The holidays aren’t quite in full swing, and that means it’s time to start planning for holiday parties. As you probably already know, when you host a holiday get-together, the worst part is the cleaning, of course.
Here are some tips to help you with the chore that you face after the party.
Clean up the prep work
Starting with an empty dishwasher is always a good idea. Make sure to clean up the pre-party prep work before the party begins. As the party progresses you can load at least some items in your dishwasher. Out of sight, out of mind.
Keep the boxes
If you buy holiday dishes, glasses and tableware, make sure to keep the boxes handy for quick cleanup and storage.
Less is more
When it comes to party decorations, keep it to a minimum. Remember that banners, balloons, streamers and centerpieces add to what you have to clean up and put away later.
Cutting down on cleaning
If you plan to cook anything in the oven, line your pans with parchment paper and you can avoid having to scrub them after your guests leave.
Sure, it’s not as elegant, but if you’re having an informal gathering, using disposable utensils and dishware means you’ll have more going into the trash and recycling, but less going into the dishwasher.
If you choose decorations that also serve as party favors, your guests will take them home!
Pick up while you party
Stay on top of the cleaning as the party goes on, but not to the point where you’re not able to be social and enjoy your guests. Speaking of guests, one or two will ALWAYS volunteer to help you.
Plan for spills
Cleaning spills as soon as they occur – and they will – is important to keep them from setting in. A solution of white vinegar, dish soap and water in a spray bottle is a good, all-purpose cleaner.
No matter how many coasters you have, you’ll still end up with a water ring or two. Rub a dab of non-gel toothpaste onto the spot then buff with a clean cloth.
Help prevent wrinkles when you travel; save gift-bag tissue to separate layers of clothing in the suitcase.
Save ribbon to tie clusters of silverware or hang ornaments.