Deep Cleaning Your Table/Dining Area

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You’ll notice this week isn’t necessarily a whole room. Homes vary a lot. Some small apartments may have just a nook in the kitchen. Open floor plans may have a corner in a wide space. You get the idea. The goal today is to take control of that space and make it shine.

By now you know the drill, so grab your earbuds and load up your audio entertainment or gather the troops and make your plan.

Round up your supplies, which are the same as the last few weeks, except you may want to add paste wax if you want to do an especially thorough job on a wood table that needs some extra love. (See cleaning an extra grimy table for details).

Gather your Tools

  • A vacuum with a soft bristle attachment and an edge tool if you have carpeting
  • Window cleaner and paper towels or newspaper
  • If you have wood furniture polish and an applicator (rag) or paste wax (as mentioned above)
  • A stepladder or sturdy chair
  • Maybe a screwdriver (standard or Philip’s head, that’s the cross-type, depending) I really like the ones that you can flip the tip out for small jobs. They aren’t the best for big jobs though they will work for our purposes, which is usually just removing a light globe or tightening something loose we find while cleaning.
  • Appropriate floor cleaner if you have tile or hardwood
  • Dilute degreaser
  • If you have allergies, grab one of the masks we’ve been wearing everywhere. We’re going to raise some dust in the next hour or two. You’ll have a much better afternoon/evening.

Make Room to Work

If your household is anything like mine, horizontal surfaces are dumping grounds. Your first job is to clear the decks. (Not the literal deck, we’re talking metaphorical ones.) Find a permanent home for every orphaned item temporarily camping out on your table or other flat surfaces.

As always, we work top to bottom, left to right, wet to dry. There is a method to this madness. We knock the dust down and get rid of it. If we worked in any other order, we would be sending dust flying and sticking to damp things, undoing our work.

Clean the Light

So, start with your light fixtures and/or fan. Clean those light globes and replace any dead or missing bulbs. You can get used to living in a dim place and you’ll truly appreciate the light when it does shine.

And while we’re talking about light, every time I tell you to clean your light fixtures, I think of this lovely story by Dr. Bertice Berry, one of my favorite people to follow on Instagram.

I find it a good thing to roll around in my head regularly and when I’m cleaning up and letting the light into my home is just as good a time as any.

Dust Top to Bottom

So, now that you’ve finished your light fixture/fan, knock down any cobwebs and dust the top of any tall furniture like china hutches or book shelves.

Dust any drapes or remove them to be cleaned/washed. Use the soft bristle attachment on your vacuum if you’re vacuuming. If you have blinds, dust, then open them fully. Wash your window(s) if you have them.

Dust any picture frames or art.

If you have furniture like a china cabinet, buffet, etc. Dust and organize these working from left to right.

Thoroughly clean your table and chairs. How you approach this job is going to vary depending on what your table is made of and what kind of people you typically feed. If you have small children. I’m sorry, you’re going to be there a while, thems the breaks.

I hate chair slats, but the soft bristle attachment can usually get most of the crumbs that get caught in them.

Don’t forget to give the legs of your table a good look, too. While you’re down there, take a quick peek up at the underside of your table if you have kids and make sure none of them have added any gum to the fun. If so, scrape it off.

And the Floor, Dry to Wet.

Now comes our fun trip around the baseboards. You know the drill, soft bristle attachment, followed by crevice tool if you have carpet. If you don’t, just one trip with the soft bristle attachment should do, unless they are really bad. If they are grimy, a rag with a dilute degreaser should do the trick.

Rehang any curtains or drapes.

If you have carpeting or rugs vacuum those thoroughly. Finally, if you have tile, linoleum, or wood. sweep and damp mop as appropriate for the flooring.


You just finished week six, you are over a third and nearly halfway done. Your home is starting to feel different now, isn’t it? Let yourself enjoy this.

Take stock in what you’ve accomplished so far:

And today, you knocked out the dining room/area. If you think about it, these are the major areas in most homes. If you use the chore routine linked to that sticky note above, you’ll be able to keep these areas in good shape without herculean effort. Good habits make lighter work, and it’s annoying but true.

See you next week!

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3 thoughts on “Deep Cleaning Your Table/Dining Area”

  1. I have little ceramic houses – don’t be picking on those. And I have lots and lots of books. And nicknacks. Dusting is such a thrill… and doesn’t happen often.

  2. You rock. I definitely need the rinse and repeat. I read your stuff and say YES. But then self will kicks in and I don’t do anything except moan about clutter.

    Hugs for being that lighthouse for me.
    Shelley Kaufman-Young


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