In a recent poll we did of our neighbors we found that the majority of people find their Kitchen Table is their biggest problem area around the home. We want to give you some ideas on how to reclaim your kitchen table again!
Some of the most common items we see on kitchen tables include – mail, food storage, homework, clothes, toys, crafts, and so much more.
Whether you eat every meal at your kitchen table or it is really just there for rare occasions having a clean and clutter free table can make a big difference in your home and how it makes you feel.
Give your Kitchen Table One Job and Purpose
Let’s talk about why this happens… how does the table just get dumped on all of the time? First, the kitchen table is often used for a variety of things from meals, to bill paying, homework, craft projects, and even just a cup of tea with a friend. With so many duties to uphold it can be difficult to have a clear purpose and therefore the table becomes a catch all. If you have the ability to have clear and distinct places where all of these “other” things can happen I encourage you to start by utilizing them. When we can reclaim the kitchen table specifically for eating it creates a change of energy around the purpose of the table and it begins to be respected a little more for its specific task.
However, if you are unable to make that happen, what do you do?
Make small adjustments to your habits
First, let’s try to see if we can implement new places for some of these things to happen. Of course, we must keep in mind that you and your family are NOT going to be able to drastically change your habits without a lot of reason and force driving that change to happen. This being said, we encourage small adjustments that can assist.
- Find a permanent home for some the things you regularly find on the table.
- Create a routine around a daily clean up and declutter for the table.
- Resetting the table after each meal helps to keep other things from finding their way on the table
- Have a central piece to hold the regular tables items – Salt, pepper, napkins, etc.
- Keep a garbage near by – many of the things on your table ultimately end up there anyways.
- Keep a catchall bin that gets gone through every evening or morning
Clothes: If you find there are always coats, sweatshirts, shoes, etc on, under, or neat the kitchen table we encourage installing a set of coat hooks on the way to the kitchen. We say on the way to the kitchen because if your kitchen is far from the door everyone enters from and the coats still end up there, that means you and your family are in the habit of not taking everything off until you are well into your home. If you tried to put coat hooks at the door they would most likely continue to go unused and stuff will continue to pile up on the kitchen table. Additionally, under wherever you put the coat racks try adding a place for shoes — basket, shoe rack, tray, etc.
Mail: If you are constantly finding bills, coupons, circulars, etc sprawled the first best thing you can do as a small adjustment is to add a small waste basket or recycle bin near the table. This way as you are sitting there you can simply toss stuff away. Ultimately, you will want to try and create a new separate area for the bills. Perhaps you can just hang something on the wall near the kitchen table so you can stay in the same location. Our biggest suggestion when it comes to mail is to open everything up immediately and to throw away as much as you can. The key is to touch things as few times as possible. Also, going paperless on as many things as possible is key! We love autopay if you can make it work for you.
Food: There are generally two reason snacks pile up on the table — A) there is no room in the cabinets or B) it is too “difficult” to put it back. If the food piling is because of (A) it is absolutely time to go through the cabinets. Far too often we have expired, half eaten, or food that no one even likes in the house. You need to go through your cabinets – I am sure there will be room when you are done. If the piles are because of (B) perhaps considering moving some stuff around in the pantry or cabinets. You can create a basket on the counter, or even on the table to hold every day snacks, but keep it small because it can quickly get out of control. I have seen the snack bowl, similar to the fruit bowl sit on the table, with things like bagged nuts, granola bars, chips, etc.
Please let us know what you thought, if this covers some of the areas and problem types of your home. We are happy to offer up more suggestions and examples if you have questions on how to make your home work for you!