Week 5 - Dining and Living Spaces

Week 5 - Dining and Living Spaces
Week 5 - Dining and Living Spaces

You’re into the fifth week of the challenge and you should be getting into the swing of things now. Hopefully your spaces are looking fab. This week we are tackling the dining room and living areas, which one could presume to be fairly easy to organise, but actually a lot of people do cram all sorts into sideboards and tv units and under tables, especially when they use this space for other purposes (such as the large table for sewing and office work).

As these are shared spaces, tidying and organising is going to be a challenge, but now is the time to restore these areas to their original intention. So let's get started.


Step 1: SORT

Living Areas

  • Empty all of the shelves, dividing everything into piles (keep, donate, recycle, other room.)

  • Empty any drawers or cupboards in the space. If you house your board games, puzzles and DVD's here, you'll need to sort through all of these well. Spend some time deciphering if all the pieces are actually in the box and if not, perhaps it's time to toss these out but remember these are cardboard, so they can be recycled.

  • Open your DVD boxes and make sure you have the disk. If you aren't going to watch the DVDs or listen to CDs you may have, now is the time to donate them. Charity shops will love these and perhaps your local Old-Aged Home would too.

  • If you've got a Bar or keep glasses in your living room, go through these making sure that none of them are broken.


Dining Room

  •  Sort through all dishes, crockery and decor in the area.
  • If an item belongs in another room (for example crafting and office supplies), place these into a basket so that you can relocate them to their original space later.

  • If the items are going to stay in your dining room, place these into a basket so that after you’ve cleaned, you can organise and place them back.

  • When you have gone through all glassware, serviettes, placemats, vases, dishes and everything you have in the dining room, you can move on to step two. This may yield a great deal of donations. The last time I did my dining room, I discovered items from my wedding that I still was not using 20+ years later.

  • Remember to place the items you don’t use anymore into a basket or black bag for donating. We often throw away so many things that charity shops can sell or that people need. So this is an important step.


Step 2: CLEAN

Gather all the cleaning supplies you’ll need for the process before you even begin! You may not want to, but now is the ideal time for a thorough spring clean.

  • Start by wiping down all shelves, sideboards and cupboards. Most people don't move the large furniture in these spaces very because they are heavy and let's face it, who wants to have to clean all the dust that accumulates behind them? BUT, now is the time to get this done so if necessary, get in extra help.

    • Wipe down your table surfaces and clean any light fixtures. If you have lots of wood in these areas, treat them with oils or polish.

    • Clean windows and wash curtains.

    • If you think the couches need a professional clean, organise for that to happen this week.

    • Then clean cushions and blankets in you may have in these spaces before placing them all back.

    • Wash any napkins, table mats and table cloths that haven't been washed for a while.

    • Polish any silver you may have.

    • Wipe down bowls, dishes, cutlery or glasses.

    • Make sure to check if anything is broken. If you find something damaged or broken, there is no use keeping it. See if you can re-purpose it in some way or see if you can donate the item.

    • Finally, mop or clean your floors.


    Step 3: ORGANISE

    Now is the fun part! Everything should be clean and you should know what items are necessary and will be going back into each space.

    Take your basket of things to go into other rooms and empty this now. Make sure to put things back into the correct room. You want to really get rid of the clutter so this is an important step.


    Living Areas

    • Dedicate drawers or shelves to similar items and label, label, label!

    • Keep your board games together. If the box is breaking, try purchasing a good quality new cardboard box or recycle an old container. Label these well.

    • If you have a Bar, store like drinks with like. Organise bar accessories into small containers and store your oldest liquor at the front of the cupboard.

    • Organise your remote controls making sure they all work and have batteries.

    • Store your books so you are able to see what you have.

    • Find a place for blankets.

    • If you have candles or diffusers, organise these now.

    • Label your Cables!!! Use this time to label your wires and extra cables! Our Neat Cable Labels are so easy to use and are great for that messy pile of cords at the back of the TV cabinet!!


    Dining Room

    • Designate a piece of furniture, shelf or drawer to each category. eg: Top drawer of cabinet for all serviettes and placemats and so on.

    • Use drawer dividers to organise small things like serviette rings or decor pieces.

    • Place like items with like items. eg: table cloths with serviettes.

    • If you do need to keep paperwork in your dining room because you’re short on space, then organise that too. A very useful tool is this portable filing case or look for other options to suit your needs.

    • TIP: If you notice your linens (table cloths or serviettes) are smelling or getting damaged, use a bedding bag to store these as it will keep them from getting damaged or dusty.

    Once everything is neatly packed away, make sure you’re happy with where you’ve placed everything.

    Finally, add your decor back to the table or counter tops and enjoy your new organised and clean space!


    To Remember:

    • A well loved space needs regular cleaning and sorting.

    • Remember to clean your couches and pillows regularly, especially if you have pets.

    • If you find that you are not using your items like board games, try using them as decor or storing them in the line of sight.

    • Finally, if you have things that you don't need, donate them. Pillows, Games, Old Dvd's... Hospices are always needing things so don't throw away what can be donated.


    And there you have it, you're done! See you next week when we'll tackle WEEK 6.


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