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Holiday Gatherings: Easy Cleaning Tips

Posted By Sol Sue On December 17, 2012 @ 10:10 am In Cleaning,Holiday | No Comments

Expecting guests this season (or any time of year)? Just a few tricks before company arrives can help your house look its best during the visit and make it easier to clean up when the party’s over.

Before guests arrive:

1. The fastest way to make your home look lovely is to eliminate clutter. For each main room of your house, grab a plastic storage bin and sweep in all the excess clutter and random bits that have accumulated. Store your bins in an out of the way spot—like the garage or laundry room—so they’re ready for you to organize the next day.

2. Go through your menu and choose serving dishes for everything you’re making. Place them on your buffet or table with a post-it indicating what you’ll serve in it. This will not only make your food service faster, but will save you from creating extra dirty dishes when you’re trying to find a serving bowl to accommodate something. If you expect guests to bring something to eat, stash some extra platters and bowls in an easy location so they can add their food to the buffet.

3. Candles add instant ambiance to every room. Stash a book of matches in every room where you’ll have candles burning so you can easily light them before guests arrive and re-light any that burn out during the evening. If you’re concerned about open flames or don’t want to worry about spilled wax, try battery-powered votives instead. They’re long-lasting and flameless: just turn them on before guests arrive and forget about them. Place one of these LED tea lights in a Star Snow Luminaria for an instant shot of warmth on your mantel or on a windowsill.

4. Having a group over means lots of extra feet tracking in mud and moisture, especially in the winter. Instead of worrying about your carpet during the party or scrubbing it with stain cleaner afterwards, protect your carpeting with an attractive and durable carpet cover. You can just pop it in the washing machine after the party!


During your gathering:

1. Whether you’re whipping up appetizers or cooking an entire meal, you’re bound to wind up with a few big pots or pans that need to be cleaned right when guests start arriving. Save yourself the stress and keep your kitchen looking clean by stashing these dishes in your cold oven. Throughout the party, you can easily add any dishes that accumulate so you don’t have them piled on the counters. After the party, simply pull out the dirty dishes and wash up.

2. Being faced with a big mess of wrapping paper at the end of a Christmas get-together can quickly spoil your holiday cheer. Make clean-up easier by gathering the mess as you go. You can even make it part of the fun to get everyone into the spirit. Assign one person to make a ribbon bouquet out of all the bows from presents; ask someone else to put all the gift tags into a basket for keepsakes. If you have kids at your gathering, make it into a game: give each kid a paper grocery sack and see who can fill theirs up with wrapping paper the fastest.

After the party:

The last thing you feel like doing after a get-together is cleaning. You can leave most of it for the following day, but doing a couple little things will make it much easier in the morning.

1. Quickly rinse out any large pots and pans, and scrape any platters with sauces dried on. Rinsing off the big stuff now will save you lots of soaking and scrubbing time in the morning.

2. Clear off and wipe down whatever small areas you need to make and eat breakfast in the morning. Clean-up will feel a lot more manageable when you’ve had your coffee and meal in the morning. This little bit of tidying will take you less than three minutes tonight, but it will make a world of difference tomorrow.

3. If you have children or pets, sweep through each room of the house to gather cups and glasses that may have alcohol remaining in them or plates still bearing food. Taking the time to do it now is much better than an emergency room trip in the middle of the night!

Hosting a holiday gathering should be fun! A few little tricks can make it a lot easier to take care of the cleaning so you can relax and enjoy the party too.

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