THE DINING ROOM TABLE
AS TOLD BY
These comments were inspired by an article I shared from My Daily Meditation.
The article dealt with how tidy we keep our work space. However, this was written sometime prior to 2008 when we moved to the desert. Now–I still have a dining room table–but my “office” is a corner of the family room and is more cluttered than ever before. The overflow all ends up on the dining room table. But here’s what we wrote about our dining room tables a few years ago:
Ok I am guilty big time of this – my office is a TOTAL MESS; there is a lesson to be learned here, somewhere….if only I could find it.
Ha ha..now there’s just me here in the house (so) my dining room table is covered with scrap-booking projects, along with bills, etc, but I DO know where everything is. I’m organized in my clutter…and I eat in my rocker in front of the TV or radio…which I was never allowed to do when growing up! If I plan to have company for a meal, I will have to clean the table off or cover it with a cloth or newspapers…
Marge Sallee wrote:
Sharon — Your comments about your dining room table brought a big smile to my face. We must be sisters under the skin. I spend most of my time in the study, and it gets out of hand at times. But I have an ongoing battle with the dining room table. The house is laid out in such a way that the table is the command center of the house hold. I have finally trained Dorman to use a box for the newspapers when he is finished with them, so that stack usually is under control (totally absent most of the time). The mail is always sorted there and too often the File 13 items never get to the trash but linger on the table. We always have space for us to eat on one end, but if Wendy and the children come to have supper with us (often fast food that she picks up on the way over), my first response is “Give me a few minutes to get the table cleared off.” So much of the stuff is really put there by Dorman himself, but it seems to be that whatever lands on the table is MY responsibility. Now that I use the walker more, it is very hard for me to carry things to put them away. I manage. Sometimes he is very helpful and other times, I just stuff things into a bag and carry it dangling.
That table is my trial, but I haven’t been defeated yet — overwhelmed at times, but not defeated.
In a condo we have a combined dining room and living room with a large table. I have two leaves I can add to it. When I have a project I add the leaves and we eat at one end. It is always busy it seems, but if I clean it off it seems the whole place is clean.
Regarding the mail, I finally got an upright wicker basket and all mail comes in and goes into the basket. Next to the basket is a garbage can. If it’s junk mail, immediately goes into the bin. The opened mail often ends up back in the mail basket. Every 2-3 days I go through and divide the junk from the magazines from the bills etc. and file the remains. Before the mail basket – it ended up on the kitchen counter, usually while I was making supper and as in many households it became my responsibility to deal with.
I think all homes should be built with a Christmas tree closet (where the tree slides in and out – still decorated perhaps) and a mail station. In Saskatchewan we definitely require large entries. We have boots, coats and require space to store the shoes and we have more clothes than many parts of the world because of temperature changes. However, new homes are still being built with the 4X4 entry and the double closet door. I want a 10X12 entry with an attached bathroom facility and closets for coats, boots and shoes.
Here are my comments about the dining room table – most of the time when I am doing projects, I work in my office on a large folding table (that never seems to get put away) and for the past week I added a card table to work on also – because I have the stacks of old photographs spread out everywhere. When I stopped scanning old photos to take a break and work on my current photo album, I used the folding table which is actually better, height-wise, because I can sit in my chair while working.
Our office has become very crowded. I have two desks – one is for the computer & printer…and Bob’s “desk” is a drafting table. There are four bookcases in here (granted two are small) plus a filing cabinet, All mail goes onto the other desk and my system is somewhat similar to Doreen’s – I go through the mail and junk gets shredded right away-magazines are separated from catalogs and a lot of the catalogs go into the trash.. I keep bills in a kind of holder that Keara made for me years ago with decoupage photos of Savannah on the outside–and try to remember to go through them about once a week. Letters that need answering (snail mail) are to the left of my computer and there is a stack of things I am working on (writing) also on the left. On the big folding table are box lids filled with my scrap-booking stuff and stickers.
Occasionally I will move to the dining room table to work on something but it’s already a catch-all (my purse, keys, outgoing mail and anything else that hasn’t made its way to the other end of the house (folded laundry) as well as bags of things I always have filled to give my sons when they drop by (cookies, magazines, coupons). We seldom EAT in the dining room unless there is company…most of the time Bob & I sit at the kitchen table or–when he’s in the mood–we carry things down to the den. When weather is good we can carry things out to the secret garden but it seems like a lot of toting to me…I’d just as soon sit at the kitchen table, an old yellow Formica table. When I want to file recipe cards or sort receipts, I often move to the dining room to work. Mine has 3 leaves–most of the time it has either 1 or 2 of the leaves in it but even with 3 leaves, it’s a tight squeeze to get ten of us around it (Bob & I, two sons, two daughters in law, four grandchildren) – anytime we have more than that it generally turns into a buffet.
I liked Doreen’s idea of a movable Christmas tree – we have a walk in closet in the dining room and it’s packed right up to the door with Christmas stuff. Lately I have been feeling…we have way too much ‘stuff’….maybe it’s that time of the year and I need to do some de-cluttering again.
Marge Nagy wrote:
Well, gals, I don’t have to worry about my dining room table. I don’t have one! Of course there is the table in the kitchen – that seems to be where my “stuff” ends up–at least the mail. I do go through it, and throw out a lot, and then I have a pile on my computer desk that is snail mail to be answered. But there are always things on the table – things I need to read more thoroughly before I throw it out, or bills that need to be taken care of in a day or two, etc. etc. Periodically (like every 10 days or so) I try to sort through it, and even though I clear a lot out, there is still stuff there! Ha! I never was “Miss Neat and Tidy”!
I think we use the dining room table for doing things because it is so central to all that is going on in the household. If I was to set up a card-table in the basement or in one of the spare bedrooms upstairs, I would no longer be within earshot of what is going on in the house. Think of everything I would miss!
Well, it is true, the dining or kitchen table is the center of grand central station and we all do our best work where we can grab a coffee or answer the phone or the door and let the dog out or in. Just can’t shut us away with our important papers can they?