What to Do With Your After-Party Mess

family christmas dinner for a celebration with red wine and cheers

Having a party can be a wonderful thing—you get the whole gang back together again, and everyone has a chance to let loose and enjoy themselves.

Of course, inevitably, parties result in a bit of a mess. If we're honest, we wouldn't have it any other way.

It's great that everyone had a night off from worrying about things, including the mess they were making.

The following will explore how you can handle the mess that comes after a big party without stressing too much or missing nasty things that will serve as terrible surprises weeks from now when you stumble upon them.

We'll start with some broad tips and then work our way into a room-by-room breakdown.

Step One: Open The Blinds And Windows

You want bright light to see anything that is coated with a sticky dried spill and probably want to get some fresh air into the house.

When a house gets packed full of people, there's often a bit too much carbon dioxide for comfort—this can result in a stale, icky smell to the air.

Step Two: Tackle The Garbage

Depending on the size of the party, you might have a crazy amount of garbage. If you've got more than you could throw out on garbage and recycling day, consider renting a dumpster— Bin There, Dump That and done. This is a simple process where you call a dumpster provider, and they drop off a giant bin outside your home. You fill it up with all your garbage, and then they take it away for you.

This is an especially good choice for anyone who will be driving cars full of garbage to the dump as the gas money plus weight charge of several trips might cost you a lot.

If there was alcohol at your party, you might also want to collect all the bottles and cans separately.

You can return these to a liquor store and be given a nice chunk of change for them.

Step Three: Do A Dishes Hunt

At a party, people tend to take their glasses and snack plates with them to strange places.

Go Through the house and collect up all the dishes.

If there were smokers at the party or if people ended up outside at any point, check the garden and patio areas for glasses as well.

Bring them to the kitchen and pack the dishwasher as best you can—don't force extra dishes in if they don't fit. Wait for the next cycle.

If you don't have a dishwasher, that's no problem!

Just leave the dishes near the sink for now; we'll get to them when we make our way to the kitchen.

Step Four: Do A Laundry Hunt

Depending on the party, this might not be too big of a deal, but at the minimum, you're going to want to wash all the hand towels in the kitchen and bathrooms—having several people's hands on them can ensure they're some of the dirtiest things in your home post-party.

If you used cloth napkins, table cloths, or other materials, gather those up and toss them in the wash.

Likewise, if people spent the night and there are sheets, pillowcases, and blankets that need washing, collect those too.

While you're at this, find yourself a good stain treatment mixture and keep an eye out for areas on the sofa, rugs, or other textile items that need to be treated for stain removal.

Step Four: The Bathrooms

Having multiple people use a bathroom can result in a build-up of grime and bacteria very quickly. Do your regular bathroom clean: the toilet, the sink, the mirror, and any surfaces you have in your bathroom. Take a careful look at light switches, taps, or window fastenings. When there are lots of new people in a house, they tend not to know where switches are and drag their hands along the wall in the dark as they look, leaving skin oil or other dirt on the walls around these things.

Step Five: Bedrooms And Living Rooms

Put away any items that were left out from the night before, like cards, board games, balloons, confetti, and other decorative elements.

Straighten up any furniture or move things back to their typical non-party locations.

People tend to pull tables away from walls to allow for more seating or to toss pillows onto the floor to squeeze more people onto the couch.

As you go along, wipe down the door handles and light switches and the areas on the wall or door surrounding them for the reasons mentioned above.

Wipe down any surfaces like coffee tables or side tables as needed.

Step Six: The Kitchen And Dining Room

The kitchen always seems to be where the bulk of the mess accumulates after a party.

In part, we think this is because some guests are well-meaning and tend to move their mess there so as to help you with the clean up the following day.

If the dishwasher is done, you can take the dishes out and put them away before starting the second load.

If you have no dishwasher or have some dishes that aren't dishwasher safe, wash them up first.

Then wipe down the countertops, cupboard knobs, and anything else that needs a wash.

Pay attention to the garbage bin and the wall or surface behind it.

If people aren't used to the garbage bin's location (or they're drunk, so their motor skills are suffering), there might be a bit more grime surrounding the bin than normal. You might even want to wash the inside and outside of the bin as well as the lid. If you were cooking up a storm, you might also need to give the stovetop and oven a little extra attention.

Step Seven: The Floors

cleaning parquet floor

We always recommend that you save the floors for last when you're cleaning. This is because as you move about and wipe surfaces down, you're likely to brush dust or dirt onto the floors and have to do them over again at the end anyway. Sweep, vacuum, or mop, depending on your flooring type.

The above seven tips should help your home recover after a truly great party.

Of course, depending on the theme of the party, you might have a bit more to tackle.

If there was lots of glitter present, be prepared for at least three full house cleans before you stop finding it everywhere.

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