photo courtesy of Marthastewart.com
For Meals in the dining room
- Provide adequate seating for all those eating together. Folding chairs can be used and stored in a closet or other storage area afterwards. Wooden posts located on the wall of the garage can be used to hang them so they do not take up floor space.
- If remodeling, consider hardwood, attractive ceramic or vinyl floors for easy clean up.
- Cloth or paper napkins can be placed in an attractive basket, bowl or tray and serve as a centerpiece.
- Placemats are more versatile to use than tablecloths and can be left on the table as decorations or stacked in the center with a napkin basket.
- Dinnerware, flatware and serving pieces should be located in an area convenient to setting the table and replacing after clean up.
For storing related items
- Furniture used for storage should fit the size of the room. Pieces that are too large will make mealtime difficult.
- Corner cabinets are a great use of space and if large enough can store many types of items.
- Special occasion dinnerware or silverware should be kept only if used or you have sufficient space for it.
- Purge dinnerware sets that are incomplete, those you do not like or have broken and chipped pieces.
- Do not store china or other dinnerware sets that are never used away in packed boxes. If they are sentimental pieces or family heirlooms, pass them on to a family member or someone who will use or display them. If they are respectable items, demonstrate that by enjoying them and not packing them away or out of sight.
- Table cloths can be stored in shallow drawers or hung over a dowel or hanger covered with the empty roll from wrapping paper or paper towels. Slit the roll on one side and slip it over the rod. Hang it in a closet. This will prevent additional wrinkles.
- Additional linens can be stored in the drawers or shelves of dining room furniture such as chests or buffets. You may also use a linen closet if one exists.
- Consider placing a clothing chest with drawers in the dining room if no longer needed for clothing. It is ideal for linens.
- Use the dining table for craft projects or other art activities. Cover the table with a protective cloth, cutting board or plastic before using it.
- The table may be a good choice for homework if the room is good for studying. A tote with desk supplies may be used and then stored when the work is done.
- If the family needs home office space, reserving a corner of the dining room for that activity is a good use of space. Choose a table or desk that compliments the other furnishings. Some items can be stored in the furniture already there or in rolling carts and file trolleys that can be moved to a nearby closet when not in use. More details about home offices are in Chapter 21.
- If there is not space in the family room for board games and card playing, those items could be stored in the dining room for use on that table.
- Keep the tops of buffets, chests and china cabinets clear and free of clutter.
- Do not allow the table to become a dumping ground for items entering the house.
- Keep the table attractive with a centerpiece and/or tablecloth.
- Use washable decorative fabrics on surfaces to reduce the amount of dusting.
The end of the month also brings Halloween and the Trick or Treat invaders.
First you want to be sure the pathway to your door is safe. Remember to clean the driveway, sidewalk, steps and porch while it is still daylight. Fallen leaves can be slippery especially when wet so they should be removed as well as any toys, twigs, etc. Make sure this area is well lit by leaving your porch light and any other light fixtures turned on the entire time.