(Back some months ago I used to tweet a party related tip on my Twitter page every Tuesday but was limited to the amount of info I could tweet. So, it only made sense to work it into my blog. As an ongoing effort to keep with my new blog intentions, I will be posting a new tip every Tuesday. The idea is that I pass on some of what I've learned through my experience as a wife/mom/budding entrepreneur/quasi perfectionist party planner - cupcaker-maker Lady and share it with you. So starts Tip Tuesday.)
As a mom, we try to have everything 'perfect' and 'just right' when it comes to having guests over for parties - at least I do - or used to. When it comes to kids parties though, I've started a new rule when it comes to cleaning - especially when I'm pressed for time; don't clean the whole house.
After all your planning and late nights of hanging decorations and prepping food trays, cleaning is usually the last thing most of us do. If you are pressed for time and trying to get the house ready for a party my tip is that you only clean the areas of the house that guests will see. Bathrooms, the kitchen, living & dining areas should be clean and presentable. Make bedrooms and other messy rooms off limits.
The reality is that my kids drop crumbs, juice and sticky things on the floor and on the furniture all the time. I'm constantly wiping up messes and chances are, I've spot cleaned the main areas of the house about 2-3 times within a week anyway. So, I decided it didn't make much sense to clean my whole house for a kids party instead, I speed clean a little something like this:
- If you have spills, spots or scuffmarks, grab a Swiffer and give the floors a quick once over.
- I do encourage a good vacuum - but limit the vacuuming to 2 minutes per room/area. You can vacuum hardwood floors too, it's faster and less dusty - I do it all the time.
- Cover spots on your couch with a throw blanket or large pillow - my kids always spill things on the couch and sometimes you I don't know it until a week later and the stain is set.
Instead of polishing your furniture, use a damp cloth with a light wood soap spray and quickly go over your tables.
- Get your kids on board if they are old enough to help. I get my daughter in on the action and she cleans the tables and patio glass 'for her parties' I do suggest using an all natural cleaning product or one made with water & vinegar for the kids - and yourself.
- Before you take your shower the day of the party, grab your bathroom cleaner and do a five-minute wipe down of the bathroom and toilet. Jump in the shower and just before you get out spray the shower/tub and wipe down. Then toss all your personal items into a nice shoe box or basket and put it away (BTW - I don't have a guest bathroom so the main bathroom is the guest bathroom).
Don't get me wrong, I dig a clean house, but as a mom, I have to find a way to work smart in small amounts of time. Having a parties and entertaining is something that truly gladdens my heart and cleaning does not. So, I had to find a happy medium and fortunately I have.