How can you tame those piles of papers on the dining room table or kitchen counter?
Dining room tables can be a clutter trap. In my home, my dining room table isn’t just used for eating picturesque family meals: it’s a workhorse. It’s a mail collector, homework station, coloring station, an alternate work station, a place to sit and read, or wrap birthday presents. Keeping clutter off the table so it’s ready for eating can be a challenge for anyone, so here are a few tips for keeping it clear.
Have a Landing Zone
Designate a place in your home near the entrance where you can sort, shred, recycle and handle all your mail. (You may have a separate place where you pay bills and actually process the mail, but you need a drop zone near the front door.)
Some of my clients keep their table set all day so that when family and kids come through the room, they don’t drop stuff on the table. Make sure you USE the dining room table for its purpose. If you need to ditch the fancy table with all its leaves and create a more comfortable seating area that you will actually use, do so. If your table is in use all the time for eating, it won't get cluttered.
Avoid Having Table "Coffins"
I call any catch-all container that accumulates stuff throughout the days, weeks or months, and never gets cleaned out a "coffin." We all have them. Cute baskets from the organizing store purchased with great intentions, but that end up keeping items until they "die." Remove that type of tray or decorative plate from near the kitchen table - it will collect, and collect.
Use Hooks Near Your Home Entrance
Hooks are an easy way to keep coats, purses and bags off the table or floor. I’m a huge fan of hooks over using a coat hanger in a closet.
Keep your Horizontal Surfaces Clear
Just because something is flat doesn’t mean it is a storage space. Same for the dining room table or kitchen counters: create a drop zone elsewhere.