From the Home Front: Tables can be dynamic and for dinner - The Buffalo News
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From the Home Front: Tables can be dynamic and for dinner

Is your dining room table dynamic? Local professional organizer Linda Groat’s is, and she recently wrote about it on her blog.

Her family’s dining room table is dynamic, as opposed to static, in the sense that it is always changing, always ready for action in ways that go far beyond gathering around it for a meal. Although that happens as well, said Groat, who runs Simply Back to Basics (

“For example, this summer it has been the point place for the assembly of two large tri-folds of photos for my son’s graduation party, the packing point for my three daughters’ overnight camp sessions, the packing and unpacking of our family’s camping trip in Canada, and this week is transitioning to the packing point for my son to go to college and the assembly of school supplies for the rest of the kids,” she posted in August.

That’s how I feel about our kitchen table. That big old wood table is used for so much more than eating breakfast or dinner. Laundry folding. Gift wrapping. Pumpkin carving. Homework doing. And, perhaps most importantly, corralling items to be grabbed in the morning.

Since kindergarten, our daughter has placed her backpack on one of the chairs at night, ready to grab on the way out the door. Other items – lunch tote, reminder notes or whatever else she needs for the day – go on the table right near it.

Of course, it helps that we have a counter with stools for grabbing a bowl of cereal. The backpack gets a chair. I get a stool.

Groat’s post got me thinking about the dining room tables of other people I know. I have been in homes where the table functions as a home office. A game table. A catchall.

I have a cousin who is crazy about scrapbooking, so you can imagine what her dining room table looks like from time to time. For a while, scrapbooking took the back seat to jewelry-making, so the table served yet another purpose.

Somehow, for family gatherings, it all magically disappears, and the table linens, china and goblets replace the crafting supplies. That table, like our kitchen table, is just a fun place to be.

Or as Groat wrote: “Our dining room table is a special spot in our home. It is a place of energy and love, relationship building and achievement of goals. It is a place of sanctuary for things which are not quite finished, and things yet to be. It is Dynamic, not Static, and definitely not empty and polished!”

“It saddens me when I go into people’s homes and their table is stagnant. I look at it, and it’s just not moving. On some people’s table, there is just layer upon layer of stuff. They’re not using it in a way that gives them life; it’s life-sucking instead,” said Groat on Thursday.

“Whereas with mine, I’m not happy sometimes when it’s out of control. I was just cleaning it up today, and I said, ‘Oh, it’s getting better.’ All the school supplies are being dwindled away, and there’s a poster I need to do something with ... but it’s beginning to look like a table where I can have a family gathering again, and it’s making me happy,” she laughed.


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