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How to Clean Up

The New Year's Eve party was big as these things go--fourteen people.  (Yes, I know this is small compared to some, but it filled our house nicely and kept me prepping and cooking for two days, so that definitely qualifies as "big.")  As with any party of this size, the real work comes AFTER: the cleanup.

I've come across one of the fastest ways to clean up: just throw it out.

My natural inclination is to keep and store extra food from a party.  Seal those crackers in a bag.  Pour those chips back into the sack.  Put the dip back into a bowl.  Put the veggies in plastic containers.  Keep the leftovers for later!

But I've come to realize two things.  First, a lot of these leftovers don't get eaten.  Darwin and the boys don't eat chips much, and they definitely don't eat leftover crackers or cut vegetables or dip.  So it sits until I eat it (and most of it is bad for me), or until it goes bad.

The other thing I realized is that wrapping and sealing and saving takes so much TIME.  Seriously.  It takes considerable time to root through the containers and find the right size for a given food, and then hunt up a lid.  Or to carefully pour everything into a plastic bag, seal it, and find a place for it in the cupboard.  It may not sound like it does, but it does, especially when you have lots and lots and lots of these things to do.  The minutes add up.

So . . . pitch it!  During the Great Cleanup after the party, I just dumped it all into the trash.  (A chunk of it I did send home with guests who wanted it, though.)  Bowls of chips?  Gone!  Dip?  Down the disposal.  Mashed potatoes?  Gone!  When in doubt, trash it!  The meat and cheese we kept, but everything else?  Out!  It sped up the cleaning process quite a lot.

We all slept in on New Year's Day, but when we got up, Phase II began.  This didn't involve throwing things away.

Although Darwin and the boys complain about it, New Year's Day is always dismantling day.  I'm firm on this.  We take down the tree and all decorations and put them away because on this day, everyone is home and available to help.  If we put it off, there's always someone who isn't around, or it becomes easy to say we'll do it later, and then we're into February with Yule decorations still in the living room.  No.  Holidays are over, decorations come down!

So Darwin, the boys, and I stripped the house clean.  They grumbled and complained, but in the end were suprised at how quickly it went.

"It's always faster to put them away than it is to take them out," I said.  "And now we have the living room back!"

Additionally, and a bit shockingly, Darwin cleaned off his desk. (!)

The New Year begins with a clean house!


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 4th, 2017 03:44 pm (UTC)
I had about 20 people over during the New Year's Day open house (about, because people came and went during the day, and I never got an accurate head count) so the clean-up wasn't finished until..well, this morning, when I finally put the cleaned champagne glasses away.

I've taken to throwing out any leftover desserts, because it's just me and I know if they're there I will eat them for breakfast. Morning sweet tooth, that's me. It's not waste, it's preventative maintenance.
Jan. 4th, 2017 09:20 pm (UTC)
The leftover desserts--my problem, too. Out, damned sweets!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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