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.
Does All The Clutter On Your Table Actually Have A Home Somewhere Else?
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.
Keep Something Pretty On Your Table To Discourage Placing Clutter On It
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!
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!
Just pick and choose the ones you want to do, that will make a big impact in your home. But if you want someone else to tell you the order you can also grab the 15 minute daily decluttering mission calendars and follow along as we all get our homes clutter free together!