October through December are my favorite months of the year. In my family these months feel like it’s just one big party after another! Whether it’s barbecuing before before a big college football game, having hot cocoa after trick or treating, or enjoying traditional holiday meals, our family loves getting together during this time of year.
With lots of family and (especially lots of kids) these holiday family gatherings do tend to get a little messy. Okay, sometimes it can get more than a “little” messy. In my opinion, the cleanable messes are a small price to pay for all of the lasting memories that have been created by them. I wouldn’t trade it for the world! However, I’m certainly not too proud to employ a few sneaky tricks for keeping the mess (and post-party clean-up) more manageable. Here are a few ways that I try to survive the holiday clean-up, without sacrificing on the fun:
1. Start on Empty- Plan for the cleanup before the party even starts by having an empty sink, dishwasher and trash cans. This will help to prevent dirty dishes and empty containers from getting stacked on counters. Plus, believe me when I say that you will appreciate having a few less things to empty at clean-up time.
2. Take it Outdoors- Depending on weather, consider if you can plan part or all of the gathering outdoors. This past weekend I had family and a few friends over for pizza and pumpkin carving. I decided to set up a couple of tables outside and have everyone eat and carve jack-o-lanterns on our back patio. Being outdoors on a crisp fall evening, made the gathering feel so festive, but the real treat was that clean-up was a breeze!
3. Take Turns- While we all try to pitch in and help out with dishes and clean-up, everyone knows that the bulk of the post-party clean up falls upon the host. In my family, to ease the workload, we like to take turns hosting the gatherings. This gives everyone a turn to enjoy doing the holiday “their way” but also spreads out the work of prep and clean-up. I also did hire a housekeeper and she kept the home tidy.
4. First on the Scene – A few weekends ago my family had a bbq. While we where all enjoying chatting and eating, I noticed that the “little cousins” where missing. I found them in a corner of the playroom hiding out with a big bag of chips. They had huge smiles and where surrounded by a pile of crunched chips that where quickly getting smashed into the carpet. I now wish that I had snapped a photo (their little faces where adorable) but at the moment, my thoughts where on the clean-up. With big family gatherings, moments like this are sure to happen. However, as long as you can get it taken care of quickly and efficiently, there is usually nothing to stress about. Be the first on the scene and get it taken care before the mess gets further ground into the carpet and is harder to take care of.
I like to have an easy to use, portable vacuum on hand just for these moments. My tool of choice is the Hoover Cordless Air Bagless Upright Vacuum. This is a full sized cyclonic air vacuum that runs on LithiumLife batteries that have double the capacity of standard 18-volt lithium Ion batteries which means longer runtime and fade-free power. This makes it super portable and easy to grab during a “chip disaster” (or any other family gathering messes) and means that I don’t have to bother everyone with plugging in a cord for everyone to get tangled in during a party. The entire vacuum is less than 10 lbs, so I can easily take it to any place in the house that my little mess makers can get to!
5. Freshen Up- When the party is done, it can feel like the a tornado hit the house. While it may seem logical to start by tackling the kitchen, I like to start with the floors. If you think about it, everyone at your gathering was walking around, may have dropped a crumb of food or two or had dirt or dust on their shoes. I like to get all of that cleaned before I walk around doing any other cleaning, pushing it all further into the floors. The house also always feels so fresh and clean to me after getting vacuumed which is just the motivation that I need before working on a messy kitchen.
For this job I also like to use my Hoover Cordless Air Bagless Upright Vacuum. Because of it’s Windtunnel 3 technology it provides performance suction power to lift and remove any dirt and crumbs left from party. I also love that it has settings that allow me to use it on both my carpets and hardwood floors, so I can get the entire house done with the one tool. And thanks to the fact that it comes with two batteries (each capable of up to 50 minutes of cleaning) I have enough power to easily do it all.
With these simple tricks I hope that your upcoming holiday gatherings will be remembered for the memories made with loved ones and not for the mess that they leave behind.
To arm yourself with the right tools to do this be sure to check out Hoover’s line of 4 cordless cleaners (3 vacuums and a hard floor wet cleaner) with an interchangeable battery providing versatility to tackle a variety of messes whether it’s the whole house or just picking up a quick mess.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.