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Even if you love Thanksgiving, you’re probably looking forward to relaxing after it's over with. We love getting comfy under a warm, fluffy blanket and eating some delicious leftovers. But how do we even achieve that goal when there’s a huge mess all over the house? With food droppings, couch stains, grease all over the kitchen, and your nephew’s sticky handprints on the walls, there’s lots to clean before any relaxing can be had.
We know that after all the hard work that goes into cooking and hosting the last thing you want is to start cleaning your house. You may give yourself excuses for why you don’t need to start cleanup just yet, but whether you like it or not, there will be more to do once the holiday is over. But don’t go through this alone! Sometimes it takes a village to clean up the spillage.
Cleaning Common Thanksgiving Messes
The best way to avoid common Thanksgiving messes is to prevent them from happening in the first place. (If only we could be so lucky.) But another great way to reduce the taxing burden of cleanup is to clean as you go. It may sound impossible, but here are some tips that may just help you reach your relaxation goal quicker than you think…
Pack up Leftovers Quick
Have tupperware containers armed and ready to go for when your guests have completed their meals. Don’t leave the food you slaved over out for too long, or it might dry up, spill, or even attract insects (yuck!) Slip away from that conversation with your niece and start packing everything up and putting it in the fridge before dessert even hits your table.
Enlist the Mess-Makers
It’s always nice to have people around you who will help you through your trials and tribulations. This time, your trials involve picking up garbage after your father-in-law and wiping up the mashed potatoes your kids spilled on the carpet. Instead of cleaning alone the day after, politely enlist the mess-makers. Have guests give you a hand in removing their own messes throughout the night to reduce the fallout afterwards.
Wipe up Kitchen Spillage
As you cook, you spill. It’s inevitable. Make it a point to have some towels around along with a kitchen cleaner and degreaser that will wipe up food spills with little elbow grease. We know we said sometimes it takes a village to clean up the spillage (it’s hard to forget). But when using a product like orange oil, it barely even takes the effort of one person. Trust us!
Don’t Let the Dishes Pile Up
Another thing to do throughout the night (or enlist to someone who offers a helping hand) is to wipe down and move dishes to the dishwasher as quickly as possible. Depending on how many guests you have, you may have lots of dishes accumulated by the end of the night. Reduce your post-Thanksgiving dishwashing by running loads of dishes once or twice throughout the evening. Make sure to wipe down any caked-on food particles with something like white vinegar, which will effortlessly dislodge particles and speed up the dishwasher loading process!
Soak Pots & Pans
For bigger items that you’ve cooked food in, try soaking them as soon as you’re finished using them. Leave pots, pans, and baking trays to soak for about 30 minutes in white vinegar to remove stains and crusty food remains before hand-washing them. This will help food dislodge easier and will definitely lessen the frustration that comes with vigorous scrubbing.
Take Out the Trash
During holiday events like this, trash bags will become filled with napkins and uneaten brussel sprouts in no time. Make it a point to take out the trash periodically throughout the night to make room for new trash. Don’t let the it get to the point of overflowing, as this will certainly create a massive headache for you later when it topples over and spills all over your kitchen floor. And don't forget to recylce your paper and plastics!
This chore can be done either during Thanksgiving or after all the commotion is over. But either way, it’s got to be done, especially if you want your rugs and couches to stay looking and smelling fresh. Gently remove food stains from fabrics using orange oil. The d-limonene in the oil will cut through stains and lift them away as you scrub. It will also add a delicious citrus smell to your fabric that goes perfectly with the holiday season!
Last but not least, vacuum up all the gross dirt, dust balls, and food droppings that your guests brought into your life. You don’t need that kind of negativity!
And Now, It’s Time to Relax…
Now that you have a plan for the potential messes that could be made during your Thanksgiving party this year, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that relaxation is closer than you think...