Keeping House: Working from the dining room by Emma Blomfield | Hardie Grant Books
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How to work effectively from the dining room

1 Apr 2020 | Emma Blomfield

As we adjust to working from home more and more, we've had to adapt our spaces, and intertwine our work life and home life. If you've found yourself working from your dining table as well, let the tips below guide you on how to set up your space so that you can keep life and work in some semblance of order. Click here if you want more home re-decorating inspiration. 

Working from the Dining Room Table

The blending of home and work is one we often can’t avoid, but how do you stylishly intertwine the two without a pile of papers inconveniently taking over your dining table? 

Setting up your desk is the first step. Will it be the dining or coffee table, or do you have space for a designated desk area? If it’s the former, do you have some sort of storage system, such as a buffet or sideboard, where you can put your papers away when you need to use the space for something else? If not, perhaps allocate some of your kitchen cabinet space for paper storage. You could also consider integrating your bill storage into the bookshelf in the living or dining area. 

A tidy and well-ordered home office is something that is relatively within your control (especially when following a tidy routine, see below). If your desk or home office is a mess, do you get stressed? Our physical clutter and disorganisation can cause mental clutter, especially in a work-related area, so vow to stick to a routine to ensure the mail, bills and general office paraphernalia don’t get on top of you (literally and figuratively)! 

Tidy Routines  

"A tidy house makes you more relaxed, even when it's just you at home."

You will find that a tidy house makes you feel more relaxed, even when it’s just you at home. Keeping your house tidy can be a struggle at times, especially if you live with other people, but you can utilise some routines to keep things a little less chaotic. 

Daily routine 

  • Make the bed – it doesn’t have to be complicated. Just pulling the doona over the sheets and popping a few cushions on top is all you need to commit to. 
  • Don’t leave clothes lying around. Laundry baskets hide all manner of sins until laundry day. 
  • Wash the dishes or stack the dishwasher, give the kitchen a quick sweep, and wipe down the kitchen benches before bed each night. It’s much nicer waking up to a tidy kitchen rather than last night’s dinner plates piled up in the sink.  

Weekly routine 

  • General tidy up: dust, vacuum and sweep. 
  • Clean the bath, shower and toilets. Spray and wipe down the bathroom sinks and mirrors. 
  • Spray and wipe over the kitchen benchtops and wipe over the oven and microwave. 
  • Mop the kitchen and bathroom floors. 
  • Fluff the sofa cushions up. 
  • Clear the mail and any other clutter from the hall table. 
  • Make an effort to put all the laundry away


This is an edited extract from Keeping House by Emma Blomfield
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