How-To: Set a Weeknight Dinner Table

March 21, 2021
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 Like many of you, it’s important to me that we try and prioritize family dinner in our home each day. It can be difficult to do with young kids or older kids who are constantly coming and going, but it’s a family practice and tradition I’m committed to. I’ve found that one of the simplest ways to make this happen each day is to simple set a proper table. 

What do I need?

If you’re getting things ready for a weeknight dinner or a weekend breakfast, you might want to know how to set a table properly. If you are looking for more tips for holiday table settings, check out my post here! For casual events, one needs just a basic table setting: a placemat, cutlery (usually determined by the menu), a dinner plate, a water glass, and a napkin.

  • Placemats
  • Dinner plates
  • Silverware
  • Water glass
  • Napkins


So this is really basic, but an AWESOME task to give an older child in the family. My 8-year old Ollie just started taking on this task and it’s a great daily job for him. Initially you maybe have to walk them through the steps, but in no time they’ll be setting the table like a pro.

  1. Lay the placemats on the table.
  2. Place the dinner plates in the middle of each placemat.
  3. Set the napkin to the left of the plate.
  4. Place the dinner fork on the napkin.
  5. To the right of the plate, place the knife closest to the plate, blade pointing in. Place the spoon to the right of the knife.
  6. Place the water glass right at where you’d find 1 p.m. on a clock face. It should be slightly above the plate, in between the plate and the utensils.

Dinner Table Favorites

I think it’s worth investing in some good quality staples for setting a dinner table. Here are a few of our favorites!

Looking for more simple weeknight recipes? Check out Recipe Club.

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