The meme goes like this: A shopper asks a furniture salesperson how many loads of laundry a dining room table can hold. He replies with “Ma’am this is a dining room table”. The shopper responds with “And?” If you can relate to this, your weekday table may look like mine covered in absolutely everything. At 7:00 a.m. Friday morning, one wonders how this will transition to a holy Shabbos table by candle lighting time.
During the week my table is utilized for kinds of things but also becomes a clutter collector.
If you were to have a look at my table right now, you would see no less than twenty items needing relocation. A sampling of these items includes a laptop, a pencil case, used dishes, mail, craft supplies, books, and a water bottle.
Since Shabbos is the deadline to find this table, here’s what I do. First, I crank up some music. Next, I whisk all dishes off to the kitchen. Any kid stuff gets deposited on their beds for them to put away. The bills and paperwork get moved inside my planner to be revisited next week, and put in a cabinet for “office things”. Random items get put in their place. For example, on my table, there’s a saline nasal spritz, a shoehorn, and a tube of blemish concealer.
Once the table is cleared, on goes the tablecloth as a visual reminder that the table is now the Shabbos table. A card table is set for any other table-related activities, as I don’t want to clear the table multiple times on Friday.
So that’s my method. Saturday night after havdalah, everything from Shabbos gets cleaned up, the tablecloth removed, the laptop set up, and the weekly cycle begins again, including the laundry that needs sorting.