Decluttering Tips, Dining Room Organization, Home Organization

Organizing the Dining Room for the Holidays

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Dining rooms can be the worst room to declutter because they serve so many purposes. Beyond the annual Thanksgiving dinner and occasional dinner party, the dining room is where kids do homework, where conference calls are made, where you craft, where grandparents do puzzles while babysitting, where game nights with friends happen, and so much more! In addition, our dining rooms get used more during the holidays than any other of the year. So, in preparation, let’s do a RESET, organizing the dining room with these ten terrific tips.

10 Tips for Organizing the Dining Room

  • Remove everything, aside from your table and chairs from the room.  It is a dining room after all, and everything else in the room is just clutter.  Get rid of anything that you no longer use, no longer need or no longer love, even if it was a gift from someone special.
  • Start off by emptying each piece of furniture and determining what goes and what stays.  Place items in your Keep, Donate, Shred, Trash, Sell or Move bins and stick to it.  Be sure to make a plan for when you will donate and/or sell items you remove from the room and put it on your calendar to you hold yourself accountable.
  • Clean, dust and vacuum any spaces (drawers, cabinets, shelves, etc.) before returning any items to the furniture pieces you intend to keep.  Start with a clean slate, as they say.
  • If you are replacing dining room furniture, consider pieces that have built in storage, such as storage benches, or like our dining room table that has space for wine bottles, drawers for linens and even shelving for some of our bigger pieces of serving ware.
In real life, our dining room table
In real life, our dining room table

More tips:

  • If your dining room is multi-purpose, consider the containers you will use in your dining room.  If your kids use the room for homework, consider having a basket or bin of regularly used items they will need – crayons, calculators, rulers, scissors, etc., that can hold those items and be tucked out of place when they are finished for the day.  If your dining room doubles as a home office, have another basket or bin for needed items, such as stapler, laptop, post-its, paper clips and such that too, can be tucked when office hours are over.
  • Consider floating shelves instead of a big, bulky hutch for displaying items.  Hutches are “heavy” items that can really weigh down a room, and they tend to be a place for clutter.  Instead opt for a buffet or sideboard and use floating shelves above it to display some of your favorite dining room décor.
  • Contain your table linens in one location.  Tablecloths, runners, cloth napkins, place mats, all need a home.  Fold them neatly and put them all in the same location, be that in a bin, a cabinet, or a drawer.
  • If you use your dining table to eat at on a daily basis, limit your table decorations.  It’s hard to talk across the table to your kids, if you have a large centerpiece that you can’t see around.  Or if you are like us and it’s just you and your significant other, push your décor to one side of the table so you can still use the without needing to move it all the time.  (Side note: I like to change up our dining table décor seasonally.  Here’s our current table scape.)
Our Fall Tablescape
Our Fall Tablescape

A few more ideas:

  • Clean up after every meal.  Clearing dishes, wiping down the table, and containing items on a daily basis will leave your room ready whenever company drops by.
  • Lastly, before the big events of the holiday season, go over everything one more time to keep things in tip top shape.  It will be one less thing you have to stress about before the in-laws arrive.

I hope you found these 10 tips for Organizing the Dining Room for the Holidays useful.

Here’s to decluttering and organizing your dining room and RESETTING your life!


“A place for everything and everything in its place.” – Benjamin Franklin

P.S. If you have a great tip for organizing your dining room, I’d love to hear about it.  I love learning from you too!

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Organizing the Linen Closet

Contain the Clutter