31 Days to a Clutter Free Life: Dining Area (Day 9)

Days to a Clutter Free Life Challenge | Printable Ground Rules | Clutter Free | Home Management | Dining Area |

Day 9: Dining Area

Sharing meals together is one of the most important things you can do for your family. Believe it or not, family dinners are more important than play, reading stories, or any other family events in young children’s vocabulary development. Furthermore, kids who eat more often with their parents are far more likely to earn all A’s and B’s in school, and far less likely to smoke, use drugs, become depressed, or develop eating disorders.

I don’t know about you, but for me those are some pretty compelling reasons to make sure that my family’s dining area is ready for, well, dining. The problem in this space, of course, is that dining tables are useful for so many other things, such as homework, playing bills, doing puzzles or craft projects, or holding all the paper clutter or other items we’re just not sure what to do with.

The key, then, to tackling this space, is to make sure that the table surface is kept clear but that there are nearby storage solutions for any other uses that the table may serve.

 Objective: An open, comfortable, and inviting dining space for guests and family to gather, connect, relax, and eat together.

Assess the current situation: How is this room used right now? List all the purposes of this room. What are the biggest clutter struggles in this room? (Toys, clothing, paperwork, garbage, etc.?) How is the layout of the room working for you? What would you like to change?


Days to a Clutter Free Life Challenge | Printable Ground Rules | Clutter Free | Home Management | Dining Area |

{Get Day 9 De-cluttering Checklist here}


 1. Remove and put away any items that belong in other rooms. If necessary, use a basket to collect items, then distribute them to their proper homes.

 2. Clear all flat surfaces—dining table, shelves, buffets. Collect all items (picture frames, candles, decorative knick knacks) in one area, such as the dining room table or kitchen counter. De-clutter remaining items.

 Keep only the items that:

  • Are currently useful
  • Are in good working order
  • You absolutely love and want to display

 Do not keep items that:

  • You don’t use
  • You don’t like
  • You feel obligated to keep because it was expensive
  • You feel obligated to keep because it was a gift
  • Are constantly in your way

3. Remove any furniture that is no longer working for your space, whether it is broken or damaged or simply not a good fit for the room. Either throw it away, donate it, or sell it on Craigslist or Facebook; then, if necessary, rearrange remaining furniture to make your layout more functional.

 4. Create dedicated storage areas in this space that coincide with the way the space is used. Do you pay bills and sort paperwork at the table? Consider adding a pretty file cabinet that can hold all your necessary items for when you need them. Is this where your family does homework or crafts? Determine what items you need and create simple storage solutions that work.


Days to a Clutter Free Life Challenge | Printable Ground Rules | Clutter Free | Home Management | Dining Area |

1. Sophisticated Storage For Entertaining (
2. Ideas That Bring Everyone To The Table (
3. Classic Comfort Cube Storage (
4. Storage That Satisfies Your Cravings (
5. Mix & Match Storage Style (



  1. Alissa
    October 9 at 09:42AM

    I signed up for the 31 day Clutter Free Challenge and have not received the e-mails for day eight or nine. Thanks for everything you do and all you put out there!

  2. lorraine cordero
    October 9 at 09:43AM

    I am not getting the emails in the last two days. I look forward to them to get me motivated. I did subscribed again and nothing, and looked in my junk folder and nothing. Thank yo for putting this together this is helping me big time!!

  3. Vanessa
    October 9 at 09:57AM

    I haven’t gotten my emails the last two days either. I am really enjoying this series though! I’m purging stuff like crazy and it feels so great!

  4. Robyn
    October 9 at 11:20AM

    It’s a relief to see that I am not the only one who hasn’t received the last 2 days either. I was beginning to think I had accidentally unsubscribed! Loving the challenge and advice you are giving. The day by day progress helps the whole decluttering less stressful and more productive. Thank you!

  5. Mindy
    October 9 at 11:34AM

    I am happy to know I am not the only one who hasn’t received day 8 or day 9 emails. Really glad I am not going crazy! It’s great they are posted here so I have been able to stay on task each day. This came at just the right time for me! Thank you Ruth!

  6. Deb C
    October 9 at 04:00PM

    I have not received my last two days either, and they are so good, that I hate to miss them! Ruth, you do such a great job, and it’s obvious that you have put a lot of time and effort into this. Thank you!

  7. Kristin
    October 9 at 04:21PM

    I also did not receive days 8 or 9 in my email. Not in my junk folder either! Glad I decided to check on the website to see what was going on. And I got to catch up on the two missed days!

  8. Anonymous
    October 9 at 07:01PM

    I have been getting mine. 🙂 Awesome so far.

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