How to: Clean Up After a Party (Even If You Don't Have a Dishwasher)

How to: Clean Up After a Party (Even If You Don't Have a Dishwasher)

Abby Stone
Aug 25, 2008

atla-082508-cleanup01.jpgIt's late and the last guest just left. You close the door and survey the damage. Glasses on every available space, empty wine bottles, dishes stacked haphazardly...While having people over is great, clleaning up after the party's over? Not so much. Here's our plan for making the aftermath less traumatic...

Before You Go To Bed


  • Start by emptying your kitchen sink and clearing off your kitchen counters.
  • Lay out a clean dishtowel or empty dish rack.
  • Gather up all leftover food. Wrap or discard.
  • Gather up all the cutlery, dishes and glasses. Scrape plates and empty glasses and put them to soak. We use a small plastic trashcan that we've filled with soap and water. It fits under our sink so that we can put the dishes out of sight while we attend to the rest of the mess. Getting this visual clutter out of the way makes the kitchen look cleaner even if we haven't done anything and gives us the energy to continue. While they are soaking...
  • Attend to all stains. Treat with spot remover and let it work while you...
  • Grab a bag and collect all the non-recyclable trash. Discard.
  • Grab another bag and collect the recyclables. Dispose.
  • Quickly damp mop the floor. This is not the time to be thorough. You're just trying to avert a nightmare situation in the morning.
  • Wipe down your kitchen counters, drink a glass of water and go to bed.

In The Morning


  • Start with coffee and eat something simple that dirties as few dishes as possible.
  • Light a great smelling candle and put on some upbeat music.
  • Check any stains. Add additional spot remover if necessary.
  • Do one batch of dishes. Leave to dry.
  • Take a short break to enjoy your coffee and a glass of water.
  • Put away clean dishes.
  • Do a second batch of dishes. Leave to dry.
  • Take another break.
  • Put away clean dishes.

  • Alternate dishes with taking a break until you're done.
  • Clean up your stains.
  • Plan your next party!

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