7 Ideas for a Quick and Easy Party Cleanup

Cookies and fruits on colorful paper plates

As a host, throwing parties is infinitely more enjoyable when cleanup is simple, but there's plenty you can do before your guests arrive to lighten the load. With a little preparation, you can minimize the time and effort it takes to tidy up, so you can relax and enjoy your party all the more. 

Serve Mess-Free Food

Create hassle-free cleanup by choosing the right types of food to serve. Ban crumbly, wet or messy dishes that will inevitably end up on your floor. Stick to finger foods that don't fall apart between plates and mouths, and if you've got your heart set on serving something your guests might scatter around, put the dish on a table in an area with easy-to-clean floors without carpet.

Mark the Party Areas

When a party gets going, guests sometimes wander off into distant corners of your home and garden, leaving a Hansel and Gretel-style trail of crumbs and other debris. Politely encourage visitors to stick to designated party areas by locking doors and stringing decorative lines 

Set Up Trash Bags and Bins

Your best helpers for reducing after-party chores are your guests. When you place trash bags and bins in plain sight, most visitors will happily dispose of garbage in the right place without any prompting. Put a spare bag next to each bin in case the first fills up. If you're worried that trash bags will ruin your party decor, use colored or decorative bags.

Have a No-Clutter Set Up

Precious paintings, photographs, ornaments and rugs can get broken or stained during a rowdy party. Put away any fragile valuables, and lift and store expensive rugs. For replacement decorations, display fresh flowers in the disposable vases which florists sometimes provide. Spread cheap mats if you must cover your floor, but remember that hard floors are the easiest and quickest to sweep and clean.

Create an Action Pack for Spills

When spills happen, fast cleanup reduces the chances of stubborn stains forming. Prepare for accidental messes by putting together a pack of salt, clean cloths or paper towels and cleaning fluids. Salt absorbs liquid before it can soak into rugs and soft upholstered furniture. When the salt has done its work, you can tackle the residue with the cloths and cleaners from your pre-prepared action pack.

Use Easy Partyware

Disposable partyware saves hours of cleaning after your guests have gone home. Use paper or plastic dishes, utensils and cups. The most environmentally-friendly option in disposable partyware is recycled paper items, which decompose after use.

Prepare for Leftovers

Have a plan in case all of your yummy refreshments don't disappear by the end of the event. If you're looking forward to enjoying the extras yourself, make room in the refrigerator beforehand so you don’t have to wrestle to fit it all in. Alternatively, buy aluminum foil boxes or disposable containers with lids to pack up leftovers and send them home with your friends.