Organizing @ Home #11 The Dining Room

Organizing @ Home the Dining Room


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Organizing the Dining Room


Today we will discuss:

– Dining Table: Assess & Reflect, Sort & Purge

– Linens: Assess & Reflect

– Seating

– How Long Will It Take?

– Today’s Homework


We spend so much of our time planning and preparing the fabulous meal, but let’s not forget where we will be sitting to eat the amazing meal and enjoying our company. The process is the same as before – we will assess, ask reflective questions to help thoughtfully clear off the dining table and room.

No dumping the junk in a box for later (but that is a modification). Make the decisions TODAY that your tomorrow self will thank you for!



Have you been asking your higher power for help?

Have you felt or experienced a difference in the results?

Remember to ask for guidance!


Now, grab a trash bag and boxes / trays for sorting and put on some music!




Assess & Reflect

While decluttering the dining room, take time to contemplate where things reallybelong. For some, the dining room can become a real dumping ground and can get completely overrun with too much stuff. This is no time to become judgmental. The solution is in your hands RIGHT NOW, so let the past be the past and live in the now. Be kind to yourself (and to others who helped create the mess). Honor yourself for having taken the steps now to fix the problem!!


Here’s a list of what might be in the dining room:

  • table, chairs, linens, centerpiece
  • papers
  • plastic shopping bags with unknown contents
  • computers or laptops
  • clothes or laundry
  • toys
  • makeup
  • sports uniforms/gear
  • moving boxes


The dining room table is one of those horizontal surfaces that attract stuff. Unfortunately it’s not magically attracting gourmet meals prepared by professional chefs; just junk. Sort through it all, and as you do ask yourself these questions.

  • What belongs in another room? Which room? Why did it end up here?
  • What prevents it from getting to its real home? Does it have a home?
  • Are there unfinished projects in this space? What’s the likelihood that they will be completed?
  • If this is where paper and mail ends up, a consistent place to collect and contain the mail will help. (see email #1 Organizing the Entry and/or our Paper Management eBook for help.)
  • If there are clothes / laundry, why is it here? Do you have a laundry system that works? Are there people in the house lacking the discipline to get their clothes to where they belong? Is the laundry room disorganized / dirty?
  • Are there shopping bags here – what is in them? Why are they still on the table?
  • Is the dining table the only place to do homework/work? What other space can be used?




Did you know? Shopping bags have little invisibility cloaks around them that keep you from noticing their presence. Really. That’s why you can’t find the thing you know you just bought. Get your purchases out of the bags ASAP!





Sort & Purge

It’s time to take action. Start with…. you guessed it, trash. Then….right again, grouping like items. In this case you will most likely have groups of items that belong in other rooms, so your sorting boxes or trays will be categorized by location. If there are items waiting to be returned to friends, make arrangements for that to happen ASAP and put them in your car.


Organize it

There is no organizing happening here today unless you have a side board that needs organizing. If you do have a sideboard, then it should be looked at as well since you are going through your stuff anyway. It may contain linens that we will need next. It may just have accumulated long forgotten items you no longer need or use. Ask yourself some reflective questions to discover if you really need those items anymore. Remember, getting rid of what is unnecessary makes room for what is necessary.




Now that there is clarity in the dining room – at least a clear eating surface – it’s time to set the table. Most Americans have special holiday linens, let’s look at yours.


Assess & Reflect

As you pull out and examine your linens, keep in mind the following questions:

  • Do you love it? (tablecloth, napkins, napkin rings, table runner, placemats, etc.)

o            If the answer is no: Are you in a position to purchase new?

o            If the answer is yes or no:

            Is there a way you can use it in a new and different way to make it more interesting? Can you layer linens?

            Can you modify it by sewing, ironing, or hot gluing additional elements? (Pinterest is always good for inspiration!)

  • Is it still in usable condition, or does it need repairs? Is it salvageable, and will you take the time to do it?
  • If it is a keepsake that is no longer intend for use for fear of ruining it, can it be re-purposed it as a alternate decoration?
  • Does it need to be dry cleaned or ironed? (Dry cleaners will iron it for you)
  • Do you have enough napkins, placemats and tablecloths?
  • Are the linens long/big enough to cover the table?
  • How do they look when used all together? Do they coordinate well?


If you decide replacement or supplements are in order, think about what you would like to buy before shopping. What style are you going for? What colors appeal to you this year? Having these answers in mind will save time when you are shopping. It may take going to more than one store, but the trade off is a new look that you will love, not one that you just “grabbed because you were in a hurry”.


Better yet, save time by shopping on line, or borrowing linens from friends or family





Now that we have looked at the linens, it’s time to think about seating arrangements. As in are there enough chairs, and is the table big enough? If your current set-up won’t suffice even with the leaf added, here are some suggestions:

  • Purchase, borrow, or rent extra tables.
  • Re-arrange the position of the tables to accommodate more chairs.
  • Move the other furniture around or remove some pieces to create more space.
  • Consider using an alternate area of the home that is roomier.

o            Remember to account for the space the chairs will take up.

  • Consider borrowing or renting tables and sit outside.
  • Have a buffet-style meal, and allow for free-seating anywhere in the house.


There is so much more we could mention in this segment, but as organizers these are the kinds of things people ask our help with. Flower arrangements, centerpieces, decorations, seating charts, and menus – although they would be helpful to share, would make the “organizing the dining room” section unnecessarily long! For 2016 anyway, we will stick to what we’ve covered. If you have suggestions on how we can help you or others in the future, please let us know! We LOVE to help. 🙂




How Long Will It Take?

Most dining rooms we have seen, even if they have a lot of stuff in them, can be cleared out in as little as an hour but on occasion it has taken as much as 4 hours. It will depend on  whether or not the items actually have a real home. If they do, it will go more quickly.




We hope today’s questions lead you to success!

For more help, reach out to us on Facebook or on the next ZOOM video conference call.

Have fun and Good Luck!


Today’s Homework

  • Get your dining room table cleared off.
  • Select your linens to be laundered, ironed or dry cleaned.
  • Make an action plan and start working your plan.
  • Use this worksheet to create your Action Plan.


P.S. If your linen closet is now a disaster, use what you have learned through this eCourse to organize it. You’ve got this! Trust your new-found skills.




Up Next… the Guest Room

If you have any questions, comments or thoughts,

reach out on Facebook or join us on our bi-weekly ZOOM video conference calls!

Until next time – have a super sparkly day!


Shop our Amazon Store for more helpful products.




If you have any questions, comments or thoughts, reach out on Facebook or join us on our bi-weekly ZOOM video conference calls! Join the Clutter to Clarity Club here!

Until next time…


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