How to Declutter the Dining Room

Declutter your dining room with these helpful tips! Enjoy the space not just for eating, but also for studying, playing, and other family activities!

how to declutter the dining room

The dining room is the place where your family gathers together and share a meal. It is definitely not a place for clutter!

In some homes, a dining room is a more “formal” space to share a meal when there are guests over. Most of the time, the family gathers over a small setup in the kitchen, or they use the kitchen island to eat their daily meals.

In other homes where space is limited (like ours), the dining room is being used every day.

So, the amount of clutter in the dining room can vary from one household to the other. Nevertheless, the same principles of decluttering are applied: Remove all items, clean up, sort all items into decluttering piles (keep, donate, toss) and then organize.

I understand how overwhelming this may feel. How do you get rid of things when it seems like you have an emotional attachment to everything, and everything seems like it can still be used?

Don’t worry. This post is full of tips that will help you get started. Once you start doing the tasks on this list, you’ll see that it’s not that complicated to declutter the dining room.

Let’s first tackle the common items that you will find in there. You can start with this for an easier decluttering.

Here we go!

Declutter the Dining Room on a Per Item Basis

1. China set

We all know those households with heirloom China pieces on display in the dining room. Some households display more than one set too. These usually never get used at all!

declutter the dining room - china set cabinet
Image from Tidy House

If you are one of these homemakers who own a couple of China pieces, you probably have limited space in your cabinet and I am sure that it does not really look pretty. Unless it is an heirloom set that has been passed down to your family from one generation to the next, I say get rid of it.

One set of special China in the cabinet is enough and it will also give you more space to store things that you actually use. One set is also easier to display and simpler to look at compared to showing off multiple sets.

2. Barely used serve ware

Some households have several serving dishes, platters, trays, and bowls in different sizes to accommodate the number of guests.

declutter the dining room - serve ware extras

If you have hosted a couple of times already, I am sure you already have your favorite pieces. Keep the reliable pieces and get rid of the ones you barely use.

3. Tablecloths and napkins

Go through your stock of tablecloths and napkins. I am sure that some pieces have stubborn stains that you were not able to save.

declutter the dining room - tablecloths and napkins

Other tablecloths may be the wrong size or shape for your table. And some never get used. These are items that you need to donate or get rid of.

4. Bent silverware

Look at your silverware – are there bent or misshapen ones?

Fork tines, in particular, are easily bent. Get rid of the bent ones.

declutter the dining room - bent silverware

If you have tarnished silverware that are still in good shape, do not throw these out yet. There are lots of DIY remedies to get these back to their polished state. But if you still have a good number of silverware, you can get rid of the tarnished ones too.

5. Occasional glassware

Some glasses look very sophisticated and these are great for cocktails. But if you barely use these, what’s the point?

declutter the dining room - occasional glassware

Glassware takes up a lot of space so it is not advisable to have more than two sets in the house.

If you have a minibar set up in the dining room, transfer the occasional glassware there instead of placing these in the China cabinet. It helps to have a bar that also has storage so you can maximize the space.

6. Table decor

Your dining table does not have to be overflowing with decorative pieces. A simple centerpiece will do. Doing this will give you and your guests more room to move around!

Now if you are the type who collects a lot of table décor it is time to just pick out a few favorites. Pick pieces that you can easily use for any occasion.

Take this pallet vase for example.

table decor
Image from 1001 Pallets

It’s something that you can use all the time. You just need to keep replacing the flowers. Then use special flowers during occasions and gatherings.

7. Candles and candleholders

candles and candleholders

Candles make simple hassle-free centerpieces but that does not mean you have to stock up on the decorative ones. After all, you do not use them all the time so it will take a while before they run out, right?

Stick to keeping neutral decorative candles and candleholders. Then you can get rid of the themed ones.

8. Struggling plants

Indoor plants are a great addition to your home – but only if they are thriving!

plants in the dining room - retain only the thriving plants

If your indoor plants are actually striving to live and it shows, take these out of the dining room. It should not be on display when people are eating. Transfer it to another room while you are trying to resurrect it.

9. Gifts

manage gifts

Serving ware and kitchenware are common gifts.

Gifts can be hard to part with because we feel guilty when it comes to getting rid of something given to us. Unless the person who gave it comes to your home every time and wants to see their gifts, you should learn to be comfortable with the idea of donating or tossing what you barely use.

You can do a test run where you put these items in a bin and store them somewhere else. Set a reminder in your calendar to check these items in six months. If you find that you did not need these at all, it is safe to get rid of these for good.

How to Declutter the Dining Room

1. Take out what does not belong.

If you use your dining room as a formal place to eat around guests, chances are it turns into a room that becomes the dumping pit for a lot of items such as paperwork or outerwear.

Establish a separate station for these items so that these will not clutter up your dining room. For instance, set up a mudroom locker in the entryway or a coat rack for outerwear. And set up a file station for the mail, bills, and receipts somewhere else in the house too.

2. Add storage

You can have more than a China cabinet in the dining room!

If you are using the dining table as a space for all your kids to do their homework, or as the place you set up when you work from home, it helps to add some storage space.

Think of shelves, closed cubicles, and cabinets. This helps maintain the aura of a dining room even if you are also using it for something else other than eating together.

add storage

The added space will give you a place to store your paperwork and keep the school and art supplies your kids may need. Additional storage also means it is easier for you and your family to leave the dining table as a no-drop zone.

3. Implement an organizing system.

implement an organizing system

After you have cleaned and you have gone through all your items, think of an organizing system before putting the items back in their proper places.

For example, arrange your items by categories and place drawer organizers in the drawers.

Choose an organizing system that everyone in the house can follow for easy maintenance.

4. Make it a habit.

Last but not the least, make decluttering the dining room a habit!

The only way to maintain a clean and a new organized setup is to go through the cycle of decluttering regularly.

You can easily consume new things in a number of months and you should re-assess what you own regularly to keep the clutter at a minimum – no matter how big or small your space is.

make decluttering a habit
Image from Sparefoot Blog

Get your dining room always ready!

Although a formal dining room setup is barely used, you should not allow the room to turn into a black hole for all kinds of things. Do not wait for guests to show up at your door before you start to declutter and clean up your dining room.

It should always be ready. Not just for guests. But for you. Think of the many family activities you can do in the dining room when it’s clean and organized!

I bet you can make many great memories in there! After all, what’s the very reason you’re decluttering and simplifying your home?

It’s for you to have time for what really matters… a.k.a… family.

Need more decluttering tips for other rooms in your home? Check this out!

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Declutter the dining room with these helpful tips! Get it always ready for any activity!

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