Here's our last month of Monday Motivations for 2012. If you've been following for the whole year, you would have cleaned and organized every room in your home and even your car. That's quite an accomplishment and deserves a prize - I'm grabbing some chocolate! You know how this works. . . below is a collection of posts from December 2011 for you to read at your leisure. Just be sure your leisurely reading doesn't get in the way of getting some work done.
Analyzing Your Dining Room:
How did your dining room function for you during the Thanksgiving holiday?
Does it need to be organized before Christmas?
For the month of December we'll check out how to organize and spruce up the dining room.
This week we'll do some brain storming about the purpose of the room
Next week we'll get our hands dirty with purging and rearranging.
The following week we'll look at storage solutions.
Our last week will cover decorating and inspirational ideas.
So, let's do some brainstorming by asking some questions. . .
1. Is this room used daily or occasionally?
2. How many people use the room?
3. What activities take place in this room? (eating, homework, crafts, home office?)
4. What items need to be stored in this room? (dishes, linens, school/office supplies?)
5. How well does the lighting function? Does extra lighting need to be added?
6. Does the room need to be painted?
7. How well does the flooring function? Does it need to be cleaned or repaired?
8. How about the window treatments? Do they need to be changed out to allow more light in or do you need to add a light blocking option to make the room more comfortable?
9. How does the room flow? Would the room function better if some of the furniture was removed or rearranged?
So, get in your dining room and check it out with a discerning eye. Pretend like you're walking into someone else's home. How do you feel in the room? A little too cozy? A little too cold and sterile? Next week we'll roll up our sleeves and get to work.
How to Organize your Dining Room:
I've never really met a dish I didn't like.
Bowls, plates, pitchers, platters. I love them all.
The problem with loving dishes is that you have to have a place to store them.
This week the Monday Motivation will be to clean out your dining room in preparation for the holiday festivities.
Where to start?
1. First, go through any piles or "stashes" you have in the room. Dining rooms tend to be a dumping ground for items you don't know what to do with simply because it is a room that is not used frequently. If you've decluttered with me before, you know the routine. . .
a. set out a black garbage bag for trash
b. set out a box or bin for sorting your items (keep, donate or sell, return to another place in the house, return to another person, needs repair etc.) Your categories can be whatever works for you.
c. as you go through your items, sort each item into the proper category ( trash, donate, repair, as well as platters, linens, serving utensils, as well as any other categories for items that need to be kept in the room)
Look carefully at each item and decide if it is really worth the space it is taking up in your home. If it's something you never use, find a new home for it - a relative, friend, or stranger might just love to have your cut glass pitcher with hummingbirds engraved on it.
2. After every item has been sorted, decide where your items will live in your newly organized dining room. Keep like items together so they are easy to find.
3. Throw the garbage bag into the dumpster, place the donate bag into your car to drop off tomorrow, and place the items to be repaired in your work area to be repaired.
Storage Solutions For Your Dining Room
If you love linens and dishes as much as I do, then you know the challange of storing all of your treasures without being overwhelmed by them.
I found some creative ideas for dining room storage that should help you get started.
Here's an idea from Martha herself. Perfect for a narrow hallway. If you don't have room for folding and storing linens, then hanging them is the next best thing. I hang my ironed linens on hangers and store them in an extra closet. That way they are ready to use at a moments notice.
I've always dreamed of having a cabinet with dowels to hold my tablecloths and runners. Hmmm. . . maybe one day.
Here's another option.
I like the idea of a small buffet near the dining table to work as a storage solution as well as a place to serve food. Drawers are my preferred choice over cabinets because they make item more accesible.
Tall china cabinets are a beautiful storage solution when you need to optimize a small space. I love how the back of the cabinet is stenciled.
Looking for other storage solutions? How about using a storage ottoman at the dining table? I like the open shelves too. This would be a perfect option if you needed to use the room as a home office/dining room combo.
If you've got something to hide - as in hidden storage - then a covered table is a great idea. I've done this very thing with filing cabinets. It worked great.
Speaking of an office/dining combo, here's a table that includes enough storage for dining and working. A quick cover - up with a tablecloth and formal dining can commence.
So there you have it. What creative storage ideas are you using?