For many of us, the dining room is a multi-purpose area, it is used for homework and in my case it is also used for teaching a jewellery class and occasionally an office, and this is especially true when I need to spread out.
I previously wrote in January, about creating homework space in your dining room. The morning launch!
My dining room table is the first large, flat surface handy when you get into the house, so my family has a habit of dumping their bags there and then having to clear them off when it is time for supper.
As a rule we all have supper together every night, except Saturday and Sunday nights, no cell phones or other electronic devices are allowed and you have to spend at least 30 minutes at the table, this is a new concept I introduced a 18 months ago and was a little difficult to enforce in the beginning but they have all learnt, my kids are older so this is a reasonable expectation, my children also discovered that they actually like each other a little!
If your dining room is the catch area for just about everything, then it is important that it be easy to clear or at least well organised. The hardest part will be training your family.
Recently when we were redoing the floors in the lounge, my dining room became the storage area for the lounge furniture and everything else we had in it and we had to eat in the kitchen on a trestle table. It was a little bit of a tight squeeze, but a fun adventure none the less and thankfully only for a few days.
What’s the purpose?
As I said, I use the dining room table for teaching my jewellery class, as the room where I keep all the beads is also part of my son’s room and privacy aside, it is too small an area to fit more than 1 person at a time (also I am embarrassed to say, it is very overcrowded and looks like a hoarders nest, so now not even one person can fit in it), I have a box to put the tools and beads that are needed for whatever project my class is currently working on, and after each class everything goes in to the box till the next class.
When I am planning the meals for my clients and for my family, I need to spread myself out; I just have to pack everything up in time for supper, so it is important that you have something to put everything into to make it easier when you need to tidy up.
If you need to keep things in the dining room, and this may be especially true for moms that home-school or in a home with limited rooms and space, I would suggest some storage that either has a door or a cover, so that when you want to use your dining room for entertaining, all the books are out of sight.
My dining room set has a matching dresser/sideboard, where I store my smart dinner service (I use a separated dinner service for Sabbath). Some people are able to store their table cloths there; others have them stored in a linen cupboard.
The cover up
When was the last time you counted your smart cutlery and crockery? Over the years I have lost a few pieces, some forks to the dustbin I am sure and plates have been broken, but what about those table cloths? Do you know how many you have? I have a few in different sizes as I have a table that can be closed down to seat 4 or opened to seat 16, I only have 12 chairs though.
Use your fifteen minutes to sort out the different sizes, to check for stains and tears that can be repaired and those that can’t.
Do you have any tablecloths for tables you no longer own? I do, so I will use my 15 minutes for that.
What you got?
Your dinner service needs looking after too, as I said, I have one service that I use only on Sabbath and then another that I use for every day, a lot of plates have chips or cracks, that make them no longer safe to use. Inspect your crockery and your drinking glasses, cups and mugs for cracks and chips, even your oven ware, a crack weakens the ceramic/porcelain and poses a risk of shattering if you pour something hot into it. I also have never bought a set of crockery for myself, I was given one set as a wedding present and I have been given my other sets by my mother in law, who no longer needs or uses them.
Do you have antique plates or cups, are they ever used or are they on display?