Last week we deep cleaned and organized the kitchen. This week we'll tackle the dining room. You need an organized and inviting space to entertain your guests, especially with the holidays coming up. So let's get to work!
The first step in every room is to get rid of the clutter. A lot of stuff tends to land on the kitchen table or on top of the buffet. Get a basket for each family member. Have them put their items in their basket. Ideally, you'd have each person then put everything in it's place, but if you wanted to wait to tackle the baskets until you get to the living room or bedroom deep cleaning steps, you could do that too.
On your first day of deep cleaning, you cleaned the light fixtures, vents, windows, and blinds, but now we need to focus on the other often-forgotten spaces in the dining room, such as the crown molding and the baseboards. Get out your clean dusting mitt and swipe across the crown molding first. Next focus on the walls, paying close attention to corners. Vacuum out any cobwebs. Then wipe down the top of your china cabinet or buffet. Follow that up by dusting any cabinets (tops and sides) in the room. Don't forget to dust any knickknacks. End with the baseboards.
Start by removing everything from the cabinet. Take your silver and china to the kitchen to be cleaned. Wipe down each shelf with your dusting mitt. Dust each item before placing it back into the cabinet. Repeat with each cabinet and your buffet. If you're furniture is real wood, condition the wood.
Table & Chairs
Wipe down the table. Scrub off any stains or stuck-on food. Use a plastic spatula for really tough spots. Next wipe down the chairs. Don't forget underneath the seats and the legs. Dust your centerpieces. If they can be washed, throw them in the dishwasher. Wash all cushions and table linens in the washer and dryer. Finally, set the table for the next meal to eliminate open spaces for clutter. If there are place settings on the table, you and your family are less likely to pile clutter on top.
There's a very easy way to get your silver shining again. All you need is aluminum (either a disposable aluminum baking pan or just a sheet of aluminum foil), baking soda, and boiling water. Watch this video to see how it's done.
After soaking your silver, it will look fantastic. However, you may still want to rub some polish on it with a clean sponge and wipe clean with a soft, dry cloth, just to make sure you've removed all the tarnish.
Place your silver back into the cabinet or buffet. Store silver in chests or storage bags specifically lined with fabric that helps reduce tarnishing time.
Wash China and Crystal
Put a towel in the bottom of your sink to act as a soft buffer. Place a folded dry towel on your counter for drying. Or use a drying rack. However, don't crowd your dishes. Add warm (NOT hot) water to the sink, along with your dish soap and a tablespoon of vinegar (to reduce spots). Hand wash each piece separately. Gently dry with a linen-free cloth or let air dry on your towel. Place your pieces back in the cabinets or buffet. Store your glasses stem-side down so you don't damage the delicate rims.
If you can, move your furniture out of the room so you can clean under each piece. If you have a rug, shake it out outside. If you have carpet, vacuum. If you have tile or wood floors, sweep first. Then clean your floors depending on the type of material of your floor.
Daily: Wipe down the table and chairs every night after dinner.
Weekly: Wipe down the outsides of the cabinets and buffet. Disinfect light switches and outlets. Mop or vacuum the floor.
Monthly: Dust the walls, molding, baseboards, and the top of the cabinets and buffet. Shake out your rugs.
Quarterly: Wipe down the inside of the cabinets and buffet.
Bi-Annually: Condition your wood furniture.
Annually: Polish your silver every November so it's ready for your holiday meals. Wash china and crystal before and after each use for your big family meals.
Check back here next week and we'll tackle the living room and family room. Read the entire Deep Cleaning Guide here.
Storage & organization can be tricky but it doesn't have to be with Storage Theory!