2016 Home Organization 101 Week 3: The Dining Room

January 23, 2016

Home Organization Challenge


Welcome to week three of our 14 week home organizing challenge. Last week we emptied out and purged the pantry. With the kitchen now complete, it’s time to move on to the dining room. If you don’t have a dining room, concentrate on the area around your kitchen table.


Dining room organization is pretty straight forward. It should be a quick challenge so don’t overthink it.  The most important thing to do is empty out the space (all drawers, shelves, closets, etc) so you can start with a blank canvas. Look through the photos below & my dining room blog posts to get some inspiration before you begin. You’ll find the week three checklist at the end of this post.

If you are new to the challenge, look over the details then begin working at your own pace.  For encouragement, join our Home Organization 101 Facebook community and share your progress or struggles. Or simply look through the photos and read how others are doing. If you’re on Instagram, share your progress using the hashtag #2016abfolchallenge.  Don’t forget to print out the complete 14 week schedule and checklists below.

5.5 x 8.5

8.5 x 11


Home Organization 101 Dining Room Challenge via A Bowl Full of Lemons



For the perfect companion guide to our challenge, purchase The Complete Book to Home Organization. It includes all 14 weekly challenges as well as tons of pictures and tips that will help you organize your spaces each week. No need to log onto the computer for inspiration, this manual has it all!


The Complete Book of Home Organization by Toni Hammersley



My dining room is simple. We have a table & chairs and a buffet table that contains our dining room necessities. (My china cabinet, which contains my entertainment dishes, is in my formal living room).


Home Organization 101 Dining Room Challenge via A Bowl Full of Lemons


For maximum organization, I highly suggest purchasing a buffet table with drawers to store your things. You can also use baskets & bins. I keep a large basket under the buffet table to hold entertaining table decor.


Home Organization 101 Dining Room Challenge via A Bowl Full of Lemons


In the top drawer of my buffet table, I keep cloth napkins, napkin rings, name frames, and coasters.


Home Organization 101 Dining Room Challenge via A Bowl Full of Lemons


In the bottom drawer, I keep table cloths, table runners, and place mats. If I purchase something new, something old has to go. If it doesn’t fit in these drawers, it has to go. One in, one out.


Home Organization 101 Dining Room Challenge via A Bowl Full of Lemons


Simplify your dining room by removing the un-necessary clutter. If it doesn’t belong, remove it. It really is as simple as that.


Home Organization 101 Dining Room Challenge via A Bowl Full of Lemons



Organizing the dining room is a pretty basic process. If you have a hutch or buffet table, you can easily create a functional space. If you don’t have one, you can use a dresser.  The most important thing is to designate a piece of furniture to store everything and completely empty the space.


  • Gather 4 bins, one for each of the following (Keep, Donate, Trash/Recycle, Other Room).
  • Go through everything on the table, buffet, drawers & shelves, dividing into 4 categories. Purge as much clutter as you can.  Place the bins in another room until you are ready to re-organize.
  • Once you have gone through everything, the room should be empty (besides the furniture).  Give it a good cleaning!  Scrub the floors, table, chairs, baseboards, buffet, mirrors, windows, etc. Clean it all!

It’s time to go through everything in the “keep” category. Put the other boxes where they belong. When organizing, go through one item at a time – placing into categories (in drawers, baskets, shelves, etc).  Below are some examples of categories you can use to store things in a buffet or hutch.

  •  Disposable dishes (plates, cups, napkins, cutlery)
  •  Napkin related items (cloth napkins & napkin rings)
  •  Place mats
  •  Table Cloths
  •  Beverage drawer
  •  Seasonal linens & placemats


Here are a couple blog posts that will inspire you to get your dining room organized.

1. Dining Room Organization

2. Organizing Heirlooms & Collectibles

The 2016 Home Organization Challenge Instagram



  • Week 1 (1/9/16) – Kitchen
  • Week 2 (1/16/16) – Pantry
  • Week 3 (1/23/16) – Dining Room
  • Week 4 (1/30/16) – Launch Pad
  • Week 5 (2/6/16) – Living Room
  • Week 6 (2/13/16) – Master Bedroom
  • Week 7 (2/20/16) – Master Closet
  • Week 8 (2/27/16) – Kids Closets
  • Week 9 (3/5/16) – Linen Closet
  • Week 10 (3/12/16) Bathrooms
  • Week 11 (3/19/16) – Office
  • Week 12 (3/26/16) – Playroom/Toys
  • Week 13 (4/2/16) – Laundry Room
  • Week 14 (4/9/16) – Garage
  • Week 15 (4/16/16) – Car (Bonus Week)


Spend this week purging, cleaning, and organizing your dining room.  Share your progress on Instagram using the hash tag #2016abfolchallenge, blog about the weekly challenges, and  share your before and after pictures over at my Home Organization 101 group here.  Hold yourself accountable and finish all 14 challenges! I can’t wait to see what you accomplish.  Good luck. I’ll see you back next week for the week 4 challenge. Happy Organizing!



Disclaimer: You may find Amazon affiliate links within this post. Thank you for your support to A Bowl Full of Lemons.


5 comments on “2016 Home Organization 101 Week 3: The Dining Room

  1. Debbie says:

    Hi! Toni

    I received your fabulous book this week and are using it in conjunction with the weekly home organization weekly challenge sheets.

    It is getting me back on track. Showing your book to all my friends and family in Australia (I live in Canberra oru capital city)

    Thanks for sharing all you excellent ideas

  2. Kathy says:

    I have monthly buckets in my storage room where I keep new linens for each month. I love the change in my home each month. I don’t keep a lot of things but just a few changes.

  3. Karina says:

    I just purchased your book and I absolutely LOVE it! Very inspiring I have already started organizing

  4. Diane says:

    I just joined and live in a 2 bed/2 bath apartment. I don’t have a dining room. I have no kids. No garage. No playroom.

    Will this challenge still work for me.

    • Illoura says:

      Diane, the concept should work for any size place or situation… just choose ‘areas’ instead of ‘rooms’. Maybe you want to include going thru boxes you have in storage -maybe one week it’s just all the clothes, or all the XMas items, or all the recipes you’ve collected (paper clippings and on the computer).
      Everything can be organized, purged, cleaned, rearranged, in this fashion.
      Maybe you’d like to ADD something – such as actually finding a way to set up your recipe in a menu plan that you’ll use… but the concept should help organize and clear clutter for anything you deal with in your life.

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