Just like time flies when you’re having a good time, the house gets pretty messed up when you’re throwing a party! Guests forget to use coasters, sticky spills are inevitable, and everything seems to be left out of place. Of course, none of this matters when you and your guests are having fun, right? It does, however, (matter) when everyone leaves and the party’s over! That’s when you sit there wondering where your after-party clean up begins and where it’s going to end – the floors, the furniture, the kitchen, the living room – the list just goes on!
For a tired host or hostess, it can be rather overwhelming to look around and feel like there’s so much to do but very little energy left in your body to do it. Although most of the cleaning can be left for the next day, it is advisable to get a few tasks out of the way or you will be waking up to an absolute nightmare!
So, how do you deal with a post-party clean up without wearing yourself out? Well, it all begins before your guests arrive! In this guide, we will share tips and ideas to make the after-party cleaning up less stressful, more systematic, and a lot simpler. Read on!
Plan and Prepare Before Guests Arrive
While you have time to plan, take advantage of it because once the party starts, it will be hard to get away from all the action to do anything else. When you are prepared for spills and other post-party cleaning tasks, you won’t feel overwhelmed by it all when cleaning time rolls around.
Here’s a look at some tips and ideas to plan and prepare for the clean up ahead of time.
1. Consider the cleaning tools and products you will need for spot cleaning and immediate after-party cleaning tasks; put them all in one storage space for easy access. Bear in mind that every home is unique; therefore, the list below can be tweaked according to your needs. With that in mind, here are some of the things you may need:
- Absorbent kitchen cloths (for spills)
- Microfibre cloth
- Dustbuster or mini handheld brush and dustpan (for crumbs)
- Paper towels
- All-purpose cleaner
- Furniture cleaner
- Large garbage bags
- Broom and dustpan or vacuum cleaner
2. Set up two garbage bins: one for disposables such as paper plates, cups and napkins, and one for food bits like bones and other leftovers in plates. This encourages your guests to make use of the bins during the course of the party which, in turn, saves you the trouble of rounding up a whole lot of disposables from around the house.
3. Place coasters on every table and surface in rooms where your guests will be spending time. It also helps to use plastic sheets under (or over) table cloths to keep spills from getting on your furniture.
4. Keep a couple of food containers or Ziploc bags in a convenient place to put away leftovers; make space in your refrigerator for the same.
5. As the party goes on, it doesn’t hurt to stay on top of a couple of tasks to make the after-party clean up a little easier. For example, if you walk into the kitchen and find a couple of empty bottles lying around, dispose of them before you get on with whatever it is that you came into the kitchen to do. Of course, the hosts shouldn’t stress over things like this or go out of their way to do such tasks; it’s just a matter of seeing something that’s right there and that will only take a couple of seconds to do when you step away from your guests.
Initial Cleaning Tasks After Guests Leave
The first couple of cleaning tasks that need attention are typically the most crucial ones. This is because if they are overlooked or ignored, you will only have a tougher time getting them done later or the next day. Fortunately, when you have a systematic guide to follow, you can power through your initial post-party cleaning without feeling like chaos is about to ensue!
Below are the first steps (in the most practical order) you need to take to start off the after-party clean up.
Put Leftovers Away
It’s never a good idea to leave food out for too long as it may spoil; hence, the first thing you need to do is transfer food from large dishes into smaller food containers or Ziploc bags. Leftover chips or wafers can also be put in airtight containers to preserve them, however, not everyone is in favour of saving something that has been lying out for later (the choice is yours)!
Load the Dishwasher
Waking up to a sink full of dirty dishes is a major turn-off! Moreover, food bits and gravy stains will dry up overnight and be more of a task to rinse off before you load the dishwasher. Similarly, if you intend on washing your dishes by hand, rinse and soak them in a solution of water and dish soap so that cleaning them the next day will be a breeze. This includes glasses and other glassware; simply leave some water in them overnight. Avoid soaking glasses along with other utensils as they are prone to breakage.
For a quick and efficient way to clear tables and surfaces of garbage, carry a large garbage bag around each room and dispose of rubbish as you go. All it takes is a walk around the room and the garbage bag will start to fill up as the room begins to look neater!
