Post Event Cleanup

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Post Event Cleanup


It’s Spring, and the weather is getting nicer, so everyone is starting to plan get-togethers. The best part of hosting parties is spending time with family and friends in a festive, fun environment. The worst part is the inevitable post-party cleaning that every host dreads. One of the secrets that frequent party hosts quickly learn is that post-party cleanup starts during your party prep. What you do before the party starts is the key to easy party clean-up once your guests disperse. So, before your next big soiree, follow this after-party cleaning guide to make cleaning up as easy and fast as possible. As a bonus, we have included a post-party cleaning checklist to help you make sure you cover the most important bases before you collapse on the sofa with well-deserved, post-party relaxation. 

Corral your guests:

While you do not want your guests to feel like they are being herded into a particular corner of your yard, you do want to control traffic and hangout spaces as much as possible. Encouraging your guests to stay in your designated party areas gives you fewer spaces to clean after the party. If you are partying inside, close the doors to off-limit rooms, decorate the party spaces with themed décor, put seating areas in designated spaces, and set up your food and drink tables where you want your guests to mingle. For outdoor parties, use lighting to brighten the areas you want guests to gather and keep off-limit areas in the shadows. Few guests want to hang out in the dark, so most will stay in the well-lit areas you designate. Be sure to set up seating, music, food, and drinks in the outdoor entertaining area (or areas) where you want your guests to gather.

Use your outdoor entertaining areas:

It is almost always easier to clean up after an outdoor party than an indoor one, so use your next party as an excuse to show off that new patio furniture or gazebo by keeping the party mostly outdoors. By encouraging your guests to spend time outdoors, you will have fewer worries about wine spills on your living room rug, sticky fingers on your windows, or kids eating and drinking on your sofa. Some outdoor spills don’t even need to be cleaned up, so entertaining outdoors is definitely your best option. If you are having trouble keeping your guests outside at evening soirees, start a fire in your fire pit or patio fireplace. That is sure to attract them.

Empty your dishwasher before the party:

If you are using your dishes or glasses for preparing food or serving your guests, make sure your dishwasher is empty before the party begins. This allows you to pop dishes and glasses into the dishwasher as you go, rather than allowing them to gather on the counter to be dealt with later. If you don’t want to use your own, look into recyclable options so that there are fewer dishes to clean, but you also won’t have an overflowing trash can at the end of your party. 

Have leftover containers ready:

If you are hosting a holiday gathering, dinner party, or another soiree that will likely have leftovers, make sure you have containers handy so that you can send leftover food home with guests. This can be particularly effective if you hand out the containers towards the end of the event and encourage your guests to fill them with food before leaving. This way, your guests do part of the post-party cleanup for you by cleaning out the serving dishes. Don’t forget to keep some of the leftovers for yourself. You can also prepare dishes in one-use containers instead of regular glassware or cookware for easier cleanup. 

Plan your menu with less-messy foods and beverages:

If you are serving food or drinks at a party, there is the potential for crumbs, spills, and stains, but you can limit this by avoiding messy foods and beverages. For example, stay away from pasta dishes with tomato-based sauces, dishes with melted cheese, handheld foods that can spill or leave crumbs (think tacos), and anything with heavy sauces that can stain surfaces, fabrics, or carpet easily. If you are hosting a dinner party indoors and have lots of light-colored carpets or rugs, consider planning a menu around white wines to avoid the potential for red wine stains. If possible, avoid punch, juices, and other colorful or dark liquids that are hard to clean up

Do just a little cleaning during the party:

If you are wiping surfaces and picking up plates the entire time your guests are there, you will not have a chance to enjoy the evening with your guests, will likely be slacking on other hosting duties, and make your guests uncomfortable. However, this does not mean that you cannot clean at all during your gathering. You will, of course, need to clean up any spills or minor disasters as soon as possible after they occur, and you can occasionally collect empty plates and glasses and move them to the kitchen throughout the night. Just don’t start washing dishes or doing too much cleaning during the party. Periodically collecting empty bottles and cans and taking dirty dishes to the kitchen is perfectly acceptable party host behavior and will make easy party cleanup much more likely after your guests have gone home.

Enlist the help of professionals:

The best way to ensure easy party cleanup is to hire a cleaning service to come in and do your post-party cleaning for you. After-party cleaning services can sometimes be scheduled for same-day service, but if your party ends in the evening or could go into the night, it is better to schedule the cleaning crew for the morning after. You definitely do not want them showing up while your guests are still mingling, and after the party, you are going to be too tired to have a group of strangers in your house making all those cleaning noises when you are trying to sleep. So, schedule the after-party cleaning crew to come mid-morning the day after your party. This allows you to sleep in a bit while avoiding most post-party chores. If you go with this option, you will likely still want to do a bit of picking up after the party since you do not want to leave spills, crumbs, alcoholic beverages, or leftover food out overnight. This could attract ants, be an issue in homes with pets or children, and make your house smell like a mixture of leftover hors d’oeuvres and stale booze.

Soldiers’ Mom is experienced in handling all sorts of cleaning jobs, so let us do what we do best and take care of the mess for you! 

Call (833) 487-2532 or book online at for all your cleaning needs. 

Cleaning for Military Families in and near JBAB, JBA, Fort Myers-Henderson Hall, Fort Belvior, McNair, Arlington, Alexandria, Bethesda, Potomac, Chevy Chase, Georgetown, Palisades, Kalorama, NW DC

(833) 487-2532