With summer cookout and party season getting into full swing this weekend, it’s a great time to review our Tips for Summer Home Prep: Outdoor Fun.
If you’ll be entertaining for the holiday, here are some PRO tips for before, during, and after the party to help you impress your guests and make party cleanup a snap.
Check the weather forecast! If thunder and lightening are even remote possibilities, be ready for everyone to suddenly be inside your house. Clean accordingly OR get a PRO team do it for you while you focus on the food, decorating, and other important stuff.
Deep-clean your fridge. It might seem like a counterintuitive way to spend your harried pre-party time, but you’ll be freeing up space to accommodate foods people bring in; enabling food to be refrigerated and served in small batches so it stays safe and looks appealing; and making plenty of fridge and freezer space for storing yummy leftovers.
Tend to outside upholstery. While most patio furniture can be cleaned easily with a bucket of soapy water, a hose, and stiff brush, patio cushions and pillows may need special attention. If they’ll be coming out for the first time this week, be sure to get them into fresh air and full sunlight to address any mustiness that set in over the winter. Inspect also for any summer stains you may have missed before stowing.
Place receptacles all around your party area and clearly label for trash, recycling, and returnable cans and bottles. If people can easily find where to dispose of refuse, there’ll be much less for you to pick up when the party’s over.
Keep a roll of masking tape and marker handy for labeling bowls and platters as people walk in with them. Have a plan for cleaning and delivering items that get left behind within a week’s time (or you can be sure they will still be sitting in your kitchen come August).
Have lots of clean, absorbent towels available for drying oversized bowls, serving platters, pots, pans, grill utensils, and so forth. Should anyone offer to help you clean up, hand them a towel and say ‘Here, you dry!’
AFTER THE PARTY
Bring patio cushions, pillows—anything that might be susceptible to mold or mildew—inside. No matter how water-resistant they’re supposed to be, they’ll last much longer if you never expose them to rain and heavy humidity.
Fill a big bucket with warm water and a grease-busting dishwashing liquid to soak and degrease grill tongs, spatulas, knives, and so forth before bringing them inside to be cleaned. Use a stiff wire grill brush to (carefully) clean the grill while it’s still smoking hot. If you do this regularly, you’ll never need to soak or scrub your grill, which is a heck of a lot more work!