Easy Party Planning: “C” is for Cleanup

by Melissa

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Don’t forget about these other party elements in our A to Z Series: Ambiance | Beverages | Clean-up | Decorations | Entertainment | Favors | Guests | Hosting Tips | Invitations | Jukebox | Kids |



Cleanup. Raise your hand if you love to cleanup after parties. Yeah, yeah. We didn’t think there would be many. Even though cleaning up might not be the most fun part of the party, it’s hard to completely avoid it.  Today we are going to share a few tips that can help make cleaning up a little easier and a less daunting task for you.  And who knows, maybe you’ll find yourself whistling while you work from having so much fun. (Ok, maybe that’s going to far.)


-If you don’t have time to do the dishes before the party starts, hide them in the oven. Of course, don’t do this if you are planning on using the oven. But, if you aren’t, it’s a quick way to hide the pots and pans and de-clutter the counters and party space.

-Use paper products whenever possible.  We’re all about being green, but sometimes it is completely worth using throw-aways.  Who wants to spend hours scrubbing dishes after the party is over? Using paper products will reduce your cleanup time drastically. Plus, if there are children at the party, you won’t have to worry about your nice dishes getting broken.

-While we are talking about paper, use butcher paper or wrapping paper as table coverings. If your party isn’t super formal, following this simple tip will make cleaning up so easy. Just think: as soon as your party is over, you can roll up the mess and ta-da, you are done! No mounds of laundry for you.




-Keep a garbage can visible and in well-trafficked areas. The more accessible a garbage can is, the less cleanup you’ll have to do. If your guests can see the garbage can, they will most likely throw away a cup or napkin when they are done instead of leaving it out for you to pick up later.

-Ask a few people who will be at the party the entire time to keep an eye of garbage cans and empty them when they are full. Having a “back” crew to be on the lookout for minor messes will make your job as hostess, photographer, socializer, etc, much more manageable.

-For larger events, consider “hiring” a cleanup crew.  Having even a small crew to help things cleaned up as the party is going on will make the final cleanup a lot easier. If your budget doesn’t include this (because how many real-party budgets do?), round up a group of neighborhood kids and give them a small gift certificate or a little thank-you gift for helping.

-Just remember, it’s a hard balance between keeping things cleaned up and being a good hostess. You don’t want to start cleaning up too early or it may send the wrong idea. Just try to enjoy the moment and do what you can.


Photos by Marcelle Calder Photography


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