Cleaning Up after a Christmas Party

If you're planning on hosting a gathering this Christmas, read our tips on how to clean up after the party, including a room-by-room strategy & checklist!

Updated

2 x glasses with remnants of a big night

Congratulations! Your Christmas party was a great success, and your friends and family all had a wonderful time. Unfortunately, you can’t relax just yet – now that everyone’s gone home, it’s time to face the mess. If you can barely see carpet for all the wrapping paper and empty boxes, and if your kitchen is piled high with dishes, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed – but don’t worry. Cleaning up after a party doesn’t have to be hard work. The trick is to tackle one room at a time, breaking the work down into more manageable chunks. Here’s how to clean up after a house party quickly and easily, including a handy checklist to make sure you don’t miss a thing.

So much of the mess we create at Christmas can be put to good use – so think before you throw something away! For example, wrapping paper can provide protective padding when you pack away fragile Christmas ornaments, and is a pretty addition to future craft projects.

How to Clean Up After a Party Room by Room

Kitchen

If you’ve cooked a delicious Christmas dinner for your friends and family, you might be struggling to get through the mountain of dishes that have built up. Get your family to help out! Wash the dishes with your favourite dishwashing liquid (we like Vim), and have your helpers wash and put away the crockery and cutlery. If any plates or pans are proving difficult to wash, leave them until the end and let them soak in warm, soapy water to soften the caked-on residue or burnt food. While your plates are soaking, use a spray to remove any germs from the worktops, and give the inside of your fridge a wipe to remove any food spills that might cause mould.

Social Areas

Your social areas, such as living rooms and dining rooms, will probably be the messiest places of all. This is where the family will have opened their presents, so pieces of wrapping paper, cardboard, plastic, and empty boxes could be hiding around any corner. The first step is to clear the floor, put objects back in their places, and throw out or recycle any rubbish. You may find it useful to keep a bin bag or recycling bag in the room with you, rather than carrying everything out to the rubbish bins piece by piece. The next step is to vacuum your carpets and rugs, and use the soft brush nozzle to freshen up your curtains, sofas, and chairs.

Guest Bedrooms

When having a party at home for Christmas, most of us will invite friends and family to stay the night, especially if they’ve travelled a long way. Good house guests should always try to leave their room looking as it did when they arrived, but of course there is still tidying to be done. The main thing is stripping the bed and washing the sheets and duvet covers. You can wash these in the washing machine for ease, but keep them separate from your regular laundry loads as clothing could become tangled in the sheets. Also be sure to vacuum the floors, and check in any wardrobes and drawers to ensure your guests haven’t forgotten anything.

Bathroom

If you had guests over Christmas, your bathroom may have had more than its fair share of use. Be sure to give your shower screen or curtain a good clean – if it’s fabric, take it down and wash it in the washing machine, and if it’s glass, scrub it down with a good quality surface cleaner, and buff to bring up the shine. It’s also essential to clean your toilet thoroughly. Use a good quality disinfectant cleaner – something like Domex is ideal. Always follow the instructions on the labels of your chosen product so that you apply them safely and effectively.

Hints & Tips for Cleaning up After a Party

  • One Thing at a Time

Trying to multitask and clean multiple rooms at a time is a sure-fire way to start feeling the pressure. Instead, pick a room and work in it exclusively until it’s all clean and tidy, then move onto another area of the house. You’ll find the clean-up process much quicker this way.

  • Enlist the Kids

If you have kids, and they’re at a loose end, ask them if they’d like to help out. Their initial answer may be ‘no’, but why not turn some regular household chores into fun games for them to play, or offer a reward for all their hard work. Kids are great at small, light tasks, like folding laundry and tidying up toys.

  • Stock Up

Before Christmas, make sure you stock your cleaning cupboard with anything that might help you clean up after a party so that you have everything you need handy at home. Good ideas include floor cleaner, a multipurpose surface cleaner like Cif cream, a kitchen spray, a good quality laundry detergent, and stain removers.

The Party Clean-Up Checklist

Cleaning after a party doesn’t have to be as difficult a task as it seems. Here’s a handy checklist you can use to make sure you’ve not forgotten any important tasks:

  • Tidy up any rubbish and either recycle or throw away, depending on the material.
  • Declutter floors and tabletops by putting everything back in its place.
  • Pick up any clothes from the floor, and put them in the laundry basket ready to be washed.
  • Take any plates or dishes into the kitchen ready to be washed.
  • Wash any bedding and towels used by house guests.
  • Clean your shower and toilet.
  • Soak pots and pans to make them easier to clean.
  • Wipe your kitchen with an antibacterial spray to remove germs.
  • Check wardrobes and drawers to make sure guests haven’t left personal items.
  • Vacuum floors thoroughly, and wash hardwood floors with a damp cloth.

Originally published