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Declutter Dining Room Table: 15 Minute Mission

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Today's decluttering mission is to declutter and clear off your dining room table.

This mission is designed to be done while working on the Organizing Dining Room Challenge here on the site, as part of the 52 Week Organized Home Challenge.

How to declutter your dining room table, and then to develop the habits necessary to keep it clear from now on, plus lots of before and after photos from readers who've done this #Declutter365 mission {on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest
Of course, it can be done any time you need it, and realistically, it will need to be done more frequently than once a year. Depending on how much you use your dining room table, it may need to be done daily!

The idea in this mission is to clear off the clutter, as well as to begin to develop the habits necessary to keep the surface clear most of the time from now on, so any future decluttering sessions wouldn't take very long at all.

Your dining room table is a flat surface and so it has a tendency to get covered with things we just lay down, or projects we or a family member are working on.

These things also tend to linger because if you've got both a dining room table and kitchen table (I know not everyone does) you don't have to eat at your dining room table frequently, which means there isn't much of an incentive sometimes to clear it off.

But today's the day! Put away what doesn't belong and make the surface at least mostly clear. If you don't have a dining room table just do the same thing for your kitchen table. Ready, set, go!

This can make such a dramatic difference in the overall look of the room, so I'd love to see pictures from anyone who does today's mission (either before or after pics, or both).

Also, if you've already got a clear table, awesome, I'd love to see it too! Let's cheer each other on with this mission!

Below are pictures of these tables that readers have sent in, some of them decluttered and others that still need a bit of work, all for inspiration for you!

Top photo courtesy of Erin Kohlenberg, and before and after photos from a reader, Jenn

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A Cluttered Table: Reality!

by Portia

Portia sent in this picture of the way her dining room table looks, right now. She said, sarcastically, "I can't imagine someone thinking clutter is a problem. :( "

I get that Portia, I really do! It can seem really overwhelming to get and keep this flat surface cleared off. The thing is, it really doesn't take as long as you might imagine.

Scroll down to see some examples of how readers cleared off this surface quickly, and what a visual impact it made to hopefully get you inspired!

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It Doesn't Take That Long To Clear It: Results After 10 Minutes

by Shannon



Shannon sent in these two photos, the first is the before, and the second is the after.

She explained that it only took her 10 minutes to accomplish this! How awesome is that?

declutter dining room table in 10 minutes

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Does All The Clutter On Your Table Actually Have A Home Somewhere Else?

by Jennifer

Jennifer sent in this photo, and said, "My before and after. Now to deal with all the squash!"

She makes a good point. The idea when doing this mission is to actually deal with the clutter that has accumulated on your table, not just shift it somewhere else.

Otherwise you won't actually be accomplishing much, in the long run.

See what types of items you've got on your table and if they have a home, put them there. Easy peasy.

However, if you begin to find while decluttering that some of the items you've got on the table don't have a home you may have identified a key reason that your table is getting cluttered in the first place. Nobody knows where else to put it!

So, to maintain a clear table most of the time you will need to eventually find homes for all the items that, over and over, seem to accumulate on your table.

Not necessarily fun, but it will often fix the root cause of your problem if you do this.

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Keep Something Pretty On Your Table To Discourage Placing Clutter On It

by Donna

Donna said, "I keep my table decorated with a flower arrangement and placemats. I think that helps because it is not seen as a place to 'dump things.' It's a pretty space and I want to keep it that way."

I think that can be a good strategy Donna. Completely flat surfaces just call to people to lay things down on them, but putting something pretty there can discourage that.

On the other hand, be careful with this strategy because you don't want your decorative items to themselves become clutter.

It's a fine line, but it definitely is a strategy that can work for some people!

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Sometimes You Need A Little Outside Push But Why?

by Amanda



before and after of decluttered dining room table
Amanda provided these before and after pictures of her dining room table.

Like many of us she needed a bit of an outside push, with relatives visiting, to finally get it done. In fact, she'd let it linger for about two weeks she guessed all cluttered up before clearing it off.

The thing is, since it doesn't take that long, why do we wait for our homes to look good for others? Let's try to treat our own immediate family just as nicely, and do it so not only guests can enjoy the flat surface but so we can too!

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We Did It! And So Can You!

by Dianna

Dianna sent in this picture, and all she said was, "We did it!"

I'm so proud of you Dianna, it looks absolutely wonderful.

And I hope seeing these photos has made you realize you can do it too!

Want To Do More Decluttering Missions? Get Started With Declutter 365 Today!

Declutter 365 missions: 15 minute missions for your entire home

Once you declutter one type of item in your home I bet you'll want to declutter some more. After all, decluttering gives you a great reward for even a small investment of time and energy.

The Declutter 365 system is designed to help you declutter, over the course of a year, your entire house, with just 15 minutes of decluttering each day!

Hundreds of thousands of people use this proven system to get rid of their clutter, and bring peace and calm back to their homes.

