leaves one feeling discombobulated.


The Milwaukee airport features a Recombobulation Area (Photo by Cynthia Price).

At the Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee, just past security, is an area that solves the problem. It’s the “recombobulation area.”

The sign hangs above the checkpoint. I saw it on a recent trip, and realized that I could use such a space at home and work.

Soon after the trip, I created the spaces, which enable me to put order back into my life. At home I’ve designated a spot for my keys and work bag. Anything that needs to go to work, goes in the bag, which sits beside a foyer table. The table has room on top to set the mail that needs to be posted and the library books that need to be returned. A small bowl collects my keys. Everything in its place. I am now recombobulated and ready for work.

The same holds true at work, where I have set aside a corner of my desk for work that needs to come home or articles I want to read at home. At day’s end, I know exactly what to grab.

Often travel is hectic. But when a recombobulation area exists, suddenly travel – and life – seems less harried.