Why do I need a mom hack for the kitchen table? Keeping any surface in our house clean for any length of time is a challenge. It’s like the newly-cleaned counters and table tops scream:
“Look! There’s a space to put your junk here! Oh, the floor? Sure, throw some things on the floor, but put something sticky on me too!!”
I don’t really have anything to help with that, but I have found a mom hack for the kitchen table to keep it clean…er:
I bought a clear plastic cover for my table (probably from Wal-Mart). The plastic protects the table from spills, stains, and scratches. Putting a clear plastic cover on my table is functional, but not very pretty. The mom hack for the kitchen table is to put a tablecloth under the plastic cover, and then duct tape the covers to the underside of the table. Taping keeps the plastic on the table; this is especially important for cleaning purposes. I am able to put decorative tablecloths over the plastic one to enjoy the current holiday season, and I can simply move the tablecloth out of the way if I know the kids are eating something dangerous (something with tomato sauce, for example).
Clear plastic cover protects the table and the tablecloth underneath.
Clear plastic cover allows a nice table cloth to be seen, but not soiled.
A table cloth over the plastic allows us to decorate according to the season.
Another mom hack for the kitchen table is to use cloth napkins.
I realize the thought of even a little bit of additional laundry makes you cringe inside, but hear me out.
My kids don’t use napkins if they can help it; they wipe on their shirts. Sometimes their shirt is so dirty after school, I tell them “Go upstairs and change your napkin!”
When we’re all gathered around the kitchen table (under my watchful eyes), they’re forced to use a napkin. Unfortunately, when they use paper napkins… they primly wipe once, then discard the napkin. Then they grab a fistful of napkins for a second pass across their chatter box. It’s just wasteful. And inevitably, half of those napkins end up on the floor (where they instantly become invisible to everyone in the family except for me).
Cloth napkins cut down on waste.
Cloth napkins are reusable if they don’t get too dirty during the meal.
Cloth napkins save us the money we would normally spend on a SAMS package of paper napkins.
Plastic covers are an inexpensive way to keep an expensive item from looking like… well, the rest of the unprotected house furniture. Putting a nice tablecloth under it ensures that your table will always look like somebody cares. If you decide to try cloth napkins… Pro Tip: Keep a box of tissues nearby, so the kids don’t wipe their hands with what they just used to wipe their nose.
Send me your mom hack for the kitchen table in the COMMENTS section below!