It’s almost Canada Day and what better way to celebrate than hosting a party and indulging in patriotic snacks and shenanigans? Whether you’re planning a barbecue, a day at the beach or a backyard bash with friends, once all the red & white smoke clears, there will inevitably be some post-celebratory clean-up that needs to be done.
One of the secrets that party hosts quickly learn is that post-party cleanup starts during your party prep and throughout the day of the party. In fact, what you do before and during the party is the key to easy party cleanup once your guests disperse. Here’s a few tips that will help keep your cleanup to a minimum, if you’re okay with feeling a little bit like a Monica.
Label receptacles for recycling and trash
Keep garbage and recycle bins clearly labelled and in plain view, particularly near food and drink areas. It also doesn’t hurt to have extra garbage cans available in case of overflow, or for trash that may find it’s way in other areas. By keeping the garbage and recycle bins easily accessible, your guests will be helping with cleanup throughout the day, making post-party cleanup easier for you.
Be mindful of your menu
While spills, stains and crumbs are bound to happen, you can plan your menu with this in mind, avoiding overly messy foods or drinks that stain. If you’re hosting indoors and you have light coloured carpets or furniture, you might want to avoid any dark juices, red wine, or red sauces.
Avoid glitter and confetti
If you were thinking of buying that cute Canada-day themed confetti for your party, DON’T. It might seem like a good idea to add some pizzazz to your table scape, but that sh!t will end up everywhere. And do I even have to explain how glitter infiltrates your entire life for 6 months after you use it? Save your soul and skip it.
Limit the party areas
While you don’t want to be the party police and blow a whistle every time someone ventures outside of designated party areas, (I mean, you do you though!) it doesn’t hurt to have areas set up for the party, and encourage guests to stay in these areas.
If your party is indoors, you can close and lock any areas that you don’t want guests to venture into, and set up your designated party areas with seating, décor and food tables, so guests will know where to mingle. If the party is outdoors, be sure to set up seating, music, food and drinks in the outdoor entertaining area (or areas) where you want your guests to gather.
Keep it outdoors
Weather permitting, keep the party outdoors to save on interior cleanup. Encourage people to stay outdoors by setting up games and entertainment, playing music on a Bluetooth speaker, and ensuring that you have seating available outdoors, incorporating a shaded option. Serve BBQ food on paper plates, stock a cooler full of bevvies, and ensure all of your garbage and recycle receptacles are labelled and placed outdoors.
Use disposable food containers and cutlery
Using throw-away tablecloths, cutlery, plates and containers will undoubtedly save on cleanup time, but if you are environmentally conscious, you might want to go with reusable options. There are also some eco-friendly versions of one-time use items such as straws, cutlery and containers that you can recycle, which makes cleaning up easy AND considers the environment.
Clean as you go
While you don’t want to spend the entire party micro-managing cleanup efforts, it doesn’t hurt to do a little cleanup here and there to keep the mess under control. Keeping on top of excess clutter, overflowing garbage cans, and spills will ensure you don’t have an unmanageable mess to clean up the next day.
There you have it, a list of cleaning tips that Monica Gellar herself would approve of. But if your party gets out of control and the mess seems overwhelming the next day, you might want to call in the experts to help with the dirty work.
Written By: Stacey Wood