How to Organize the Dining Room and Keep it That Way!

Follow these simple steps to organize the dining room and keep it ready anytime!

how to organize the dining room

The dining room is the designated place in the house for family and guests to sit down, socialize, and enjoy a good meal. Therefore, it is important that you keep it clean and organized.

There are two types of dining room.

First, a formal dining room where it is only used for meals when guests are around

Second, a casual dining room, which is being used every day by the family.

In homes that can accommodate both types, the casual dining setup is usually in the kitchen – a small dining table or a kitchen island is used.

In homes with limited space (like ours), the dining room is used every day, with or without guests.

Whether you have a formal or casual dining room, both need to be organized. Nobody gets to enjoy a good meal when the surroundings is cluttered!

So, here are tips to help you organize the dining room and keep it in order!

Let’s get on with it!

Dining Room Organization Ideas

1. Divide the room.

Most homes do not have a wall between the dining area and the living room, or between the kitchen and the dining room. It’s just this one big space.

If this is the case, consider dividing the room. This will let your family eat in peace even when unexpected guests show up and you have to use the living room.

Simply use a wall divider. If you need more storage, get a huge open shelf or cabinet and let that serve as a divider.

If you do not mind exposing what is going on in the dining area or in the kitchen, consider making use of a kitchen island, a bar, or a sideboard to divide the room. This will give you more storage and surface to use when hosting a party.

2. Store all your partyware in the dining room.

Prepare more efficiently when you are hosting a party. Store everything you need to set up in the dining room.

These include the plate mats, napkins, candles, centerpieces, table cloths, special dishes, special glasses, etc. This way, when you need something, you do not have to leave the room and you’ll finish setting up faster.

how to organize the dining room - store all your partyware in the dining room
Image from Suburbs Mama

Storing things this way is very helpful when you have unexpected guests over and you need to set up the dining room quickly while entertaining them.

3. Get a buffet sideboard.

Not all dining rooms come with built-in storage. This is where a sideboard comes into place – as additional storage.

The flat surface of the sideboard allows it to double as a buffet table to put more food, so you can have more space on the table. When not in use, you may display decorative items here too.

how to organize the dining room - get a buffet sideboard
Image from Ballard Designs

4. Maximize wall space.

If you have a lot of wall space in the dining room, maximize it for more storage.

For example, turn the wall into a mini library by installing built-in bookcases. The books you have can even turn into a conversation starter among your guests!

If you are not fond of books, install open shelves or add built-in cabinets for additional storage.

how to organize the dining room - maximize wall space
Image from Boca do Lobo

5. Add a storage bench.

If you have a window in your dining room, you can place a storage bench beside it. It will give you extra seating space than what your dining table can accommodate. And that’s perfect when you have guests!

It can also turn into a reader’s nook. Plus, it provides storage space to put away and organize the knick-knacks that somehow end up in your dining room.

A storage bench is a very useful hidden storage option for school supplies and art supplies when you also use the dining table as a place for your kids to do their homework. You may also store your placemats there since placemats are best laid flat when kept.

how to organize the dining room - add a storage bench
Image from HomeISD

6. Ditch the China cabinet.

China cabinets can be very bulky and these take up a lot of space. Plus it is really advisable to just keep one to two sets of special China to lessen the clutter.

If you need more space, consider displaying your China in something slimmer like floating shelves in the wall or on the surface of a sideboard. This way, you get to still display your good China while having more room for extended seating.

Take note though that it is better to display your China openly if it goes well with the interior design of your dining room. If it does not match, it is probably best to keep them in a glass case where they can blend in with the rest of the interior.

7. Invest in a rolling bar cart.

If you have guests that come over for drinks or coffee and you have no space to install a minibar, why not invest in a rolling bar cart instead?

Modern models look classy and this will help you tend to your guests without having to get up from your seat all time.

A rolling bar cart also will not limit you and your guests in the dining room. You can easily bring the party in the living room, on the porch, or in the backyard!

8. Keep it simple.

Remember, a dining room should be able to accommodate more than your family.

If you keep placing things and furniture in it, the room can get crowded and feel stuffy when you have guests around. Instead of enjoying the meal, they may feel uncomfortable.

Make sure that there is a lot of space left for more seating and movement.

keep it simple
Image from Decor Trendy

How to Maintain Order in the Dining Room

What’s the use of learning how to organize the dining room when you’re not going to keep it in order?

So here are tips to help you maintain the orderliness in your dining room. Basically, the only thing you need to do is keep the clutter away. Here’s how!

1. Decorate the table when not in use.

Clutter will not accumulate on the dining table since family members will think twice before leaving items on it – especially if it is done beautifully.

Lay out a fine table cloth, then place vases or candles on the surface. You can also show off an indoor plant. Do this only if you do not use the dining table for other activities.

decorate the table
Image from Sarah Joy

2. Clear the table right away after using it.

clear the table after using it

If you’re using the dining table for other things like helping the kids do their homework or using it as a desk when you work from home, make sure everyone clears the table before they leave it. And be strict about it!

This will help everyone be disciplined and leave the table ready for entertaining at any time.

3. Set up a filing system for papers somewhere else.

Paperwork like mail, bills, receipts, coupons, magazines, newspapers, and the likes are common items that end up piling in the dining room.

Get rid of that clutter by keeping these items out of the room. Set up a filing system for them so they have their “official” home in your house.

You can have it in the entryway. Or, if you want to keep these things hidden from your guests, put it behind a cabinet drawer. If you have a home office, better keep it there too!

4. Set up a mudroom locker in the entryway.

Your dining room often becomes the place for everyone to leave their things when they arrive home – especially if it is a room you have to pass through to get to the kitchen.

You can avoid this from happening if you have a mudroom locker in the entryway. This gives everyone a place to leave things by the door when they come home and gives you fewer things to clear up.

5. Declutter and clean regularly.

This is the most important! Declutter and clean up regularly.

Declutter every 6 months to keep track of what you own and whether you really need them. Then do minor cleaning every week and have a major cleaning session when you declutter.

You can do it!

These are just simple steps you can do to organize your dining room. But if you follow through, little by little you will reap the rewards of your efforts – a clean dining room – a nice place where you can gather together during meals and other activities.

Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed about keeping your dining room in order, remember to do it just one step at a time. Always keep in mind that you can do it! And when you’re clueless about what to do next, simply refer to the ideas in this post.

Need more organization tips for your home? Check out our page on Organize Your Home!

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Follow these simple steps to organize the dining room and keep it in order  and ready anytime!

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