CLEANING UP AFTER A PARTY
When you have hosted a party in your home, whether to celebrate a family member's birthday or as a gift shower for an expectant mother or bride, chances are you will find yourself left with a considerable mess to clean up when all is said and done. Depending on the number of guests who showed up, and whether food and drink were served, you may find yourself exhausted by the point that your entire residence is cleaned up. Frequent hosts and hostesses realize the value in coming up with a plan of action in advance so that you are not left by yourself to contend with considerable clean-up and property damages.
Preparing in Advance
One thing that may help you is to ask for volunteers to be part of a cleaning crew. This is a strategy often employed for bridal or baby showers; in these cases there are often several people who want to be of assistance however they can, be they family members or close friends of the guest of honor. When there is a shower to be thrown, quite often the hostess volunteers her home and time as her particular contribution to her friend's shower. Quite often also, other friends or relatives of the guest of honor want to do their own part to contribute and ensure the success of the event.
What happens oftentimes in the course of carrying out plans for a bridal or baby shower, much to the chagrin of the hostess, is that the hostess becomes stuck with many more duties than she originally signed on for. This happens almost by default and is hardly ever intentional on the part of anyone else. What you may witness at these events is that someone volunteers to bring a certain dish to the shower, someone else to bring balloons and streamers, possibly to help decorate. When the shower is over, however, most guests who have contributed will assume their own participation has come to an end and will gravitate toward the door. It is only the hostess at such an event who cannot possibly ignore the fact that there is much more to take care of.
Sometimes, after a party has been thrown, guests are simply unaware of how much clean-up there is still to accomplish. This can especially be the case if your kitchen is sequestered off from more trafficked areas of your home. When this is the case, guests may not be able to see the load of dirty serving dishes in your sink, overflowing trash bins, spills from cooking and cleaning, etc. Gregarious guests in a home will often volunteer to help when they see there is a mess that needs to be taken care of. When any mess left over from party proceedings is out of sight, guests will not know to volunteer their help. While you can always ask for help from attendees you suspect would be cooperative, you may find it awkward to do so when all guests have reached the point of standing around and socializing. Establishing a volunteer group ahead of time can solve this problem.
During the Party
Cleaning up after a party is rendered significantly easier if you have been cleaning up throughout the course of the party. Some realms of clean-up make more sense when handled this way, such as disposing of gift paper as the guest unwraps presents. It sounds simple, but bringing out a large trash bag to accumulate all gift and tissue paper tossed aside will keep you from hunting for stray pieces later. Using disposable plates and utensils can also help simplify things.