Today's mission is to declutter your dining room, so that afterward you can enjoy this space for hospitality and dining.
This task is designed to be the culmination of a whole week's worth of missions we've already done, to get your dining room decluttered, that we've done in conjunction with the 52 Week Organized Home Challenge, all about organizing your dining room.
That means if you saw this mission and though, "ha! I can't declutter my dining room in 15 minutes!" I understand. You're most likely right! That's why we've been working on it all week, so don't worry.
Today's the day to catch up on any tasks you missed, that will help you declutter this space, and also to take another look around the room and deal with whatever clutter or mess is left in there, that you hadn't otherwise gotten to yet.
When decluttering any room it's important to consider what functions you want the room to serve.
This clarity about functions will make the process of deciding what should stay in the room, versus what should leave, so much simpler!
So ask yourself, what do you want the functions of your dining room to be?
For many people the answer will be a space used to entertain and show hospitality to family and friends, with room for people to sit and eat, as well as a place to store fine china, crystal and silver when it's not in use.
Of course, your answer can be whatever you want. Some people want a very formal dining room space, used only for very special occasions, while others want a more casual space that is used more frequently, and also has other functions, like where the kids also spread out and do their homework.
(For example, this before and after used as the mission image is from a reader, Kris, who said, "it was driving me insane, so I hit the dining room/homeschool room HARD today. Here's the before and after." She has a combination room, meaning it serves more than one function, and so her decisions about what to keep versus declutter in the space reflect that.)
There are no right versus wrong functions for the space, but you do need to know what you're aiming for.
If, for example, you want a formal dining room, where only eating happens, when you find school supplies in there while decluttering, you can easily decide they've got to get moved to a new spot, whereas the person who has kids doing homework in there may need to make sure those school supplies stay put, perhaps in a school supplies caddy in the corner of the room.
So, as you can see, considering the functions of the room helps you make your decluttering decisions.
Remember too, that you may move some stuff you find in your dining room to a different home in your house, instead of completely decluttering it.
Certainly, if you find stuff in your dining room that you don't want, don't use and don't have room for, get it out of your home! Donate it, sell it, trash or recycle it, but get it out of there.
On the other hand, many of us don't use our dining rooms that often, so it can turn into a dumping ground for stuff that you want to keep, but you don't know where it should go.
If that's the case, this mission is a good time to move these things to where they really should go in your home, and find storage spaces for them elsewhere, beside in the dining room.
I hope by doing some of these other missions first, that we've worked on all week (and that I'll list below), you can make fast work of today's mission to finish off decluttering your dining room.
But, it will take however long it takes. It really depends how much stuff you've got in there, and how long you've spent on other missions throughout this room, and throughout your home.
Just take it in 15 minute increments, doing as many rounds as you feel up to at a time, and cleaning up frequently, so there's never too much mess that makes it seem worse, before it gets better.
You can check out my instructions for how to not get overwhelmed when decluttering, and how to keep from making a bigger mess as you declutter, in this article.
Here are the missions you should make sure get done, to make today's mission of decluttering your dining room easier:
First, clear off your dining room table.
Next, declutter table linens, such as tablecloths and cloth napkins.
After that, declutter china and silver that you no longer want, if any.
You may also need to declutter excess serving dishes.
Finally, clear out anything else inside your china cabinet or hutch, or other similar furniture you've got in your dining room, that you don't want to keep anymore.
Once you've done all those things, you'll be most of the way there, if not all the way, toward decluttering this room, and can finish up anything else today to get this task completely accomplished!
Below I've gathered photos from readers who've already done this mission, to hopefully get you inspired to tackle this task for yourself.
This before and after, above, is from a reader, Adrianne. She explained that she was getting a new piece of furniture and therefore had to get the room decluttered. She said, "We are getting a 'new' (upcycled) buffet for the dining room today delivered at 3:30. The top was the dining room this morning, bottom is dining room at 3:15! Lots of work but well worth it!"
Below is another before and after, from Laura. I know the top before image is blurry, but it's such a dramatic transformation I still wanted to show you!
Laura said about the before picture, "The 'before' is a bit blurry - I was so excited to get started." In regard to the after photo she said, "The 'after' looks a little calmer. Eight bags of clothing, blankets, hats and gloves have left the room this week for refugees in France and Greece. Four bags of stuff are going to a local charity shop. Things have been decluttered, tidied and ordered. And, it's looking a huge deal better than it has done in the last few months."
Below there's a couple of after photos from Schelly.
Schelly said of the top photo, "Dining room. This is just one side. I'm happy with it. Less clutter. I don't have a before." She continued, explaining the bottom photo, "Other side. This desk came from his grandma when she passed away and the little bear in chair is made from his uncles lab coat and the flag is from his dad's funeral last year and the dog crate is Wesker's, he has separation anxiety bad and this is his safe zone and he likes it by a window."
Finally, below is a photo of some of the items one participant decided to declutter from the dining room.
The photo above is from a reader, Pat, who said, "Decluttering dining room and living room. The items here (except furniture) will be packed for donation."
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!
If you haven't already, make sure to also check out 52 Week Organized Home Challenge article that this mission is designed to be a part of, all about how to organize your dining room.
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Share Your Comments, Tips & Ideas
I would love to hear from you, sharing your thoughts, questions, or ideas about this topic, so leave me a comment below. I try to always respond back!