Tips to Stay Clean Throughout the Game

Paper plates and napkins in a wire basket

No matter how wild your gameday crowd gets, your house can still be clean(ish) at party’s end. These tips will help you minimize after-party cleaning.

  • A thorough pre-party clean goes a long way toward keeping things clean all party long. Anywhere party-goers will wander, whether kitchen, living room or bathroom deserves a concentrated cleaning and de-cluttering effort before guests arrive. Move furniture that won’t be used or gets in the way into another room. Make sure the floors, counters and eating surfaces shine. Granted, no one is asking you to scrub walls – or even floors – but the less clutter you leave out before the party, the less you’ll be picking up after the party.
  • Tablecloths are a must as are plentiful napkins.
  • Organize the food and drink table in a way that makes it easy for guests to grab their food and return to their seats. Lead the line-up off with plates, followed by mains, snacks and desserts. Silverware and napkins are best placed in baskets (or stand the silverware up in drinking glasses for easy grabbing) at the end of the buffet line; there are all-in-one caddies that keep this set-up efficient, too. Drinks, glasses and ice get their own table.
  • Speaking of the food and beverage tables, allow for a clear path between the viewing area and your party fare so guests can easily and quickly pop up and sit back down again. It’s also helpful to have easy access to the kitchen so you can refill as needed.
  • Make sure that wastebaskets and recycling containers are easy to spot. Labeling each and keeping them emptied means guests will be able to toss their trash and recycle their bottles and cans instead of piling them on your counters.
  • If you have TV-trays, now is the time to use them. (If you don’t have them, consider borrowing a set or picking some up at a thrift store.) Having a surface to eat on – instead of balancing food and drink on your lap while eating – guarantees fewer spills.
  • Provide a permanent marker so guests can label their beverage cups. Using fewer cups is good for the environment and also means you’ll have fewer cups to dispose of.
  • Keep your eye out for spills and discreetly wipe up messes as you’re able. If you have a guest you feel especially comfortable with, you can ask him or her to keep an eye on things for you as well. Managing the mess during the party is as easy as balancing the need to keep things clean with the reason for your party – to enjoy watching basketball with friends (and food)!