If you’ll be hosting a holiday party this year, I bet you’re dreading cleaning up afterward. I’ve got some simple holiday party hosting clean-up tips that will make it less daunting.
I think what keeps people from hosting a holiday party is that they know they’ll have to clean up afterward.
Who likes cleaning after a party? Not me!
But if you’re gonna host a party, or any type of gathering, you’ll need to clean up when it’s over. It’s unavoidable.
So, how can you make it less painful, so you don’t dread it (or dread it less, if that’s possible)?
Here are a few ways that you can make the clean-up a little easier after a party…
7 Holiday Party Hosting Clean-Up Tips
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1. Take care of the leftovers
You’re gonna want to take care of the leftovers, so you can get going on the clean-up. If you can send leftovers home with your guests, it’s a win-win for them and for you. So make sure you have containers available to send home with them.
That way they can continue to enjoy the meal a day or two later ~ you have less in your fridge ~ and there’s less for you to clean up. Whoop-whoop!
Then whatever you can’t send home with your friends, toss or put in your fridge for another day.
This will help the clean-up, so you can soak those dishes.
2. Rinse and stack dishes ~ load the dishwasher
KEY ~ make sure your dishwasher is empty before the party starts. This is a HUGE help for cleaning up after your party.
Once your guests have finished their food, the dishes can be rinsed and stacked. Don’t load the dishwasher during the party. It’s okay to have the dishes stacked on the counter.
But once your guests leave, that stack of dishes is SO EASY to load into the dishwasher. Because it’s empty and the plates have already been rinsed.
That makes cleaning up easy!
3. Round up the trash
At the end of a party, start at the room furthest from the kitchen and round up the trash.
Depending on the type of party you have, sometimes you can have receptacles out for your guests to toss their trash and recycling. Unfortunately, there will always be those guests that leave their trash on a counter or other surface. So bringing an empty trashcan or garbage bag around the house with you makes it easier to clean up, instead of going back and forth to the garbage.
4. Check carpets and rugs for potential stains
Before you crash for the evening, check your carpets and rugs to see if there are any stains that need to be addressed. Occasionally something falls on the ground that isn’t noticed until everyone leaves.
Make sure you spot clean those potential stains asap! Leaving them for the next day just gives them more time to set.
5. Clean up crumbs
I”m not saying you need to go around and sweep the whole house to clean up the crumbs. I’m saying to wipe down your counters and pick up any crumbs you find on the carpets or rugs.
By wiping the crumbs off your counters, your kitchen will immediately feel cleaner. And by picking up any crumbs on the ground, you will prevent them from getting ground into the carpet.
6. Collect, empty, and dispose of cups, bottles, and cans
I think picking up cups, bottles, and cans is the most annoying cleanup step for me. I know that people don’t intentionally leave their drink for me to clean up after them. I’m sure what most likely happened ~ they had their drink in their hand, they put their drink down, and then they weren’t sure which was their drink, or where they left it. So they go get a new one.
It happens all the time.
This is why there are always more cups, bottles, and cans left out after a party than anything else.
Fortunately, it isn’t hard to clean them up. Just walk around (again starting at the room furthest from the kitchen) with a bag for recycling and put the empty ones in the bag. Then walk the ones with liquid still in them to the kitchen and empty them out.
*Tip: carry a small bucket as you walk around and empty the drinks into the bucket. Then put the containers in the recycling bag, that way you won’t need to go back and forth to the kitchen.
7. Treat tablecloth stains immediately
If you’ll be covering your table with a tablecloth, runner, or placemats, you’ll want to treat the stains after your guests leave.
This is one thing you shouldn’t leave to do the next morning.
I don’t mean that you need to scrub and wash the table linens. Just treat them, based on the type of stain. Wine stains are treated differently than food stains. Use the appropriate stain remover then let your linens sit overnight. In fact, some stains are best left to sit overnight so the stain fighter does its work.
Hopefully, these simple holiday party hosting clean-up tips will quicken your time getting your home back to normal. And you won’t dread cleaning up so much.
After all, throwing a party is ALL ABOUT enjoying the company of your friends and family ~ not spending time cleaning when it’s over!
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