Many restaurants use a layer of butcher paper on your table to make cleanup easy (and to give the kids something to scribble on). You can use this same idea to contain messy meals — or messy eaters — in your own home. Image from mpclemens.
Buy a roll of butcher paper online or at a nearby office supply store. Make sure to cut the paper about 15cm longer than your table so you can tape the edges underneath and keep it in place while you eat. If your roll isn't wide enough to cover your whole table, overlap two pieces so you have enough left to tape under the edges of the table (tape the overlap area, too).
When you're ready to clean up, simply pull up the paper and gather it towards the centre of the table to catch any debris inside. You can toss the whole bundle and you're done. If you have a kids' table to set, or planning a messy meal like a crab or seafood boil, this is a quick way to clean up.
Kraft Paper Table Runner [Dawn Nicole Designs]