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How To Save Time On After-Party Clean-Up

after party messWinter Blues in the Office

The winter months suck. You know it’s true; if the dark and the cold didn’t get people down, we wouldn’t feel the need to stuff the winter months with celebrations. Throughout recorded history, there has always been a quest to keep spirits up in the winter. That’s why we invented parties.

Parties are a great way to help lift your employee’s spirits when the winter gets them down. Give them a chance to have fun and get to know the people they work with a bit better. It can serve as a great reward for sticking with your company for the year and encourage them to stick it out through another. Then comes the clean-up after and you start to wonder why you held it in the first place.

Well, to help you out a bit, we spoke with Clean Freak to get some tips on making clean-up for your after party easier and save you some time. These tips will also work equally well if you’re throwing a party at your home.

Advanced Preparation

A few things prepared ahead of time can save you a lot of work later. You just need to know what to do. So, here are a few things.

1. Lay Out Tablecloths

Tablecloths give any party a professional look, but they serve a dual purpose. When the party is over, you can just fold them up, mess included, and toss the in the washer. If there are a lot more crumbs than you expected, you can simply shake the tablecloth out in the dumpster out back before sending it to be washed.  If it’s a disposable cover, it can just be thrown away, crumbs and all.

2. Line Your Slow Cooker

A slow-cooker insert full of stuck-on food crowds up the sink and slows down cleaning up afterward. Not to mention it’s a mess nobody wants to have to look at. The solution to this is simple: get yourself a plastic liner. That way, the food mess never gets on the cooker. After you finish cooking, throw the liner away, rinse the cooker’s insert for good measure, and put it away. No mess, no fuss.

3. Consider Catering

If you don’t want to spend time cooking the food yourself, there’s always the option to cater. Some catering companies offer clean-up as a part of the package, so this might save you the need to wash dishes after as well as saving you time cooking the food. Catering might be a more expensive option, but this isn’t always the case. Before you hire a caterer, make sure you know what they offer. Shop around and see what choices you have. The best option usually isn’t the first one you find.

During The Party

You can help speed up the cleaning process by doing a few things during the party, too.

1. Keep Trash Cans Accessible

trash cansYou don’t need your employees leaving trash everywhere. While nobody will admit to littering, we all know that we’re willing to drop a candy wrapper under the table, or leave a soda can on top of it if we can get away with it. Trash adds to the cleaning load, so make sure people have no excuse to leave it. If you keep trash cans and recycling bins accessible and in clear sight, most people will be polite enough to put their trash in them. Make it easy to do, and people will do it.

2. Use Bussing Tubs

Clearing plates is a hassle when you’ve got to do it just a few at a time. If you want to avoid making dozens of trips to the kitchen sink, use an inexpensive bussing tub. That way, you can clear multiple dishes at once. It will save you many trips and keep plates and glasses from piling up on the counter.  Fill them with hot water and soap and let them soak for a while.

3. Send It Home

Nothing is more wasteful than throwing out food you aren’t going to eat. So don’t. If your party has a lot of food left over, let the guests take it home. Get some cheap to-go containers and set them out as the party draws to a close. If your guests like the food, let them fill up on it and take some home to eat later. That way, there’s less food for you to clean up at the end of the party and less you have to throw away when you can’t eat it all yourself.

After the Party

No matter how much preparation you do, there’s always going to be a mess afterward.  So, once the party’s over, it’s time to roll up those sleeves and get to work.

1. Thrills and Spills

spills on the carpetYou want to start with the spills.  Drink spill should be cleaned immediately, especially if it’s a drink that might leave a stain.  Even just water should be dried out to prevent mold from taking root.  Crumbs will attract pests.  Ants may be dormant for the winter, but cockroaches never sleep, so don’t give them an excuse to come out of hiding.

2. Washing Dishes

Hopefully, you took our advice and soaked the dishes in hot water.  Hot water and soap will keep the food from drying out and sticking to the plates and will ensure that the dish washer will get every scrap of food off, leaving your dishes sparkling clean and ready to use again.

3.  Consider Getting Help

Clean-up can be a little overwhelming, even with good preparation.  If you just don’t know where to start, or you want to make sure you really get anything, you can always get some help.  There are companies available and ready to help you get everything squeaky clean for reasonable rates if you need it done, but just don’t have enough hands to do it all yourself.

Make Your Office Party Fun

An office party is a great way boost company morale. You don’t want your employees to feel underappreciated and you certainly don’t want them to feel isolated from their coworkers. Ending the year with a big party can help solve both of those problems. Don’t worry about the mess any more than you have to. With a bit of preparation, you can make sure clean-up goes by with a minimum of fuss and effort. So reward yourself – and your employees – with a good time.