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Making Post-Holiday Dinner Cleanups Easy and Stress-Free

The party is over. The guests are gone.  But what to do about the mess?

Post-holiday dinner cleanups can be overwhelming. Crumb-covered tables, an overflowing trash can, dirty dishes piled high, stains on the carpet and probably a few grubby hands and footprints…even on your lovely dining chairs. Yes, cleaning up after guests and holiday dinner parties is not easy.  However, armed with our tips, you can get a head start on cleanups this year and make this post-holiday chore an easy one.

1.  Prepare Your Cleanup Defense in Advance

First things first, when you plan your holiday dinner menu, also plan your cleanup.  What can you do to make post-dinner cleaning up easier?

  • Have a stash of small containers and plastic bags handy to pack up leftovers.
  • Clear out the refrigerator in advance so that you’ll have enough space to easily store leftovers.
  • Plan a reasonable menu that will reduce the cleanup stress. You don’t need to have a nine-course meal to host a lovely event. Keep it simple!
  • If you are cooking on the same day, clean as you go. Wipe counters and clear away pots and pans. Wash them while you wait for the food to cook.

2.  Have a Handy Stain Removal Kit

Before the party, put together a quick stain removal kit and keep it handy. Nothing fancy, just items that you already have at home, such as absorbent paper towels, clean cloths, club soda, baking soda, salt, etc.  That way, if someone should spill some red wine on your lovely rug, you’ll be prepared.  Here is a comprehensive list of common household products that you can use to remove stains and directions on how to use them.

3.  Make Your Kitchen Cleanup-Friendly

Cleaning up as you go is definitely a great way to make post-dinner cleanups easier.  These helpful suggestions will also leave you with a cleaner kitchen at the end of the dinner party.

  • Invest in a larger trashcan or have two or three small ones.
  • If the dinner is a potluck, ask friends and family to bring dishes in disposable containers to eliminate washing up.
  • Run and unload the dishwasher once before the guests arrive so that you have fewer dishes to wash and an empty dishwasher waiting for you.
  • Jump start cleanups by soaking roasting and baking dishes in hot soapy water as soon as you remove them from the table.

4.  Make Your Home “Swipe Clean” Where Possible

Before the party, look around and see what can be covered with easy-to-clean materials. The kids’ area, for instance, can have a table covered with a cute plastic tablecloth so that you can just wipe it clean after they finish their meal. Similarly, dining room chairs can be covered with Smart Seat Chair Protectors to keep them from getting grubby and stained while looking beautiful still.

So, this season, make post-holiday dinner cleanup an easy and stress-free affair by preparing for it while you draw up your menu for the holiday dinner!

Have a question about keeping stains away and making cleaning up easier? Join the Smart Seat Chair Protector community on Facebook and Twitter, and share your entertaining and housekeeping challenges – we’ll be happy to offer you our solutions and tips!

Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.

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