It’s stressful enough cleaning up after a small dinner party or an intimate gathering, but having to clean up after a large event is a migraine-inducing task! This large scope cleaning chore definitely requires some smart strategies. You don’t want to have a meltdown the next day surveying the site of your family reunion or a neighbourhood Christmas party. It often looks like a hurricane went through it. So, consider this tactical approach:
Phase 1: Pre-Planning Strategies
- For an event bigger than 20 people, forget about providing your guests with fancy china and glassware, unless it’s a really classy shindig that you’re having catered. Get disposable plates, cutlery, cups and wine glasses you can simply throw away afterwards. Maybe paper tableware is a bit chintzy, but you can buy plastic flatware that ups that elegance quotient for your event. These days, plastic dishes and glasses don’t look much different than the ceramic and glass kind that you will have to gingerly collect load up in the dishwasher a few times, and put back into the china cabinet.
- Decorate and protect your tables with tablecloths, but again, use disposable ones. You don’t want to spend hours trying to get rid of those wine/tomato sauce/grease stains out of your expensive linen ones after the party. Paper tablecloths come in all kinds of shapes and colours, and you can get ones that are strong enough to withstand anything a rowdy party can throw at it. Plus, you can match them up with paper napkins. Don’t even think about using your linen napkins for a 20+ guest list!
- Line up your cooking pots and pans with parchment or aluminum paper. It will save on scrubbing them afterwards.
- Position garbage and recycling bins strategically in the eating area. Although not exactly a decorative addition to the room, they need to be visible so guests will be prompted to use them, saving you time in collecting them later.
Phase 2: Post-Event Cleaning Strategies
- The morning after, have a strong coffee, and reminisce about the night before. Hopefully it was great fun, so the clean-up will be much easier to get to!
- Clearing the debris after an event that made use of disposables should not be too taxing or time-consuming. Most of it will be trash and recyclables, so just walk about and toss in the garbage bags and recycle bins plates, glasses, cutlery and bottles, as well any decorations you may have put up for the event (balloons, banners, streamers, etc.). You’ll likely end up with a few piles of garbage stacked, but the venue will be cleared in no time!
- Then, all that’s left is to mop the floor, vacuum the carpets and straighten up those skewed lampshades and re-arranged pieces of furniture that say the party was fun, and you’re done!
If getting rid of all the post-event rather voluminous trash is a concern, you can rent a bin from a junk removal company, toss the trash in, and drive the bin to a dumpster. Or, to make it even easier for yourself, you can arrange for the company to send their staff in to collect the piles of trash and remove it for you. This will certainly make cleaning up after a large event much easier!