Declutter 365 works to guide you to clear the clutter without overwhelm, focusing on just one small area at a time, and without making a huge mess in the process, so you see consistent forward progress without all that "messy middle" that makes it even harder to function in your home than before you started.

In addition to building a daily decluttering habit, the Declutter 365 program, along with the accompanying 52 Week Organized Home Challenge, teaches you the skills, habits, routines, and mindsets necessary to maintain the clutter free and organized state of your home from now on, so it'll never be as messy and cluttered as it is right now, ever again.

If you haven't already, make sure to get your copy of this year's Declutter 365 annual calendar here (it's FREE!), find today's date, and do 15 minutes of decluttering on the day's mission. Then, repeat again tomorrow, and again and again. Over the course of the next year, if you do this 15 minutes per day, you'll declutter your whole house!

Click here to take me to this year's Declutter 365 calendar

After you do this mission, and get in the habit of routinely decluttering this space, you won't have to say this anymore!

Do you have a lot of stuff on your dining room table? If so, here's tips for how to declutter your table once and for all {on Home Storage Solutions 101} #Declutter365 #DeclutteringTips #Declutteruse this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Related Pages You May Enjoy

Getting Clutter Free 15 Minutes At A Time Hall Of Fame

Get Rid Of Clutter Hall Of Fame

Go From How To Declutter Dining Room Table To Home Page

Comments for We Did It! And So Can You!

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Unloading unnecessary items
by: Paula

Take advantage of city-wide annual cleanup days. Some have hazardous waste collections, paint, chemicals. Old tires, used car oil. During these events disposal is FREE or at a reduced fee. The old and broken furniture sitting outside can be removed too. Some charitable organizations take junk cars. Your curb appeal will improve drastically!

A Place for Everything
by: Paula

"A place for everything, and everything in its place." The saying I've heard all my life. It's true, everything needs to have a "home". If it doesn't, we don't need it. I struggle every day with this. I have a donate box and I put things in it all the time and quickly remove it out of the house. Luckily, my town has 6 resale shops (non-profit hospice, church, Goodwill, Salvation Army, Habitat Restore and another non-profit charitable store.) So, it's easy to get stuff out. It is satisfying to see results. If you have projects/crafts, finish them or pass them on because they take up a lot of space. AND I give you PERMISSION to get rid of them!

by: Barbara P.

I am new here and I want to know if there is a general decluttering guide available. You say to declutter, but you don't say how. And, how to get yourself started. Please let me know what I am missing. Thanks.

response to Barbara re general how to declutter guide
by: Taylor

Hi Barbara! Welcome to the site, and glad you're getting going with your decluttering efforts. I actually do have a whole section of the site which provides a general guide to decluttering. Here's the decluttering tips series which has lots of articles which I hope can help, discussing both the emotional aspects of clutter and the fundamental how to's as well. When you get down to the nitty gritty of decluttering here's the how to declutter article. Hope that helps!

Helpful Hint
by: Ruth Ann

There is a "new" thing I've noticed when visiting homes that are clutter-free, the dining room table is beautifully and completely set for the next meal. I thought they were just trying to make their house look like it came from a magazine. However, now I'm thinking this would be a wonderful way to save time (putting away, getting out service ware) and to discourage dumping on the table.

Constant struggle
by: Patty

I like to read, study, take notes, I constantly have a stack of materials that I don't know what to do with when I'm not using them so they are continually being shifted from one flat surface to another, usually kitchen or dining room table. Does anyone have a solution idea? I got a study desk but it is in our loft and not a convenient place to keep taking books to when I'm studying/reading down stairs.

What to do with hubby's stuff?
by: Cindy

I agree 100% -- any empty vertical surface must have a sign floating above that reads "put it here - I don't care!" I've tried the suggestion of putting something "nice" on the table to keep it clutter free. But my darling hubby - whom I love to pieces and wouldn't trade him for anything --doesn't necessarily abide by this rule - he'll either move "the nice things" to the side or use the placemat as a place to put his stuff to keep it all in one place! So any other suggestions? And yes I've tried to nicely "hint" that we shouldn't do that - so I guess I'll just have to continue picking it up and hope I find a true happy home for his stuff! Thanks for the encouragement!

by: Anonymous

I am new to this site and I need a lot of help. I am dyslexic and one of the issues I have is layering and clutter.

I have just started teaching and I am also starting a home business.

So I have been making my workshop, now I need to organise it.

My lesson plans need organising and activities including craft.
I feel over whelmed as I am a carer for my family including my disabled son, mother in law and husband with injuries.

I do the house work, gardening, work, pets, cooking, DIY etc.

I tend to be tired and just put things down instead of away not that I have a place for away :)

I struggle to order things always have! If I have a surface it will have something on it in a minute.

I realise now I need to be more organised or I will not manage my time.

