The big party or family gathering is over! And now it’s time to clean up the remnants of the a-fabulous-time-was-had-by-all! A party or big gathering can be a blast but it can also wreak havoc on your home. I’m not talking about the kind of mess from Animal House, but let’s face it… parties, holidays or big family gatherings can leave us with a bit of a mess on our hands! No worry, we can get our homes back in before-party shape easily if we have a plan! Here are 10 fabulous tips for cleaning up after a big gathering!
When Bobby and I were younger we could stay up until 4:am getting our home in tip top shape after a night of fun… but those days are over! If our parties end late into the evening, once everyone is gone we put away the essentials, soak the dishes and head for bed. It’s much easier to wake up in the am, grab a big cup of coffee and divide and conquer!
Here’s what we do now. It’s really a whole lot smarter!
LET EVERYONE LEND A HELPING HAND
The number one rule for getting your home back in order quickly after a big party, family reunion, holiday or entertaining any large group of people is… IF SOMEONE ASKS TO HELP, LET THEM!
Can they go from room to room picking up used glasses,plates and napkins? Can they help put food away after a big meal? Can they put chairs back under the correct tables? This is so so important! Especially if hosting a family gathering. The more informal and better you know your guests the more you can ask them to do if they offer!
Don’t be shy about this. People ask because they want to help!
I don’t ask guest to do the dishes or put dishes in the dishwasher. But, if they want to help bring dishes from the table after eating I ask them to stack them on the side of the sink.
Most guest are so willing to help and enjoy the camaraderie of a little cleaning up together!
If your gathering includes your yard for games, like ours does, enlist the kiddos in the group to help clean up the bocce balls or find or collect the wiffle balls and bats and bases!
Just remember people you invite into your home are your guests. Let those who ask do something but don’t put them to work until everything is done! They don’t come to work!
Here’s a great idea I use often for big parties, I hire a couple of responsible teenagers to help me keep things cleaned up. It’s a win/win!
I’m sure you will know what’s appropriate for each large gathering.
INACT THE DISH PAN RULE
This should only be used for family gatherings and for big dinners like Thanksgiving etc. To find out how to make your major holidays with family so much simpler to clean up click HERE.
WORK ON THE INSIDE OF YOUR HOME FIRST
When we have big gatherings and people spread out all over the inside and outside of my home I ALWAYS start to get the inside of my home back in working shape and then concentrate on the outside.
PUT AWAY ALL FOOD FIRST
Do this sooner than later. And make sure to share the wealth. If you have lots of leftovers let people take some home! Keep fun Chinese food containers on hand to put leftovers in! Refrigerate or put away all other food.
PICK UP ALL DINNERWARE THAT BELONGS IN THE KITCHEN
Before I do any serious straightening up after my guests leave I do a sweep of my home for any glasses, plates, bowls, utensils, napkins etc and get them into the kitchen. I ignore furniture that’s been moved, chairs that are out of place, and pillows that have tumbled on the floor! I concentrate on one thing… getting what belongs in the kitchen into the kitchen!
STRAIGHTEN UP ONE ROOM AT A TIME
Don’t get distracted! Work on one room at a time. Don’t clean the room (with the exception of the kitchen and bathroom), just straighten up. Fluff the pillows, put away the coasters and make sure everything is in it’s place.
TACKLE THE KITCHEN FIRST
For me, if my kitchen is not clean and straightened up my whole house feels messy! Tackle one thing at a time. I begin with dishes. Wash the dishes! Put as many as you can in the dishwasher and wash the rest. Dry and put away any dishes that are hand washed. Don’t forget to put away the dishes in the dishwasher as soon as they are done.
Clean one counter top at a time. I start with the counter that has my coffee station on it and work around the kitchen cleaning every surface. That includes the stove and any other appliance that has been used!
Don’t forget the floors! I wash up the kitchen floors when I am working on the kitchen. I don’t like crumby or sticky kitchen floors! When I leave the kitchen it is often better than when guest arrived!
GIVE THE BATHROOMS A SWISH AND SWIPE
Bathrooms get quite a workout during a party. Don’t forget to clean them from top to bottom. Work fast and it should take you no time at all!
VACUUM AND DUST ONLY AFTER ALL ROOMS ARE STRAIGHTENED UP
When all the rooms are tidied up then go from room to room with a dust cloth or feather duster. After a good dusting run the vacuum through the party areas! Easy-peasy!
CLEAN UP THE OUTSIDE
If the party goes outdoors, make sure to spend a little time cleaning up outside too.
It’s really great if you have a partner or two or three that can work with you! But if you are working alone make sure to turn on some great zippy music and be determined. Don’t stop until your home is back in order!
I hope this will give you lots of ideas and ways to CLEAN IT UP!!!! Stay inspired and GET ER DONE!
What is your best clean-up tip! Please share!
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