How to Clean Up After Your Holiday Parties

After the season’s festive fun, your home might be a little messy. Before you tackle the tower of trash, take note of these tips.

Holiday Party Cleaning: Food Fight

Cleaning up after a massive meal is no easy task. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Battle bacteria. Any foods that are supposed to be refrigerated shouldn’t sit out for more than 2 hours, and that is cumulative—including everything from transport from the grocery store to cooking to the table. This includes most cooked items. Otherwise, harmful bacteria—which can be invisible and odorless—may form. Keep your food out of the danger zone (40-140 degrees Fahrenheit), and when in doubt, toss it out.
     
  • Save what’s safe. Many baked goods are safe to leave out if covered or wrapped. If you have food that needs to be refrigerated, store it quickly. Make the most of your limited fridge space by transferring leftovers to smaller, seal-able containers. If those aren’t available, cover your plates with foil or plastic wrap before stashing them in the refrigerator.
     
  • Kick crumbs to the curb. Shake the crumbs off your tablecloths and place mats. Unless you want to make more work for yourself, do this over the trashcan or sink. Now would also be a good time to scan for stains. We’ll talk about how to treat those in a bit.
     
  • Grease goes in the garbage (maybe). If grease used for deep-frying is clear and free of odd odors, you can reuse it. Transfer it to a metal can or plastic jug with a tight-fitting cover and stash the container in the fridge. Recycling is another option in some areas, but you will generally have to take it to a drop-off center. If all else fails, seal it in a leak-proof container and place that within a bag before it goes in the bin to reduce leaky messes. In every case, make sure the grease has completely cooled first.
     
  • Soak and scrub. Depending on the level of caked-on crud stuck to your pots and pans, you might want to vary your approach. Squirt a little dishwashing soap in them, fill with water and let sit overnight if the situation is a little sticky. For those more stubborn burnt-in messes, you can let soda like Coke or Pepsi loosen things up for you. Just leave it in the pot for a few hours or overnight.

Cleaning For Holiday Party Messes: Stains and Scuffs

Once your guests are gone, you probably don’t want permanent reminders of the party on your floor or tablecloth. How do you get rid of those scuffs and stains?

  • Buff those scuffs. Polyurethane hardwood floors might pick up a few marks while you’re cuttin’ a rug. Don’t despair at your damaged dance floor. Rub the area for a bit with a soft cloth, and if that doesn’t do the trick, add a little floor cleaner as you rub.
     
  • Stop stains from setting. If wine ends up on the carpet, rug or tablecloth, you’ll need to act fast. Salt can help keep the stain from settling in for the long haul. Carpet cleaner might be required, but if you have club soda or white wine on hand, you might try those first. Whichever one you choose, pour it directly on the stain and blot the area. Avoid rubbing as that will make matters worse. 

As you take down all the party and holiday decorations, don’t forget that ezStorage has a location near you. With units in an array of sizes, our self-storage professionals can help you find the perfect solution for your decoration storage needs.