It’s the most wonderful time of the year! I love the holidays. As so many of us prepare to host, we also need to prepare for the clean up afterwards. Coming from a huge family I know how crazy the planning can be but I also know how exciting and enjoyable it is. We’re going to share our tips for cleaning up after the holidays and we hope that your family gathering will go as smoothly as you’d like! When I was growing up, I was taught to lend a hand even if I was just a guest in your home. It’s something that sticks with me today and it’s a tradition for me to always clean up.
As I mentioned above, we always teamed up to clean the dining room tables and it made for a quick return to relaxation, family conversations and playing games into the evening. Tag team, clean in pairs when it comes to doing the dishes. What else helps is to know who’s in charge of the clean up! My aunt who’s like my mother always made sure that she asked certain people to help with specific chores. Grab the kids and have them pitch in. Create a clean up chart for big holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah.
Clean As You Go-
Throughout the day and into the evening, clean as you go! It’s nice to pick things up, take a break and then get your thoughts together on how everything else is going to go. I always find myself getting up and cleaning in between playing games, switching out drinks, snacks and platters. If there’s anything in the sink, wash it when you see it. Don’t let it pile up. Fill the dishwasher as you see fit and run it a few times if you have to. Organize the coat racks if kids are running in and out, replace the toilet paper in bathrooms and wipe the counter tops often.
Take Your Shoes Off At The Door-
It’s extremely important that people take their shoes off before they enter your home. Dirt and debris harboring into your carpets and floors is a no no this time of year. As crazy as some people may think it is to ask their guests to take off their shoes, it’s really not a hard question to ask. Perhaps make a sign on the front door so that they know what to expect when they arrive. This makes life much easier as far as cleaning up. You won’t have to vacuum and mop as much.
Use Disposable Dishes-
I know that many families like to use expensive dinnerware but if you’re expecting a ton of guests you might want to purchase classy disposable dishes. Sometimes we split the glassware up based on children and adults. Give the kids the plastic plates and use the elegant dinnerware for the adults. Either way it makes a difference in the cleaning up process.
Have The Coffee Made-
Our family always has the coffee pot on! It’s perfect for revving you up to start cleaning. It gives you the energy you need (drink caffeine) and offer a cup or two to your guests. They’ll want to jump in without giving you ‘the look’ people give when they’re asked to do something. Coffee makes people want to do things without you asking.
Clear The Fridge The Day Before-
Empty your refrigerator the day before the BIG dinner. Throw the half empty bottles away, toss the leftovers from the night before, and make room for Thanksgiving/Xmas dinner foods to be stored away after your feast. Preparing the fridge will eliminate the headache if you find yourself trying to cram containers in there and there is NO ROOM!
Relax, Listen to Soft Music and Embrace The House Filled With Love-
Cleaning is actually a natural way to de-stress. It’s relaxing if you do it the proper way. I find myself enjoying time at the sink or vacuuming alone because it helps to clear my mind, think about things that I haven’t been able to think about and a clean home is always a healthier, better home to live in. Turn some light music on so that you can hear it in the background, listen to the kids laughing, enjoy the conversation you hear the guys talking about and embrace the family home life you’ve created. It’s a time for love, compassion and giving. Give your whole heart while keeping everything in order. And thank the good Lord for everything you’ve been given.
How does your family clean up?! We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Share your holiday traditions as well. Xo