How a Dining Room Rug Changed My Life

Life Hacks

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If you have kids who eat food, you need a rug under your dining room table! I know it sounds like an exaggeration but it has revolutionized the way we clean our post-meal messes. Read on for details!

When I shared a house tour on Instagram the other day, I mentioned that choosing to put a rug under my dining room table had completely changed the stress of cleaning up after meals. Many of you wanted more information, so this post is for you!

If your kids are anything like mine (i.e. disgusting) then I fully realize that putting a pretty rug under your dining table seems like a terrible idea. Won’t it get covered in food? Won’t it be gross and impossible to clean?

While visiting a friend in Utah who had a rug under her table (where 4 small children eat every day, I might add), I asked her all these questions and more. She claimed that the busy pattern hid lots of crumb and spills and the rug was cheap enough that she didn’t care if she needed to replace it in 5 years.

I still wasn’t fully convinced but I was completely and utterly grossed out by all the crumbs and dirt that accumulated under our table every day. So I decided to give it a shot. We went to Home Goods, picked out a rug with a pretty, busy pattern that cost under $200, and rolled it out under our table and chairs.

Sure enough, it looks SO much better! I figured out that the crumbs and crap that kids drop while eating always stood out in stark contrast to our tile floors. The rug, on the other hand, has enough texture in its pile to hide crumbs and the varying colors of the pattern make for awesome camouflage.

If you have both hard floors and carpet in your house, ask yourself how often you have to sweep those hard floors versus vacuuming carpet. See what I mean? I used to get annoyed if we didn’t sweep under the table after every meal before…now we get away with vacuuming this rug just once a day! (Admittedly, sometimes less.)

If you want to try this trick, make sure you choose a rug that:

1. Has lots of colors with very little (or no) white or black. White and black are notorious for showing stains. Avoid distinct patterns like stripes or polka dots since those don’t camoflauge stains as well as abstract prints.

2. Has a fairly deep pile. Sure, that means that vacuuming takes a little more elbow grease but the camouflage potential is epic.

3. Isn’t expensive. Don’t expect to keep this rug forever! If you vacuum daily and get it cleaned every 6-12 months then any rug should last a good several years. Dining room rugs take an extra hard beating, however, so definitely don’t spend lots of money.

4. Is large enough that all the legs of your chairs stay on it when diners scoot out from the table. Ours isn’t quite long enough because we have to cram 12 people around our table and it drives me crazy every time my chair leg catches on the edge!

So what do you think? Do you have a dining room rug or would you be willing to try one with messy little kids?

Yes there is a big, black spot under that chair on the end (gum, maybe??) that I haven’t gotten around to cleaning off yet. But guraranteed, 98% of my guests do not notice it.

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