Nine Steps to a Beautiful Dining Room Table

Dear FlyLady,

Newbie here, off to a good start. I know everyone has those items they find themselves staring at with no clear strategy on how to tackle it. One of the worst problems I have is the dining room table which is in the front of the house. It’s the dumping ground for mail, kids school notices, statements, the “to shred or not to shred” stuff, toys, even clothes…ugghh.

Any advice? Thanks for the help.
You’re the light at the end of the tunnel.


Dear Lora,

Next week we are in Zone One. We all just want the facts. Tell me what to do and I will do it. The problem is you are procrastinating. You need 3 boxes labeled Give Away, Put Away, and Throw Away.

1. Take everything off of the table and put in a laundry basket.
2. Put a pretty vase or table cloth on it after you dust it.
3. Now get a cool glass of water and take the basket to the living room.
4. Set your Sorter up in front of you. Sorting 6 inch at a time.
5. Set your timer for 15 Minutes and work fast; no thinking just sorting.
6. Most of the papers are trash/recycling. Toss them in Throw Away Box.
7. When timer goes off take Put Away items and run around the house and put them away. Put trash in shredder or recycle bin
8. Take a 15 minute break
9. Set your timer again and repeat till the basket is empty.

One word of warning! Don’t get sidetracked! Stay focused on the Basket. If you can’t find places to put the items that are in the put away bin; just get them close to where they need to go.

Now I am going to tell you how to keep this pile from happening again.

1. Process the mail as soon as you get it. Most is trash! Put trash in recycling to shred.

2. Keep a trash can in each room of your house.

3. Make your Dining Table a “NO PILE” Zone. Keep it pretty!

4. When you hear yourself say; I don’t have time. Set your timer for 2 Minutes. Never put anything down to do later. That is also a signal to set your timer for 2 Minutes.

You can do this! Take the Clean Dining Table Challenge. When you get it done send me a picture of your beautiful dining table. Send the picture to with I DID IT in the subject line.

You can do it! Put beautiful vase on your table. Stand back and smile!


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