Day 3’s mission in this series involves organizing the dining table. If you’re just joining, here’s the series overview, which gives you a basic understanding of how this program works. You’ll also find links to previous missions there.
Every day’s mission has four parts to it:
Keep It Clean
Today’s mission is organizing the dining table and cleaning it. Now, if you have both a cluttered kitchen table and a cluttered dining table, you’ll want to perform the steps below for both.
Don’t fret if you can’t do both on the same day — there’s no reason why you have to do the program in just 30 days. Work at your own pace but keep working.
Organizing the Dining Table – Day 3
Throw away the following:
• Obvious trash.
• Expired coupons.
• Old newspapers or magazines.
• Take-out menus. (They’re online now!)
• Sales flyers. (Ditto.)
• Empty food wrappers or containers.
• Anything broken.
• Permanently stained table linens.
Now, let’s evaluate what’s left. Really evaluate it.
Many times, clutter is stuff we’ve held onto with the best of intentions. Sometimes, it feels wasteful to get rid of a thing we paid good money for. Other times, we feel ungrateful for letting go of an item we were given or got for free.
These objections stand in the way of having a clean, uncluttered home. Give yourself permission to let go of such things. If you need justification, realize that this very sort of scarcity mindset may be holding you back in life.
Now, get rid of the “Someday Stuff.”
This “Someday Stuff” is often the hardest to let go, because it requires acknowledging that we are not the type of person who’ll actually use it today and may never be.
But, if you want to get an organized and clean home, you need to give your future self the gift of letting go of obvious junk as well as the “Someday Stuff.” Here are some examples:
• Fliers for a trip you want to take someday. (Use Pinterest to plan it!)
• Coupons that have been sitting there for months but you might use someday. (Put them in your wallet or into the trash.)
• The cosmetic samples you might actually try someday. (That stuff expires. Toss it.)
• Supplies for a hobby you don’t have time to take up. (If you were that interested, you’d have started by now.)
• Magazines more than one season old. (Nothing will be relevant, and it’s all on Pinterest now, anyway.)
• Guest passes to the gym. (Not shaming you. I don’t go, either.)
You get the idea.
If it’s in good shape, put it in a box to donate to charity. If it’s worn out, throw it away. Your future self — the one who doesn’t have to move junk to clean the dining table — will thank you.
Organizing the dining table depends on what else your family uses it for besides eating. I know, you were probably expecting me to say that nothing belongs on the table, but that’s just not realistic in many homes!
Maybe your kids do their homework at the kitchen table while you’re making dinner. Or your family likes to play board games in the evening. Maybe you’re into sewing, and the kitchen table is the only place to set up your machine. That’s okay!
Your home should be comfortable, after all. But unless you want your dining or kitchen table to become a clutter hot spot, you need to make it convenient to put those things away after use.
In my home, we use a rolling utility cart to hold homework supplies and laptops when not in use. It works for board games, craft materials, even sewing stuff, too. That way, the table remains clear when no one’s using it, but the things we need to do homework or play are easy to find.
Clean your dining or kitchen table by treating stains on any upholstered surfaces first. (Here’s how to get rid of food stains on a variety of fabrics.) Once those spots have dried, vacuum the upholstery.
Next, wipe the surface with a warm, soapy microfiber cloth to clean away greasy dust and grime. Don’t forget the underside and base of the table, as well as chair arms and legs, too.
Lastly, give it a good shine with furniture polish (or glass cleaner if appropriate) and a lint-free cloth.
Keep it Clean
Keeping on top of the areas we’ve already ROCKed absolutely essential, so don’t skip this part! Buzz through the entryway and check the coat closet — the two areas we’ve done thus far.
Make sure clutter hasn’t started creeping back into either place. Throw away any trash you find. Pick up anything your kids left out of place and have them do chores that kids can do to earn their stuff back. You’ll be surprised how quickly they catch on to picking up after themselves when the alternative is having to do work.
Once you’ve reset those areas, take a break. Our next mission is a big one!
See You Tomorrow
Check back tomorrow for Day 4 in this series on how to get an organized and clean house. In the meantime, come join us on the Housewife How-Tos Facebook page, so you don’t miss a thing.