Spot Clean Sticky Stains
Leaving sticky spills overnight is a major no-no! This is because they will harden, while prolonged exposure to certain spills can discolour some types of furniture. To quickly spot clean stains, grab all-purpose cleaner and a microfibre cloth for the job. With a few sprays and a quick wipe down of the surface, you’ll be done in a matter of seconds!
Clean Up Crumbs
We all know that leaving crumbs or food bits on your kitchen counter overnight is an open invitation for ants and other creepy crawlies to stop by. Obviously, no one wants that to happen so the logical thing to do is to clean it up! A dustbuster is perfect for this while the second best thing to use is a handheld brush or cloth and a small dustpan. Be sure to check tables and other surfaces for crumbs, food bits, and chips that may have fallen out of the bowl.
The Next Day Cleaning
The major clean up after a party won’t seem so major when you’ve gotten those crucial, initial cleaning tasks out of the way. Nevertheless, there will still be a lot of things to do until your home is tidy and pristine again! The most important thing to remember is to give yourself enough time so that you aren’t working within an unrealistic time frame. With that in mind, you can go about each and every task efficiently and at a comfortable pace.
Follow the guide below to complete your post-party clean up after you’ve had a good night’s rest.
Finish the Dishes
Even if you’ve loaded your dishwasher before you called it a night, chances are that there will still be dishes lying around the kitchen. Well, you can’t clean up the kitchen efficiently unless you’ve gotten them out of the way. Whether you’re using a dishwasher or washing dishes by hand, this should be the first thing you do to start off your post-party cleaning the next day.
Declutter the Kitchen
Along with dishes, there will be other things left out of place just cluttering up kitchen surfaces. Start putting these items back in place so that you can quickly clean the counters and other surfaces that may have been used during the party. For quick and efficient cleaning of your kitchen counters and island, pour some liquid dish soap on a scrubber, dampen it with water and scrub the surface clean. Finish off by wiping over it with a clean, damp cloth, followed by paper towels to dry the surface.
Tidy Up the Living Room
When you’re having a party, additional seating is generally created to accommodate guests, while more floor space is needed to dance or move about freely. To do this, furniture is moved around, leaving the room looking like total chaos when your guests leave! Before you move things back in place, however, tidy up surfaces and declutter your living room. Once everything is moved into its original place, you can start cleaning.
Wipe Furniture > Spot Clean Stains
It’s likely that you may have missed a few sticky stains on your furniture when cleaning up the night of the party; however, even if you didn’t, the rest of your furniture will still need to be cleaned. Again, the use of an all-purpose cleaner and a microfibre cloth are advisable. If you come across any stains, simply spritz over them with the cleaning product and wipe them right up. Some surfaces like wood or chrome may have specially formulated cleaners which also aid in polishing the surface; therefore, it is advisable to use appropriate products as per the requirements of the furniture in question.
Rotate and Fluff Cushions
With all the sitting around that took place at the party, your sofa cushions are probably looking worn and overused. Of course, this is nothing a little rotating and fluffing won’t resolve! If you come across any stains on your couch, take immediate action to remove them or else they may become permanent.
Clean the Floors
While the rest of your post-party cleaning can be done one room at a time, when it comes to cleaning floors, its best to do each room in one go. This means vacuuming or sweeping the whole house or the rooms that really need it without stopping to do other tasks in between. It may sound tiring but cleaning in one go can actually be easier and less stressful because it is one big task that gets checked off the list.
TIP: When mopping the floor, use a stronger cleaning solution than usual as some sticky stains may not come out with regular cleaning.
Clean the Bathroom
As part of your pre-party cleaning, the bathroom is likely to have been deep cleaned. Now, assuming the obvious fact that none of your guests will be showering or using the bathroom for anything more than the toilet and sink facilities, it’s likely that these components, along with the floor, will require more attention when cleaning. Start by cleaning the toilet bowl and seat, followed by the sink, leaving the floor last. A quick wipe down of other components such as areas surrounding the sink, the medicine cabinet and faucets may also be required.
At the end of your post-party clean up, take a relaxing shower, find a comfy place to kick back, and enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that your home is the opposite of what it was last night!