Hosting a Thanksgiving feast can be a great joy, but cleaning up after guests is another story. No host wants to spend hours tackling big party messes, and with the right preplanning, you won’t have to. By using these five home cleaning tips, you can clean up after your festivities with ease.

Easy Thanksgiving Cleaning Tips

  1. woman with shopping list in kitchen

    Cleaning checklist. While a Thanksgiving prep list will help you effectively plan the event, also creating a cleaning list will help remind you of the things that need to be done after the party. Tasks such as taking out the trash, washing dishes, and straightening furniture should be on your Thanksgiving checklist. You can even assign certain tasks to family members—a large group effort will make the Thanksgiving dinner cleanup go by faster.

  2. Easy meal cleanup. Creating an assembly line is a speedy way to clean up leftover food. Two people can package and label leftovers in food containers, one person can scrape the dishes, and two people can get started on cleaning, soaking, or loading the dishes into the dishwasher. Once the leftovers are wrapped up, Thanksgiving guests can take them home as an additional treat.

  3. autumnal leaves and flowers in-vases

    Party demolition. The real cleanup begins as the guests start to leave. The floors will need to be swept, the table linens and napkins will need to be laundered, and the extra chairs and tables will need to be put away. Guests can help take down the decorations, especially if you use decorations that can be brought home as party favors, such as name cards and flowers. This will save hosts from having to clean them up or finding storage space.

  4. Accident patrol. Where there are big gatherings, there are bound to be accidents, so it’s wise to have cleaning supplies on hand in case of spills. Stains are often easier to treat if they have not had time to set, so catching a stain early will save you a lot of time and hassle. After the party is over, check for stains on chairs, water rings on coffee tables, and marks on floors. If specific areas need attention, like the upholstery or the flooring, specialists may be able to help.

  5. young maid cleaning glass table

    Post-Thanksgiving deep cleaning. If you expect to have a large mess, or if you just need an extra pair of hands, try hiring a housecleaning service. The helpers can give the bathrooms, kitchen, and dining room a thorough cleaning immediately after your party or even the next day. Even if you do most of the cleaning yourself, housecleaners can help with the larger issues from the party, like wear and tear on furniture and flooring.

The after-party cleanup can be done quickly and efficiently as long as you’re organized and have some assistance. These quick cleaning tips will help you manage the party aftermath and get some much-deserved rest.

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Additional Sources: Better Homes and Gardens; Good Housekeeping; Real Simple; Redbook Magazine.