My problem is where to put things. I tend to move things from one place to another which solves nothing. Bills and paperwork are a nightmare as I cannot read them without sitting down and fully focusing on them. (They pile up)
The tomorrow syndrome!!!!

I simply cannot go on like this!

This is serious for me! I am getting older now and I have not got unlimited energy!

Been there, done that
by: Anonymous

That's a great idea, I did that. I had my table completely clutter free! I got organizers for my husbands mail! I put a table cloth, centerpiece on the table it looked lovely!

That lasted about one day! He is hopeless, he still put clutter on the table. He throws the mail down, doesn't go through it, in fact I've missed monthly payments because I didn't see the bill!

I even brought a desk down in the kitchen for his paperwork! Nothing works! My table is constantly cluttered no matter how hard I try!

He puts his hats on there, his lunch pail, t-shirts (new for work), he is like this throughout the entire house! He throws his dirty clothes on the floor next to the clothes hamper!

I am constantly going behind him, I ask him to do it, he doesn't I'm exhausted!

So sometimes there's just no organizing! Not while he is around!

Reply to teacher
by: Anonymous

This is for the lady who says she is dyslexic, and is starting a business.

Give every room its own box, kept in a spare area. Also have a 'gathering' basket, used to gather 'stuff' from all areas. Sort into boxes and put away asap.

As a teacher, you also need a 'teaching area' that for the purpose of tidying, you treat as a room.

Dining room declutter
by: Nancy

I like all of the decluttering ideas on Pinterest. I have clutter on my dining room table. I would like to clear it to make it neat, however, I don't have space for a desk as I am in a small condo(1100sq ft). What suggestions can you give.

Dining room table is hubby’s office
by: Chrys

I try so hard to keep my DR table clear, but it is the first room you walk into besides the entry. My hubby seems to have taken it over as an office and it’s constantly covered with paperwork and projects. I have tried taking to him about it. I even put a small desk and file cabinet in the entryway, to no avail. He says if the stuff isn’t out where he can see it, he’ll forget about it. Any suggestions?

Tricks work
by: Anonymous

Years and years ago I got tired of the dining room table being a drop zone. I went out and bought a very cheap (but nice looking) lace overlay for the table. That was the style at the time. I never told anyone how cheap it was. However that overlay did the trick. Before no one would think twice about putting something on the table. Afterwards the items found their way to where they belonged or at least in that direction. My husband wasn't about to ruin an expensive overlay and made sure no one else would either. Giggle giggle.

clear and put away!!
by: Anonymous

We are all able to clear that table, but the real trick is to find a real home for all the clutter.

If it's thrown away, that's great! What if you need to create new spaces? I live in a small home. I think I need a PURGE!!

To Patty: no place to put things
by: Peggy

I also have too much stuff. I bought a cube storage unit and put it right next to our table along the wall where we come into the house. I added 2 hooks to hang my purse and school bag. I gave my hubby 1 or 2 cubbies and when he forgets to put something in its correct place (garage or basement), I just put his item in his cubbie. When he asks where it went, I just say, check your cubbie. I did the same in the living room. Since we get too many papers, bills, letters to answer, pending items, I put it in one cubbie. I have a cubbie for my tutoring, books I refer to often, notebook paper, business, medical papers, other things I collect and need in the next few days or weeks. Because I now do these things, my dining room table is cleaned off except for one urn where I keep my rice crispies treats. I must say that we have a year old cat that lays on anything and constantly knocks items off. Another reason to keep spaces cleaned off.

Dining Room table clutter conquered!
by: Cottagegal

The DRT was my absolute nemesis. No matter how many times I cleared it (usually when company came), the same disaster always found its way back!

Why? B/c after company left, I would always put a little pile at one end. Every day, when I walked in from work, I would dump my stuff at the other end. Whatever didn’t make it off that end got pushed near the first pile by Hubby, so we could eat dinner. The pile(s) would grow and I would avoid them until company came again, usually for a holiday celebration.

FF to 10/12/2019. I cleared the table again, for my mom’s birthday party. After we cleaned up, I DIDN’T put the "little pile" back. Seeing the table fully clear for a few days in a row inspired me. Since that day, I only use the table surface as a temporary stop or work surface. NOTHING rests there, except a decorative centerpiece. On 1/12/2020, it will be THREE MONTHS the table is CLEAR. Who knew all I had to stop doing was putting things down?

Help for Patty- constant struggle
by: Dawn M

Hi Patty!

I hear your struggle. Try studying in your loft space. That way everything stays there, where it belongs (in its home).

OR keep a folder on the wall - (a Home) for your notes, then when your done, TOSS them, or take the folder to the loft space, say every weekend.

Remember, now you’ll HAVE to clear and declutter THIS new folder weekly/monthly!

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When you work through the Declutter 365 missions, and accompanying 52 Week Organized Home Challenges, you'll be able to declutter your home one mission at a time, organize what's left, and learn the skills, habits and routines to maintain your space from now on.

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