Sunday was the Superbowl and my husband and I hosted. It was a ton of fun and everybody had a great time. I planned appropriately and we had food and beer left over, which I think is a good sign. it means there was no shortage and people could eat and drink their fill without feeling as though we were going to run out. But the hardest part of hosting a Superbowl party, or any party for that matter is not necessarily the preparation, it’s the clean up.
So many blog posts and Pinterest ideas I read for the Superbowl involved preparation for the food and decorations, but what about when the party is over? Ten to fifteen rambunctious beer and nacho and football fueled adults can make a bigger mess than toddlers eating spaghetti.
I’ve got a couple tips on how to make your (casual) party a little easier for you to clean up.
- Use as many disposable things as possible. Plastic forks, spoons, knives, cups, plates, napkins. Even serving bowls, I got all the chips and dip bowls we needed this year at the dollar store for- you guessed it, a buck. I spent ten dollars ahead of time so I wouldn’t have to spend four hours running cups and plates through the dishwasher. If you can just throw it away (or recycle) at the end of the party it makes everything so much easier. Would you rather wash 15 cups and run the chance of shattered glass or toss a bunch of Solo cups into the recycling? Yea, toss it.
- Use a table cloth. It doesn’t matter what table you have, nice or cheap or pretty or ugly. Getting a cheap plastic tablecloth for every solid surface will make your clean up a breeze. No need to scrub off sticky beer or lemonade, just roll up the tablecloth and chuck it. Two seconds, done.
- Crock pot cook in bags. Life/time/weird smells saver. Pick up a couple of these slow cooker bags. They’re specially made for crock pots so you put them in, like a lining, cook everything and the just take it out- tada, clean. They’re also pretty handy for saving whatever leftovers you may have. Crock pot bag full of chicken? Upend it in your Tupperware. Something slightly wetter, just put the whole bag in a large Tupperware to save it. (Don’t put them in the microwave though, you’ll have to scoop your portions out later)
- Speaking of disposable… Trash is one of the most annoying things about a party, seems like every festive event you ever have involves taking the trash out during the middle of it because it just fills out. Do you have an old moving box? Or a big tote? Or $2 to buy a big moving box from Lowe’s? Set that somewhere obvious, but not too obvious and toss a couple trash items in. People will get the hint and toss their stuff in. Then, just take that cardboard box down to the curb. Or dump out the tote into your large outdoor garbage can and spray it out with a garden hose, (that is if you want to keep it)
That’s it, easy peasy, clean up becomes a breeze when you can just toss everything in a box and take it down to the curb. Your plates, cups, flatware, and serving bowls are all tossable. Your crockpots are spotless and your food is easily stored. Sticky beer residue is thrown away with a plastic tablecloth, and all that trash? (or recycling) It’s in a box on the curb waiting for waste services to haul it away. So now all your left with is some leftover nachos and beer in the fridge, and it took you less than an hour to clean up.
This type of party clean up only works if you’re hosting a more casual event. If you’re hosting something a little classier, well… I’ll have those clean up tips for you soon.