The background you see in a lot of my pictures is a new farmhouse style table.
I was so enamored with the beauty of it's real wood top with all of the nooks and crannies. I didn't realize that it would be a challenge to keep clean. My teen and preteen tend to leave a lot of crumbs. I've been known to leave a crumb or two myself.
When I first started homeschooling, the idea of a Montessori education intrigued me. The idea of a Montessori education is to have children perform tasks as they would in real life as they become of age to handle them. It's a really interesting concept and I urge you to research it. I implemented Montessori methods as much as I could.
Recently, I remembered one of my favorite concepts that we have not practiced in about 6 months.
Table sweeping! Be still my heart. Somewhere, thrown in an as of yet unopened box, is a table sweeping set that I bought specifically from a Montessori company. Something similar to this:
Well, I'm on a road to a new budget so I made my way to the local Dollar Tree and looked for the smallest dustpan and broom I could find. I didn't have much luck with "small" but I did find some things that did the trick:
As you see, I've designated it for "Table Only." The bristles are not stiff at all and do not scratch the surface of the table.
It's worked like a charm. Before, I would wipe the table with a damp cloth. The crumbs would be smooshed inside those beautiful nooks and crannies. Now, the table doesn't necessarily need to be wiped after every meal, but it does need to be swept.
Even small children can do this! I did make an instructional short video for my children just in case they need it. I actually find it a little relaxing! It's a great idea even if you have a smooth surface.
Flashback: Before children, my husband and I dined at a high end steak house that has since closed. They served a delicious, crusty sourdough loaf as a meal starter. Naturally, crumbs happened. Before the salad course, the waiter came around with a smaller version of a crumb sweeper. We were impressed but haven't seen it since. Such a simple concept yet another way to be minimally fancy in your own home.