The dining room can be a major hub in any home. Of course, it is used to entertain and for family dinners, but in many homes this space can also be a home office, homework area or even crafting area. With a room that can have so many uses and the potential for so much stuff and clutter, where do you begin the process of dining room organization?
No worries, my friend. I’ve got you covered.
You’ll be able to use this space for all of it’s uses and: bonus! be able to find everything you need when you need it.
If you don’t have a formal dining room, many of these steps or tips can be used for other areas of your home where activities and entertaining (and dining!) take place.
Ready? Let’s get started!
Step 1: Dining Room Organization Starts with a Plan For Using the Space
What is your dining room used for, currently? What do you want it to be used for?
If you plan to use it to entertain, but at the moment, the table is piled high with clutter, we know where we need to begin.
Or, perhaps, you already use it to entertain, but want to extend the use as a homework area, jot that down, too.
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Step 2: Declutter The Space
For detailed instructions on decluttering, check out our post on decluttering HERE
The decluttering process is the longest one on your journey to dining room organization. Don’t get discouraged if this step takes a few days or even weeks, depending on how much stuff has accumulated in the room. It didn’t get there overnight and it won’t go away overnight. That’s perfectly normal.
You’ll need some extra boxes or containers for purging this room. Some of the items that will need a temporary home and they will be expected to stay in the room include:
- Serving Pieces
Remember to get rid of anything that is broken (and can’t be fixed or you don’t want to fix it) and things that you no longer love. (This includes that hideous candelabra from Aunt Mabel tha tyou received as a wedding gift years ago). Consider giving them away or selling them.
Separate what’s left by type or use.
Step 3: What’s Left and Where Will It Be Stored?
After you have finished decluttering, you can better assess what type of storage needs you have.
Typically, the items you’ll store in this room and need to organize include those you use for eating meals and entertaining. This can include china, glassware, linens, and other items used in your dinner service.
If your dining room will serve other purposes as discussed in Step 1, you’ll need to consider a place to store those items, as well.
Dining Room Organization Through Furniture
Many dining rooms don’t come with a lot of built in storage, such as a closet or built-ins. Instead, you will often use pieces of furniture such as china closets, buffet servers or hutches which can often be both beautiful and functional at the same time.
Ideally, when choosing such furniture it is nice to choose something that has both shelves and drawers, so you can display certain items while also just storing others that you don’t necessarily want to see out.
If you don’t like, or can’t afford to purchase one of these pieces of furniture, don’t worry. There are other solutions for you. You can use a bedroom dresser to hold many of these items. Alternatively, local Facebook Sell and Swap Groups, Craiglist or garage sales and flea markets are a great place to look for one of these finds. You may just need to refinish or paint them before use.
Displaying And Storing Items
If after putting away all of your dining room items, you still have too many things and not enough storage space, consider using the walls. Plates and serving trays can look lovely as decorative pieces when not in use.
For some great tips on storing china, glassware and crystal, check out our recent post on storing these items safely.
Step 4: Organize Other Items
Other items frequently used in the dining room that may need to be stored include:
- Large serving platters
- Heating trays
- Table linens
- Extra chairs
When organizing these items, and storing them when not in use, remember that the more frequently you use something the easier it should be to access. Conversely, if you don’t entertain frequently you can put these items in a harder to access area since you won’t be getting them out frequently.
Most people have some nice linens that they use for entertaining, holidays, and other special occasions. I suggest that you have a couple of tablecloths, a table pad, a set of placemats, and a set of napkins.
You can store these items in a drawer in your sideboard, buffet or china cabinet, if there is room.
However, if you run out of room or hate the idea of having to re-iron your linens before use I suggest using a heavy duty hanger designed to hold tablecloths, quilts or comforters, such as the one shown on the left.
These hangers keep the item from slipping and sliding off, can take the weight of these heavy items, and keep it from getting as wrinkled at the crease.
Obviously, most dining rooms don’t have closets so if you use this linen storage method just choose the closet closest to the dining room to store these items in.
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Other Items Not For Dining
If you intend to use your room for more than just dining and entertaining, you can use the same ideas as above for storage and organization (refurbished dressers are fantastic for this) or consider enforcing a family policy that all other activities must be cleaned up when the room is not in use. Alternatively, you can use a closet that is close to the room to house items for these other activities.
Each home and each family will have different solutions that work for them. There is no one-size-fits-all for organizing.
Do you have a solution for dining room organization? If so, we’d love to hear about it. Tell us in the comments and we may just feature your tip in a future blog post or other social media channel.
Because of Him,
For great tips on cleaning, including dining room items, check out this post on the incredible lemon!