tea cup on dining table
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Virginia Wells

Is Dining Table Clutter Keeping Your Friends Away?

Is dining table clutter affecting your social life? Is it covered in piles of paper? Perhaps the clean washing gets dumped on it for folding….  or it may even be the landing pad for bags, keys and miscellaneous junk.

It’s a flat surface. It’s a common space to become a dumping ground. Trust me. But all of this stuff, means we are too embarrassed or ashamed to have our friends and family over for dinner or a cuppa.

If this sounds like you, here are a few tips to help you keep it clear and use it for its intended purpose.

Tips to clear your dining table of clutter

1. Look at what’s accumulating there – is there a common theme?

Is it papers? Laundry/washing? Bags, wallets, keys? Crafts?

Sort through the pile to find common themes. Do this by grouping ‘like’ items together, e.g. all papers, all crafts etc.

2. Consider why they find their way to the table

Contemplate why these items make their way onto the table. Often it’s because there’s no other ‘home’ for it in your house. Other times, it’s because it’s convenient and this is where it works for you to have it.

It could be because you hate filing or ironing so it sits there taunting you.

Thinking about why it is there will let you know if it’s because another area of your home needs decluttering, re-organising, or a system in place… or for another reason entirely.

3. Create a long term solution

There are many ways to go about this depending on the items and the reason why they are there. Your creativity will help you come up with great solutions. Here are some examples of what you could do, to get you started.


If you find that papers accumulate in your dining/kitchen area, don’t despair! This is common. Instead of fighting it, why not create an action station which may be as simple as an in-tray on the table/nearby shelf.


Find a place to hang/place these items as you come in the front door. If there is no space for this, perhaps have a basket on the table/nearby shelf to put these items. You’ll be able to find them easily and hide them away quickly if needed.


Generally washing ends up on the table because it’s a great surface to fold and sort the washing, and it’s a reminder to do it! If you can’t fold it up immediately, see if you can store them elsewhere out of the way, e.g. in a washing basket in the laundry. In this instance, make a note on your To-Do List to get it done. In the meantime, it’s out of the way. Alternatively, if you have children (who are old enough of course), put their washing at their spot at the table. They don’t get to have afternoon tea/dessert unless they fold and put away their clothes. They could get a star if they fold yours/dad’s too.


Maybe your table is covered in crafts because you do your crafting here. What if you didn’t resist this? Perhaps it’s about finding a storage solution in the room to pack your crafts into once you’re finished. Or you could dedicate a new, more appropriate space in the home for this activity if it’s just not working for you and the family.

Hopefully, these tips will get you well on your way to dealing with dining table clutter so you can get your friends and family over for dinner. Enjoy!

If it’s not working for you, or you’ve tried 1000 times already and it’s still a mess, give me a call to book a session and we’ll uncover what’s blocking your dinner flow.

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