Parties can be awesome, but the next morning it’s always the same nightmare. Empty bottles, cups on every surface, piles of dirty dishes stacked in the kitchen, sticky spills all over your furniture and floors, a red wine stain on your favourite rug, and countless small messes which need to be cleaned. This is more than enough to discourage party hosts from organising anything in their homes.
But you shouldn’t let small things like that spoil your fun.
Here is a little step-by-step guide that will help you limit the mess and make the post-party clean-up effortless and a lot easier in general.
Related: Before Party Cleaning Plan
The Best After-Party Cleaning Tips
Cleaning Tip 1:
TABLE CLOTHS SAVE LIVES
Tables are great, but almost all of them have cracks and grooves, which trap food particles and drink spills. After a few hours, these things harden, which makes them almost impossible to remove. You could wipe and scrub until next year, but you still won’t be able to take care of them completely.
Table cloths are not only fun and themed, but they also gather all these unpleasant things, and don’t allow them to stick to your table.
They also make next day cleaning a lot easier – you just need to pick them up, shake them out on top of the rubbish bin, and throw them in the washing machine. In most cases you won’t even have to clean the table this way, or it will require just a fast wipe.
Cleaning Tip 2:
HAVE THE DISHWASHER READY
Many of us have a clean-as-you-go attitude when it comes to parties. The one thing that can ruin that carefully prepared plan is a full dishwasher that hasn’t been emptied before the party. If you want to make the cleaning process easier and effortless, make sure the dishwasher is empty or at least close to empty, so you won’t have to unload it before loading the party dishes.
Also, if you want to save some time and be more organised, you can load the dishwasher and run it before dessert. The transition between the main dishes and dessert is the perfect time for a mild clean up, and you’ll be halfway done with the dishes at the end of the evening. This way you will avoid the clutter, and it will be easier to put away the clean dishes and load the new dirty ones.
Timing is key.
Cleaning Tip 3:
CREATE A 'DIRTY DISHES' ZONE
Another great party cleaning idea, which will save you a lot of time, is to create a small area for the dirty dishes; where every guest who wants to dispose of their dish can just leave it there. Just put a basin filled with soapy water in the kitchen, and let your guests’ do half of the work for you. This way you won’t have to hunt for dirty items all over the house, and the dishes will be very easy to clean because all the dried food will disappear thanks to the soaking.
Cleaning Tip 4:
PLACE THE BAR OUTSIDE
If the weather allows it, it would be a great idea to put the bar outside. This way you will limit the major spills to the outside area of your house, where they can be easily cleaned, as opposed to the inside of your home, where you probably have carpets, rugs, wooden flooring and other easily stained coverages.
If you have tiles all around your home, then you won’t have any issues with spills; unless the tiles are porous, like quarry for instance.
Another good idea is to get one of those rubber mats and place it in front of the bar.
Cleaning Tip 5:
PREPARE EMERGENCY CLEANING SUPPLIES
Messes are just a sign that the party is going great. But some messes can grow bigger if left unattended, like broken glasses or wine spills. This is why it’s good to keep a few emergency cleaning tools nearby.
These include a broom, a mop, paper towels and some all purpose cleaner or stain removers like salt, lemons, white vinegar and soda. They will help you deal with the messes on spot and without much work.
Cleaning Tip 6:
GARBAGE BAGS ARE PIVOTAL
If your guests can’t find where to throw away their rubbish, they can’t help you much with this part.
Make sure you have enough garbage options located throughout the event space. People can then easily throw away any food scraps or other waste; no matter which room of the house they're in. You will also have a lot less napkins, wraps and other garbage to gather from around the house once the party is over.
Also, it’s a good idea to place two bags in your rubbish bins, this way you will avoid spills and cleaning the bins after the party.
Cleaning Tip 7:
NO MESSY FOOD!
The logic here is very simple – no messy foods means less messes, and less messes means less after party cleaning tasks.
This is why every experienced party planner will tell you to stick to bite-sized foods; and avoid dips, sauces, and other meals which can create spills. There are plenty of finger food options which will cover these requirements, and will save you from the horrors of stains.
Cleaning Tip 8:
LET YOUR GUESTS' CHOOSE THEIR DRINKS
Many party hosts think it’s a great idea to fill the glasses with drinks before the guests’ arrive, so they can just pick them up and move on. But an even better idea is to invest in some drink dispensers.
This way you’ll have fewer glasses to wash, and every guest can choose their own drink. Plus some of those dispensers are quite funny and cool to have at parties.
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Author Bio: Fantastic Cleaners
CLEANING & HOUSEKEEPING
Jane Wilson is a mum, a blogger, and a service manager for Fantastic Cleaners in Melbourne (professional cleaners and housekeepers). She also has a small personal blog, called Modern Housewives, where she shares all kinds of tips on home improvement, raising children and having fun!