Our family spends quite a bit of time in our kitchen and surrounding area. Usually I am in the kitchen when Kevin gets home from work and it's the place we connect after a long day. On most days the girls will come into the kitchen to greet daddy and welcome him home. Not only do we tend to gather in this area, it is centrally located in our house and is a natural area to gravitate toward. Our dining area (also our homeschool area) is an extension of the kitchen, as is our family room. When the kitchen is in order, all these areas feel more inviting.
We have a pretty small kitchen with limited counter space, and I'm still trying to figure out how to best maximize this space by minimizing what sits out on the counter. It might sound like I'm complaining about a small kitchen, but I actually see advantages to this when it comes to controlling clutter. More space invites more clutter. My goal is not to spread out my clutter, but to minimize it.
When it comes to our dining room table, I try to keep it clear. We use our table for many different things and I want it to be in a state of readiness for whatever activity it might be used for next. In the early hours of each morning, I sit at the table and do my Bible study. Then it's used for breakfast. Next it becomes our "desk" for school and crafts. It has to be cleared again for lunch and then it is often transformed into a place for drawing. Finally it gets used as a family gathering spot for dinner. When I'm not intentional about keeping it cleared, we aren't intentional about eating together or doing our studies.
What area in your home is your priority?