The holiday season is a favorite time for family and friends to gather for food and community. Voices around a warm fire and some delicious snacks create memories that last for years to come. If you are hosting or considering hosting a gathering this season but are nervous about the cleanup after everyone has gone, keep these ideas in mind for managing the mess.
Deal with messes as you go.
It is much easier to clean spills and dishes as they happen as opposed to letting things pile up at the sink. If a guest spills a beverage anywhere, be sure to treat it immediately to prevent stains from setting in. Have the dishwasher empty before anyone comes over so you can place dishes directly in there after they are used.
Prioritize what can be done now and later.
Break your tasks down into manageable chunks to avoid overall stress. Chores such as cleaning the kitchen would need to be taken care of immediately, but washing linens may be able to wait a day or so to give you time to relax.
Clean your linens.
Run table linens through the washer after guests leave in case a clear dressing or liquid was spilled so that a stain will not set in. If you have overnight guests, be sure to have clean sheets and blankets ready for them and wash after they have left so new guests will have a fresh place to sleep as well.
Scrub bathrooms thoroughly.
Give your bathrooms (especially the guest one that everyone will be in and out of) a good, deep clean before anyone arrives. Keep counters wiped regularly and try automatic toilet bowl cleaners to save some time.
Prevent stains or streaks on floors.
Place a rug or boot mat by the front door for guests to wipe their feet or take shoes off to keep dirt and mud from being smeared all over your floors.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a spouse, friend or family member if you are feeling overwhelmed. Chances are they will be happy to assist to help cut down your cleaning time and reduce stress.
This is a great time of year for parties and gatherings, but don’t allow the hustle and bustle to take over! Take some time to sit down with your guests and enjoy every moment. The messes can wait until after they leave to make room for more memories.