Friday, February 13, 2015

34 Weeks of Clean! Week 7- The Dining Room

OK, I am going to just jump in feet first and say it- I am so excited about this week's challenge.  Why, you ask?  One, we are DONE with the kitchen.  And two, because I do not currently have a dining room.  We have had many in the past but short of being just another place to hold extra stuff, they are not a good fit for our family so I am ok with our lack of one.  Dining rooms tend to be areas that only get used a few times a year and otherwise go unnoticed.  Or gets turned into a school room, but that's another post!

BUT, lest you think I got out of this week's challenge entirely, let me put your mind to rest.

I may not have a formal dining room in this house but I do have two additional storage pieces that "should" be housed in a dining room-type space.  When one moves frequently and lives in a variety of types of homes, one gets a little creative and has to think outside the box.

Actually, I am not particularly good at that, but luckily I have a few friends that are. So, let me show you a few of their creative solutions to my lack of a dining room while we tackle some clutter and clean those spaces.

Your to-do list -
  • Open up those buffets and such and declutter!  Start by taking it all out, purge what you do not need and then put it back, neatly please.

 -Yes, those are games in my "china hutch."  That piece of furniture holds a variety of things depending on which room it is in and in which house.  Currently it is in between the kitchen and living room, hence dishes, small appliances AND games.  Go with me here.  I do need the space for both, but it for sure needed to be better thought out and decluttered.  Here is the after-

Games got moved to the bottom two shelves, dishes on one and appliances on another.  Special serving dishes are on the top shelf.

 -If you have small appliances that do not get used daily, consider keeping then somewhere other than right in the kitchen. Our ice cream maker, blender, and George Foreman do get used frequently but not daily.  They are close enough to be easy to reach but do not take up limited kitchen cabinet space.  Again, you may need to think outside the box.

  -So here's the deal, grandma's china may be lovely but if it does not get used it is just taking up space.  If you use it, keep it.  If not, give it to someone who will.

 - At one point in my life I thought it was a great idea to register for 12 wine glasses and 12 champagne glasses, along with 12 of a lot of other things I did not need or use.  Eventually I gave our movers a break and passed them on (you are welcome!).  Yes, they were pretty, no they were not necessary.

 -Yes, I admittedly own several sets of dishes.  I promise I often feed large groups at a time and I use them.  ;)

My second piece of furniture, our "buffet," is now in our living room.  And no it is not a buffet.  It is actually my oldest's dresser but since it does not currently fit in her room, we have taken the mirror off of it and placed it in the living room to pretend it is a buffet.  Inside of it are things like placemats, tablecloths, and more china.

 -Yes, you CAN have too many tablecloths and placemats.  Ask me how I know.  I now have a few less.  Grandma's old "antique" one was lovely, but, with a few holes in it, I was not going to use it. Sensibility trumped sentimentality.  I think she would understand.

 -If you entertain and can justify owning glass plates and a punchbowl, by all means keep them. I will.  But if not, most churches have sets like that and are usually more than happy to let you borrow theirs.  Again, make decisions that are right for you and then be happy with those decisions.

  • Now that those furniture pieces are straight, time to make them shine!  Clean top to bottom.
  • Now is also the time to deep clean your table and chairs.  If you have one in the kitchen, sorry, but go back and hit it, too.  Not just the top, but the legs and all.  Chairs too!  Just think about how many dirty hands touch the rungs and sides of chairs.  Ok, don't think about it- just scrub! Castille soap and water are great for this job!
  • Other areas to clean- mini blinds (did I tell you I loathe mini blinds?), windows, curtains, chair rails, light switches, and chandeliers.  This is the time to get it all.
This is just to prove I DID do the silly mini blinds.  NO, I did not smile through most of f it! ;)
  • Last area, the floor.  Just like in the kitchen, work your way around the baseboards and then on to the floor.
Tired yet?  Trust me, this is probably not going to be a one-day job for most of you. It took me two days even without a formal dining room. If you do not have a dining room at all, then make that kitchen table sparkle and reward yourself with a treat.  Chocolate works great!

And now for this week's printable from Kemi at Homemaking Organized- two table setting guides,  one casual and one more formal.  This a great reminder for those of you who have been eating in the living room a little too long or to print out for your kids so they can learn to set the table for you! ;) Thanks Kemi!

One month down of challenges down!  How are you doing?  It is time to link up and show us your clean ovens and finished kitchens!  I can't wait to see what you gotten done. 

A special thank you to all who are participating with us.  Whether you are linking up, leaving pictures on our Facebook page, or just participating in the privacy of your home, we are thrilled you are with us.  This series started off as a way for our family to get motivated to take our house to a new level, but since then it has provided so much more - laughter, comradery, and new friendships most of all.  I thank you!

Until next week, blessings and happy cleaning!


  1. Wow - you sure accomplished a lot this week - your "china hutch" looks great!

  2. I have that exact same dresser in my bedroom. It tends to be a catch all. Maybe I should turn it into a buffet. Oh yeah, I almost never use the mirror that is attached.

  3. I love those hutches Michele. Our dining room is more like a walkway from the living room to the kitchen. Not much there but the table and chairs. BUT! They could use that deep cleaning so I'll tackle that this week. My husband is so thankful you got me to clean the oven. It's amazing how much better it looks. And how easy it was :)


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