Winter – A Time for Indoor Home Parties
The winter months are a great time to socialize indoors. Many people have dinners or parties which are organized entirely indoors. You may not use your deck, patio or backyard during the colder months – indoors is the place to be!
Here are some thoughts on cleaning for a party in your home. Your home needs some focused cleaning for a special socializing event in your home.
Evaluation Comes First
Make believe – act as if you will be a guest in your own home. Pull you car up to the curb or park in your driveway where your guests will park. You may have a garage that connects to your home through its own entrance and your view of your walkway and entrance could be very different than that of your guests when they arrive. Put yourself in their place.
Stand in your foyer or at your front door. First, look for any obstacles. You are use to your home but your guests may not be. Pay close attention to your coat closet. If it is already filled and overstuffed then this may create awkward moments when guests arrive. You need to be able to handle coats effortlessly.
Move through your house noting any items that need special attention. I want to emphasize that on the day or evening of your party or dinner that there will be many more people in your home. Look for ways to help people move around which may even mean rearranging or removing some of the furniture.
Last of all, consider how certain rooms in your home look even though you may consider them “private” spaces. You may not desire to have guests go into your bedroom or office but they may. Make these areas respectable too.
Make a Checklist
A checklist will help you to remember what you want (need) to address from your evaluation and will also help you to assign tasks to others if you have some help. The checklist will also help you to prioritize (in case you run out of time) and help to prevent you from forgetting something.
Now – The Cleaning
Stick to your list. Avoid distractions.
For example, don’t start to scrapbook those extra photos or sort out that messy drawer. These types of tasks are very time consuming and will prevent you from getting the bigger more important things done.
Tackle the Big Things
The big things may also be the messiest. Make your bathrooms sparkle.
Special Tip: This is where a cleaning service such as A Clean Vision can really help. We can come in and do the bigger messier cleaning jobs. We can save you a great deal of time so that you can focus on other things (decorating, music list, or the menu).
We all save things that perhaps do not need saving. These items can build up over time and sometimes we just do not have the exact proper place for these items – once this happens these items become . . . well . . . clutter. It happens to all of us. Something we think of as important or special turns into “clutter” – it happens without our knowledge and without our consent – it just happens.
Pay special attention to clutter and make some tough decisions about whether you really need it or not. If you find you have a great deal of “clutter” perhaps set up a special box and put items that would be worth giving away into this box. If someone else could benefit with this type of donation then this is a nice positive.
Scan Your Living Spaces
Next scan your living areas for things that are not really clutter. These items may be things that you use every day but may be unnecessary for your party and may even get in the way. Clear your tables, countertops, and perhaps even walkways so that these everyday items are not in the way.
Your guests will be placing plates and glasses in places that you never do – it happens. Give your guests plenty of room to rest their plates and glasses.
Special Tip: Create a basket or box for each room. Fill these containers with the items you remove. This provides you with an efficient way to put things back. Also, when you look into the basket or box you will have a 2nd chance (now not under time pressure) to evaluate each item before you return it to the room. You may decide that it is not needed or perhaps you can think of a better place for it.
This is a place in your home that needs to be in tip-top shape.
The Refrigerator: It should be emptied and cleaned. Discard expired food (and that pickle jar filled only with pickle juice way in the back). Make room in your refrigerator for your party food. Ensure that there is room in the freezer for ice.
Small Appliances: If they will not be needed for the party then put them away. This frees up space for, working, serving, and for guests to place down plates and glasses.
Surfaces: Wipe down all surfaces. Start high and go low. Clean the floor last.
Trash Containers: You may want to have an extra trash container. If, for example, you have a small one under your sink, if may become filled very quickly during your party. You also do not want guests hunting around for your “hidden” trash container. If you have a back hall or pantry then it may be just the right space for an extra trash container.
On the day of the party, make sure that these containers are empty.
On the day of the party, dust all surfaces. This means everything including bookshelves, framed photos, artwork, knickknacks, display china and any other decorative pieces.
Again, start high and go low. Pay special attention to ceiling fans. Sweep or vacuum the floors last.
With your original checklist in hand, do a walk-through. These gives you a chance to catch anything that may have been missed. You may also notice something that was relatively minor in the first (pre-clean) walk-through that now stands out as something that needs to be addressed. If you have time . . . (and now you do!) take care of these originally overlooked items.
Now you can accent some parts of your home with decorative touches. I would attend to the front door and entry way first. Your guests will be properly greeted when they arrive with a few decorative items as soon as they enter.
Have fun at your party!
Give us a call at 802-295-6065 if you live in the Upper Valley and need extra support with some pre-party cleaning. We have been providing homeowners of the Upper Valley with top-notch home cleaning services since 1993.