How to Organize Your Dining Room in 5 Simple Steps

The dining room table can be one of the most challenging areas in your home to organize, precisely because you use it all the time…maybe just not to eat. A large, flat horizontal surface is so very attractive, especially if the counters and chairs are already covered. Today you get to see a realistic dining room organizing project.

We’ve moved on to our fourth organizing challenge this month: living spaces. If you’ve just joined us, we have organized the kitchen, storage spaces, bedrooms and closets so far. You can join my free Facebook group to join in the discussion and post your own entry to the challenge this week.

Back to the dining room. I want to give you hope and a plan. The SORT and Succeed system works to get you organized in just a few hours. This dining nook has a lovely table that does more than its fair share of storage.

dining room before and after (1)

dining room before and after (1)

We had already decided to dedicate this appointment to organizing this area. But we also knew that in order to get this space organized, we also had to spend a little time on the kitchen counters, the basement pantry, a part of the adjacent closet, and we had to be prepared to work on some papers, too.

Just a little reminder on the SORT and Succeed process:

  1. Start with a written goal, in this case to organize the dining area
  2. Group things into categories. We generally had pantry food and paper here.
  3. Reduce, release and reset. In order to find room for this food, we actually spent an hour reducing and releasing the expired food in the pantry. We then spent a bit more than an hour power-sorting through papers. Many of them had sat in that alcove for a couple of years, and so we were able to get two really, really big bags out to recycling.
  4. Once we cleared the table and cleared several empty cardboard boxes out to recycling, we were able to tweak the table, setting it with some seasonal decor. Gosh, it feels nice to make things pretty.
  5. Succeed and celebrate! In this case, taking the lovely “after” photographs is only part of the celebration. The client was looking forward to having her friend over for dinner later that week. That’s a true win-win.

Ready for the after?

dining room before and after (1)

dining room before and after (1)

You’ll notice that this isn’t a picture-perfect magazine spread. My clients are gracious in allowing me to show reality, not necessarily Photoshopped perfection. But with about 3 hours of focused work, using the same five steps that we use, and maybe with some help, you can get these kinds of results, too. You know those magazine spreads aren’t real, right?

How to Organize Your Dining Room in five simple steps

This is a real example of what you can accomplish in an afternoon of organizing in a real home. I hope it inspires you to follow through on the SORT and Succeed system and get through one of your own organizing projects today.

Organizing Your Home with SORT and Succeed book