This month's Organizing Roundup is in the Dining Room. I don't know about you, but our dining room table is a terrible mess. It gets piled up with everything and then we have to clean it off to eat supper as a family. It's such a struggle for us, so I was thrilled to tackle this project!
Here is the dining room on a good day. Actually, I took this picture AFTER some purging. (I forgot to take a before picture.) It consists of bills, coupons, homework, and a whole bunch of other random junk... even potting soil in the window sill... We finally did some planting!
Our kitchen and dining room are combined. The house does have a formal dining room, but after Witt was born, we needed another bedroom and converted the formal dining room into Will's room (that's why this humongo table is in this little bitty breakfast nook area... besides the fact that it's the only one we have).
Anyway, as I was saying, the rooms are combined. I could easily just show you before picture and after pictures of the table and call it a day, but that's not the whole story around here. We have another "hot spot" that is almost in the dining area and it's where the other random things go when they don't fit on the table. Can you find it in the picture below? LOL!
So, here's our nasty little corner in the dining room. I bought the pretty organizer thinking it would help, but it didn't. I love it, but it just doesn't work for us here. I decided that instead of just trying to get rid of this shelf (which has crossed my mind) that I just needed to give in and make a home for the things that were already there. So, I sorted through and purged.
Yes, that is Will's Valentine's box there on the left... it fell among the purge file... shh, don't tell him, though!
After sorting, there were some distinct "categories" of stuff. Jeff's to-do items, my to-do items, coupons, writing utensils, candy, keys, office supplies, etc. All of this and more had found it's home on this little shelf and I needed a way to keep it separated and organized for easy access and clean-up. I didn't want to spend any money on this project, so I used what I already had: a few unused filing trays, tossable containers, and some of the kids' sturdy cups. Here's what I came up with:
Of course I used my label maker again!
This set-up has worked really well for us; we've been using it for about three weeks. My dining room table isn't always as empty as I'd like it to be, but with this set-up it is easily cleaned up. I can breathe now when I look at that shelf. (And in case you are wondering, yes, that is where the refrigerator is "supposed" to be. The previous owners put up a shelf there and moved the fridge elsewhere. We just never changed it back.)
In conclusion to this happy ending, here's a shot of my beautiful cherry wood table that I fell in love with over 5 years ago. Isn't it gorgeous!?!
Now for the decorating question... What color should I paint my walls? I really, really don't like this yellow/orange thing that's going on. You can see the floor tile above... kind of a natural beige and brown. With the dining room and kitchen being combined, it's a long narrow room. You can see a bit more of it here, although our appliances are all now white instead of black (thankfully!). Any suggestions? [UPDATE: To see the color we chose... click here]
Thanks to Org Junkie for hosting the Monthly Roundup! I can't wait to tackle the Master Bedroom in April! Woo Hoo! I'm hoping for a sanctuary away from kids... but maybe I'll just settle for being able to find my shoes quickly... :) You'll have to come back next month to see how it all goes!