There's no need to wear yourself out by tackling the entire mess immediately. Spend just a few minutes whipping the aftermath into shape, and then do the detail work in the morning. Assuming you have already put perishable foods away, here are the steps to follow:
1. Collect bottles, cups, and glasses. Look for spills and deal with them right away.
2. Empty half-filled glasses and cups in the kitchen sink. Toss out plastic and paper (to recycling!). Set the glasses on the counter. Do the same with plates and utensils.
3. Fill the dishwasher with as many dishes as you can fit in and start it when it's fully loaded.
4. Gather up the garbage in plastic bags, starting in outer rooms and working your way toward the kitchen, so that you centralize the clutter there. Take garbage out as soon as bags are filled and tied, to prevent accidental leaks and odors.
5. In the morning, after a good night's sleep, finish up by dusting and vacuuming, again working your way toward the kitchen. Clean the kitchen last.
Anyone else have any handy tips for the party aftermath?