Planning wins the holiday clean-up wars
BY NOUR HABIB World Scene Writer
Monday, December 24, 2012
12/24/12 at 5:37 AM
Holiday parties and decorations add to the cheeriness of the season, but what happens after it's all over?
To avoid being overwhelmed by the task of after-holiday cleanup, follow some of these tips from Monika Mac-Intyre, owner of Checkmark Concierge, a company that offers personal assistants to help people with numerous tasks, including organizing.
Share the wealth
"After a holiday party, send home the leftover food and drinks with guests," MacIntyre said. "Have disposable containers on hand ready to box up the last few cookies or meatballs. Or donate the food to a good cause."
This creates less waste and more space in your refrigerator, she said.
Clean as you go
"Try to minimize cleanup or clean up throughout the party in small spurts," MacIntyre said.
Make trash cans readily available and use plastic or paper plates, cups and utensils.
"If you see a few plates you can toss in the trash as you walk by, do it."
But MacIntyre cautions against going into a "cleaning frenzy" during the party, because that might make guests feel like it is time to leave.
Also, accept help from a good friend if it is offered, but don't make other guests feel like they have to stay until the house is spotless.
Mini-goals and help from the kids
"When people look at the entire cleanup process, it's easy to get frazzled by the scope of all there is to do," Mac-Intyre said. Instead, break up tasks like gathering ornaments or taking down the Christmas lights.
"Gradually, it will all get done."
Also, if you have kids, get them involved.
"Make taking everything down as festive as putting it up," MacIntyre suggested. Assign roles to each child, play music while you all work, and offer mini-rewards after each task is complete.
MacIntyre suggests clearly labeling all boxes with holiday decor, so you can more easily find them next year.
Also, store the decor for each room in the same box, so they easier to put up again next year, too.
And don't overstuff the storage boxes.
"Garlands, bows, wreaths and poinsettias need their space to stay fresh-looking for the next year," she said.
Original Print Headline: Good planning can win holiday cleanup wars
Nour Habib 918-581-8369
With a little planning, a little help and a lot of resolve, holiday entertaining doesn't have to mean you're too stressed out to enjoy your own party. Associated Press file