Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,336
Registered: ‎06-10-2015

@QualityGal ............I thought about that being a large heavy dinning room table, but just threw out that idea.  I have the same problem with my kitchen island, drives me nuts, but Im living with it.

Dear God
Grant me the wisdom to know when to keep my mouth shut.
Thank You Amen
Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,090
Registered: ‎03-12-2010

Re: Need mastermind help...

[ Edited ]

Is the dining table near your entry? Is the table used for other purposes, like a desk, project table,or is it's main function to collect stuff?

In every one of my homes, even when I was living with a husband and two sons, nothing was ever dropped on any dining tables. Just never allowed that habit. In many homes the DR table is one of the first things you see upon entry. That would drive me crazy!


First: if you are an offender, you must work on yourself to achieve the desired result.

I enter my home through the garage, so junk mail never enters my home. It goes directly into the recycling bin out there.

Next, I deal with mail as it enters the house- open it immediately at the kitchen table. I have a drawer, basket or bin dedicated to bills and mail. Bills, etc, go right in the basket so nothing is lost before it's time to pay the bills (2x's/month) Keys and wallets also need a dedicated home that's not on that table. Same with bags, hats, gloves and misc.


The stuff should be gone through at the same time daily. I suggest right before dinner as there is motivation to do it before sitting down to eat.


I also found that having a basket on the stairs is very helpful. Many items that get dumped on the dining table probably have a home upstairs in the bedroom or bath. Get in the habit of never going upstairs empty handed, a hint I learned from a dearly departed coworker when I was first married and it has stuck.


Finally, no TV or bed each evening for everyone until that table is cleared! Keep the remote until everyone has done it. On a daily basis this is a chore that takes minutes. 

Right now it is just a bad habit that needs to be broken in the next 30 days.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 17,586
Registered: ‎07-03-2013

Is there a home for the things put on the table?  Create a home for them.  

Valued Contributor
Posts: 710
Registered: ‎07-16-2012

Divorce worked for me.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,279
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

@QualityGal , there is a runner with decor pieces on my DR table.  Nothing else.  I let the week’s Receipts collect in one spot on the counter and keep or toss once a week.  When mail comes in, I divide it and deal with it, recycle, garbage whatever.  I give my husband a pile and it if it is not gone in a day or so, I either hand it to him or put it in his closet.  He knows me well enough to deal with it.  I hate clutter.  


Don’t place anything on the DR table.  If someone else does, pick it up and make them deal with it.  Persistence matters.  Soon enough people will get the message.


Good luck!  Not easy to break habits.  LM

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,696
Registered: ‎03-19-2014

Good luck!  It seems there is always a place in your home that is the "collection" spot.  I'm so OCD about clutter that it's a non-issue for me.  I'm very good at going through everything as soon as it's received and opening the mail, throwing it away/put it in recycling/shredding it  and putting the monthly bills and other things in their own designated spots.

Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, but Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.
- Author Unknown
Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,070
Registered: ‎03-20-2012

I'm a big fan of baskets. I put one on the buffet for the daily mail. I have smaller ones to hold the charges, ear plugs, etc. I purchased a decorative multi wall hook for the car keeys and dog leashes. This worked for me. It's stuff and if it's in a contained area it doesn't annoy me. Here's my tip: find the size basket to fit the items that are essential (mail, keys, etc.) If you have a larger basket it tends to be a catch all just like the table. My husband has a tendency to see a basket and fill it up with "stuff". Drive sme nuts. That's how I came up with the method that I'm now have. I did place a larger basket in the family room where he can just put "stuff.  About once a season I have him search thru there and throw out or put away whatever is in there. Works for us I think the hardest step is finding the "center" location. You may have to try a couple of spots before you find the one that will work and get everyone on board.    

Posts: 42
Registered: ‎01-27-2012

Big issue at my house too. The piles of stuff, not mine, grow to the point I can barely set the table for dinner. Once he hears "company is coming" the stuff gets moved. Then most is back after they leave. Life is too short to make a huge fuss. I do make little fusses when it gets out of control.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,434
Registered: ‎07-20-2017

@QualityGal wrote:

Well, I need some suggestions, in case you've been through this, how do you, stop a table from becomming a dumping or dropping ground in your home.  I don't want to get crazy about it, but it's beginning to bother me probably more than it should.  It is in the only area that it can go in this house and we use it to eat off of at holiday time.  So I do need to keep it.  In other words I need help, breaking this habit for both of us.  Have you solved this in your home, if so, how?  


@QualityGal   I am a neat nut so no, I do not have this problem but can easily understand how it would bother you.


First, everyone in your home needs to want to stop this habit or it won't work. A suggestion would be to place a centerpiece on the table that takes up quite a bit of space...just to start with. Then I would place a round dish, about the size of a dinner plate, on the table. This would be for things to be dropped in for a short period. This helps everyone to take this new process in steps.


Then remove the plate when a period of time passes. It will take time to get everyone into this new habit.


Good luck. 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,683
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

First, what kind of "stuff" is going on the table? Mail, keys? Put a hook by the door and hang the keys there. Recycling never comes in my home. There is a recycling can where it gets deposited.


Do you have a glass table or wood table? I have a glass table so nothing ever, ever gets put on it. If you have a table cloth on a wood table, remove it this way nothing can be put on it to scratch it.


Other than that my suggestion is find a home for the stuff or toss it.