Prepping for a Party

Prepping for a party.

The strenuous holiday party season has long been over, and you’re finally ready to bust out the platters and party favors again.  But there’s one problem:  your house.  It’s practically screaming, “No more parties!”  If keeping your house clean is one of your New Year’s resolutions, don’t worry, you won’t have to break it for this bash.  There are several ways you can prep your house ahead of time to make cleaning up afterward a cinch.  So go ahead, have your cake and eat it too.

Prep Your Kitchen

You may not want to, but thoroughly cleaning your kitchen before a party makes clean up afterward much easier.  Give it a good once-over.  Wipe the counters, sweep the floor.  Even clean out the refrigerator.  You’re going to need plenty of room in there for your party food and drinks, so this step is non-negotiable.  You’ll thank us later.

Clean Your Platters

While they’re out and still empty, see if your platters will fit in the refrigerator.  There’s nothing like trying to cram five plates of appetizers in the fridge during a party.  That’s when spills and messes happen.

Zone Out

If there is a specific place in the kitchen you would like to keep your party guests, put the food and drinks there.  Guests will naturally flock and hover around the food table.  Any mess generated from them will be concentrated in one area, which makes for an easier morning after.  Make it even easier on yourself by putting down a table cloth that will catch the majority of unwanted crumbs and spills. To your guests, you’re just decorating for a party; they don’t have to know you’re really just trying to minimize the mess.

Prep the Bathroom

Once again, you’ll want to do a thorough clean before the actual partyDe-clutter the counter by removing everything but the essentials:  soap, towels, and maybe a candle or two.  Guests tend to be extra cautious when they are at a party with a spotless bathroom.  No one wants to walk out leaving a mess behind them, especially not when others guests are waiting in line to use the bathroom right behind them.  The cleaner you make the bathroom ahead of time, the cleaner your guests will feel they have to leave it.

The Scene of the Party

Of course, cleaning ahead of time is a must.  This one’s easy, though.  Just give the carpet a quick vacuum and straighten out the couch pillows.  No need to go crazy in here.  What you may want to do is rearrange the furniture so that there are fewer obstacles when guests are walking with full drinks and food plates.  Give plenty of room between couches and coffee tables, and get rid of those throw blankets – no one wants to see those end up on the floor.

Last Minute Touches

After cleaning, include putting out several visible garbage cans and recycling bins.  Trust us, people don’t go hunting very hard for the garbage, and if they don’t know that you normally keep your trash bin under the kitchen sink, they’re not going to make the effort.  You can cut back drastically on empty cups, crumpled napkins and half-eaten appetizers lying around the house by having the proper trash receptacles out in the open.  Also, have napkins and paper towels at the ready.  A spill is bound to happen, but if guests know where the napkins and towels are, they are much more likely to clean it up themselves.

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