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The Ultimate Post-Party Clean-Up Checklist

large table filled with assorted food items and wine

If you thought pre-party cleaning (to prepare your house for guests) was tough, the post-party clean-up will definitely leave you feeling overwhelmed. It’s just one of those situations that leave you wondering where to begin, and when the clean-up is ever going to end! With that said, there is absolutely no need to panic! Why? Because post-party clean-ups are easier to tackle than most people think. It’s only a matter of working in an organised manner and, of course, having a checklist to refer to for a thorough, systematic clean.

So, if you’re having a party or you’ve already had one, this is the ultimate post-party clean-up checklist you will need to restore cleanliness and order to your home.

To make things easier on you, we have prioritised cleaning tasks and divided them into a two-day cleaning guide: 

  1. Immediate After-Party Cleaning Tasks
  2. Next Day Cleaning Tasks

Let’s get right to them now, shall we?

Same-Day Post-Party Clean-Up Checklist

messy table after a party

It’s the end of the party; the last guest has just driven off, and you’re about 10 seconds away from deciding to leave all the cleaning for the next day -- a decision you will surely regret in the morning! Apart from making the entire clean-up a lot easier by getting things out of the way right after the party ends, immediate cleaning will also ensure that you aren’t leaving any stains (that need immediate attention) to set. 

Here is Maid For You’s prioritised, same-day post-party clean-up checklist:

  • Round up garbage. Grab a trash bag or two, and round up garbage in every room that was used for the party. Food scraps left in plates should also be discarded to avoid ants and other creepy crawlies. Be sure to segregate the garbage in different trash bags for your recycling bins.
  • Pack leftovers. Don’t leave food out overnight to spoil; pack them away in food containers and put them in the refrigerator. Anything that can’t be saved such as leftover dip and such should be discarded immediately. 
  • Load the dishwasher. Rather than waking up to a pile of dirty dishes, load them in the dishwasher to clean the next day. If there are a few dishes leftover, give them a rinse and leave them to soak in the sink; they can be cleaned in the dishwasher (the next morning) after the first round is done.
  • Load the washer. Apart from sanitary reasons, table cloths, runners, dish towels, and hand towels should be washed after a party to remove mild soil and stains that may have occurred during the party. For severe stains, tackle them straight away by applying an appropriate stain remover, followed by a wash in the washing machine.
  • Wipe up spills. Check for any sticky spills or crumbs that need to be wiped up. It helps to use a multipurpose cleaner to soak spills before wiping them up with a paper towel or clean cloth.
  • Check for stains on carpets/rugs. It is best to remove stains from your carpets and rugs as soon as they occur; the longer you wait, the harder they are to get out. Luckily, there are many ways to remove carpet stains, many of which require common household products.
  • Wipe down kitchen counters. Finish off your same-day post-party clean-up by wiping the kitchen counters with a damp cloth and multipurpose cleaning spray.

The Next Day Post-Party Clean-Up Checklist

cleaning equipment, feather duster and gloves on a large wooden table

Thanks to those few, yet crucial cleaning tasks you took care of immediately after the party, you can sleep peacefully knowing that you don’t have a tiring day of cleaning ahead of you. Nevertheless, the pending cleaning tasks for the next day will require a few hours of your time before your home can be declared clean and organised again!

Here is a list of after-party cleaning tasks you need to check off the next day:

  • Run the dishwasher. First things first, get the dishes cleaned by starting the pre-loaded dishwasher. After the first load is done, put the clean dishes away in their respective places, and load the dishwasher with the rest of the dirty dishes. While the dishes are being cleaned, check off other cleaning tasks.
  • Put away decor pieces. If decorations were put up for the party, take them down and put away the ones you intend on keeping. Balloons and other single-use decor pieces will need to be discarded or given away.
  • Clean kitchen areas. Your stovetop and kitchen sink are likely to have encountered grease and grime during the course of the party; therefore, a thorough wipe down is necessary. A cleaning solution made with equal parts of warm water and vinegar will suffice in removing grease from both glass and stainless steel surfaces.
  • Tidy up. If things are left out of place or in a haphazard manner, tidy the space by putting them back in order. This includes putting furniture pieces back in place if they were moved around during the party.
  • Wipe the furniture. While you may have spot-cleaned sticky stains or spills the night before, the rest of the furniture must be cleaned the next day. In fact, you just might find some missed spots that need cleaning with your microfibre dust cloth and all-purpose cleaner.
  • Vacuum the floor. Depending on the amount of foot traffic in the house during the party, your floor just might be the thing that requires the most cleaning! Start by vacuuming the floor to remove dirt and fine debris; be sure to get those spaces underneath chairs, tables, and other furniture.
  • Mop the floor. To remove soil from your kitchen floor and other non-carpeted floorings, mop with a warm floor cleaning solution.
  • Clean bathroom surfaces. Spray high-touch bathroom surfaces with a disinfectant; allow it to fight bacteria for 10 minutes before wiping over the surfaces with a clean cloth. These should include faucets, doorknobs, the toilet seat and lid, flush pull/button, and counter. Other areas to clean in your bathroom include the sink, toilet bowl and lastly, the floor.
  • Clean outdoor areas. If you and your guests took the party outside, you may find that your front porch/patio/backyard are in need of tidying and cleaning. The quickest way to do this is to tidy up first, and then hose down the floors, bannisters, and walls.

MaidForYou Post-Party Clean Up Checklist

When you look at the post-party clean-up checklist above, and how systematically you can check off tasks over the course of two days, it really doesn’t seem like such a herculean task after all! So, the next time you’re planning a party, be sure to use Maid For You’s after-party cleaning checklists to restore cleanliness and order to your house!.

Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.

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