Post Party Cleaning Tips

Let’s face it, hosting a party is hard work. Ensuring that everyone has fun, that people are supplied with drinks and food, plus undertaking preparations beforehand, boy, am I beat by the time the party’s over. The last thing I want to do is spend hours cleaning up soon after I’d ensured immaculate condition for the party’s start.

My clean-up preparations begin while I am selecting party supplies. First, I examine the guest list: how many people are attending? Based upon the answer, I often opt for disposable utensils and dinnerware. Certainly, there’s an associated cost with anything disposable; however, as I’m often forced to remind myself, time is money.

Every moment that I spend cleaning up is a moment that I could have spent working or spending time with my daughter. So the amount of time available to you can and should be an important consideration when purchasing supplies.

If I’ve selected disposable dinnerware and utensils, I then seriously consider the purchase of a disposable tablecloth. Nothing speeds up clean-up like using the tablecloth as a bag for all disposables: unwanted food, dinnerware, utensils; and throwing it directly into the trash. (I often leave this step for next-to-last execution right before I sweep, so I can heap as much trash as possible in one place, careful not to overload.

Still examining the guest list, I check for the presence of children. Kids can be so untidy, especially when not closely monitored, as often happens at parties. Activities that keep kids occupied instead of drawing on the walls are a real plus. I’ve found that video games can be a great distracter, as can movies. Another alternative is a drawing table with a protective covering that’s durable and made to stay in place! To serve this purpose, on our foldable plastic and aluminum table, I often tape a vinyl tablecloth in place. I recommend pencils, since they’re erasable, or washable markers. Connect the dots games or crossword puzzles can come in handy.

When possible, I try to stay away from chocolate cake, or anything with an especially juicy filling. Boy, can that stuff get ground into the carpet! But when it can’t be avoided, one of my first tasks once the last guest leaves is to examine the carpet for traces of ground-in food and drink. The sooner a stain is attacked with stain-remover, the less likely it is to set in.

Balloons, when popped, can make an enormous mess, and paper streamers tear easily, leaving ragged pieces on the floor. These are best avoided. I also recommend putting any streamers out of reach. Once, I caught children systematically tearing up streamers and sprinkling them on the floor for fun! Prefabricated polymer or mylar balloons and signage are much sturdier than the alternatives. Also, the signs can be reused for the next big occasion.

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