Beware of the Pitfall Of Dining Room Clutter
Whole House Organization: Week 7
I have to admit that I'm still riding high from last week's tea & coffee closet makeover. But move on I must.
We have officially arrived at Week 7 of the Whole House Organization Challenge. If you’ve been keeping pace with me so far, give yourself a huge pat on the back. Congratulations on making it to the halfway mark!
This week’s challenge should be a lot less daunting for those of us who are true small space dwellers. There’s simply not much to cover. But lest you be blindsided, beware that this area of home is riddled with its own set of clutter traps. We’re heading to the dining room.
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Indentifying the Pitfalls that Create a Messy Dining Room
In many modern day homes formal living and dining rooms are rarely used. In fact underutilization is the very reason some homeowners decide to forgo formal spaces in the first place.
Below is a photo of my simple dining space. If you’ve been with me a while you’re probably already familiar with it. There’s another side of the room that I never show due to the vertical blinds (which I detest) that cover the sliding doors. But that's another story for for another post.
Anywhoo...outside of family meetings, summer BBQ’s, and a couple of formal dinners a year, this dining room space doesn’t get much use. Yet because of my home's layout I must pass through it to get to just about every other room. Perhaps you already see where I'm heading with this.
Although this area is still important for the reasons mentioned above, we prefer to eat at the breakfast bar below.
Therein lies the challenge of maintaining a clutter free dining room. An area of the home that doesn’t require everyday use can quickly become the dumping ground for all kinds of things including: school homework, mail, toys, electronic gadgets, office supplies, expired coupons, dead plants...you get the picture.
On the other hand, even if the room remains clutter free, there’s a constant fight with the dust bunnies. Because frankly, who’s paying attention to all of that until company comes over anyway?
WAYS TO STOP (OR AT LEAST REDUCE) THE CLUTTER IN YOUR DINING AREAS
Make a promise to yourself today to stop the dining room clutter madness, and kindly inform others in your household of your decision. You will want/need their support in order to be successful.
Determine WHAT kinds of things are ending up on your dining room table and WHY. Is it because you don't have a designated place for those random items? If so, take a few moments, to set up areas for homework, mail, keys, etc.
Take advantage of the wall space by mounting attractive cork or magnetic boards. These can hold everything from homework (with a slot for each student in the home), to car keys, to even a small pouch for mail. I located some pretty nice ones here, and here.
Set the table. This is a little trick that I discovered by happenstance. I generally prefer simple dining room table decor. But I noticed that when I actually set the table with dishes, we were less likely to leave items on it.
Eat at your formal dining table. Yes, I'm serious. Instead of eating in front of the television or in separate rooms, why not treat yourselves as a family to a sit down dinner every once in a while? No special occasion needed. A "clean up" will naturally take place perhaps before and after the meal. Et voila! There go the dust bunnies! The other benefit is of course an opportunity to have meaningful conversations with the people you love most. You're winning all around with this tip.
RELATED POST: Organizing the Dining Room
It is much easier to undertake a de-cluttering project when the pitfalls are identified and the methods for confronting them are clear. Now that we've set reasonable limits for this space, it's time to get to work. Here's the checklist for whipping your dining room into shape.
Clear the table and all other flat surfaces
Declutter the insides of sideboards or buffet cabinets. Toss it. Donate it. Sell it or Use it.
Create a space for all the items that find their way to your dining room table and clearly label it.
So inquiring minds want to know:
Is YOUR dining room difficult to keep clear of clutter?
How do you keep keep this area of your home under control?
One more favor may I ask of you?
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