Quick Cleanup Tips
Hosting Easter dinner? Here are a few ways to cleanup before and after the celebration.
As you're dicing, chopping, mincing and getting ready, don't stack dirty dishes on top of dirty dishes. Clean as you go so you aren't tethered to the sink. A pile of dirty dishes can make your kitchen look dirty and cluttered. Party planner Shawn Rabideau says that when you clean as you go, your clean looking home will impress your guests and allow you to spend more time with them. I hate dishes, so we have a deal in our house that if I cook, Glen does the dishes, but when he's not there as I'm prepping dinner, I stack everything on one side of the sink, then chuck everything in the dishwasher and wipe down the counters. The kitchen is the first room you see when you come in from the garage, so the first glimpse around is a tidy kitchen. He thinks I slaved away cleaning and takes pity. Shhhh.
Grass, Eggs and Tablecloths! Oh My!
When it comes to decorating, minimalism is best. If you're having family over, make sure that the centerpieces don't block the view across the table. Plus, the more cluttered your table, the more difficult the cleanup. When we do big holidays with all 22 of us, we do plastic that way when dinner is over, we roll everything up and throw it in the trash. Done. If there will be kids at the party, think of party favors that can double as decorations. When dinner is over, pass out the decorations. Even less cleanup.
Which Way to the Bar?
Will there be cocktails at the party? Instead of having a full wet bar, try and stick to wine, beer and one or two cocktails you know people will like. That way your counter or center island isn't crowded with liquor bottles. Try this little gem: The Fuzzy Bunny Martini. Or the Easter Basket Martini. There are a whole host of cocktails out there you can make with a spring theme.
You say those words, but you know there will be spills. It's inevitable. Keep a mixture or white vinegar, dishsoap and water in a spray bottle so when it happens, you can take care of it quickly. Red wine stains can be the most heart stopping. Relax, it's not there forever. Shawn says when red wine spills, pour white wine on top of it to neutralize the color and then blot (don't rub) it up. He also keeps baby powder at the ready so it's easy to shake on top of the stain and vacuum it up.
When the last guest leaves, if you haven't cleaned up already, start when the door closes. Shawn says to look around for things that need immediate attention like spills and watermarks and then move on to the dishes. Smaller jobs like sweeping can be done by the older kids while picking up toys can be passed on to the smaller kids while you tackle dishes.