How To Organize Your Dining Room

The holidays are right around the corner and for most of us, it is the one time of year that we use many of the items in our dining rooms. In order to organize this space, you'll want to start with some type of storage.

Buffets, sideboards, or hutches are great but they aren't the only options. You can repurpose an old dresser, armoire or just about any piece of furniture with storage to organize your serving pieces. Have a piece of furniture that is old or outdated? Furniture can be completely changed with a fresh coat of paint, a change of hardware and a little creativity. It may even end up becoming the focal point of your room.

Let's move on to those tricky items that are usually kept in your dining room. But before we do that, I do want to mention that when you are organizing any space, it is a good idea to purge before you organize. Be realistic about how many options of each item you need and how often you entertain. Remember that the goal is not to cram as much as possible into your space, but rather to store things in an organized manner, so you are able to find them when needed and keep them protected when not in use. Onward!

1. Tablecloths: If you are lucky enough to have the closet space, hanging them is best because it keeps them wrinkle free. Any hanger will do but tiered pant hangers take up very little room. If closet space is unavailable, your tablecloths can be folded or rolled on mailing tubes and stored neatly in a drawer or on a shelf. Safety pin a tag to each one with the size and shape to make finding the one you need much more efficient.

2. Placemats: Placemats are best stored flat so they don't curl or have creases when you go to use them. They can be neatly stacked in a drawer or on a shelf. If space is limited, an undershelf placemat holder is another option.

3. Cloth Napkins: Cloth napkins are best folded and store well in a drawer or basket so they don't topple over. Binder clips are handy for keeping a set of napkins together and make grabbing them easier.

4. Napkin Rings: Napkin rings store well in drawers. I like to use drawer dividers to keep them sorted but storing them on paper towel tubes is another option.

5. Silverware: Many hutches come with a flatware storage tray built into one of the drawers. If you don't have one, they can easily be added. Other options include a flatware storage box or flatware storage rolls.

6. China: If your china matches your decor, it is a lovely thing to display. Use easels to place some of the plates upright. This will bring height and variety to your grouping. If you don't have a place to display your china, it can be stacked creatively in a cabinet or stored in quilted storage cases.

7. Stemware: Stemware is another item that is pretty enough to display if you have a place to do so. If not, they can be stored on a shelf or in a stemware rack. If you are using a shelf, alternating them right side up and upside down will make the most of your space. Another option is to take advantage of wall space by using floating shelves that are specifically made for stemware.

8. Silver: Do not store silver in plastic bags because they trap moisture which not only accelerates tarnishing, but can also cause pitting. Instead, use silver keeper bags and anti-tarnish strips.

9. Platters: Platters can be used for display with plate stands or stored vertically in a cabinet, making them much easier to access.

10: Centerpieces: Centerpieces are bulky and need to be covered to keep them from dust. Use a white trash bag labeled with a sharpie. Cover your centerpiece and place it on a shelf in a basement, garage or other storage area.