While it's still not clear which two teams will be competing in the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 3, 2013, here's what I do know: plenty of Americans will be holding Super Bowl parties.
Are you one of them?
If there is a football party in your future, you need to get ready and one way to do that is to have a house cleaning list that you can use before, during, and after your party.
Together with The Maids, the franchised residential cleaning service, I've put together these 8 home cleaning tips. These ideas will help you get your home ready before the party, provide ideas on how to keep your home clean during the party, and create a scenario that makes clean up after your football party easy and fast.
- Clear out closets near your entrance. Unless you live in a warm-weather climate, people are going to be arriving at your football party wearing winter coats. You need somewhere to put them. If you can't squeeze all the coats into a single closet, make sure you've got a bed or closet in a bedroom free for piling on coats.
- Prepare for wet shoes. There is always the chance that the weather will not cooperate on game day—one of the reasons that Super Bowl games are usually played in dome stadiums. With regard to home-based Super Bowl parties, have an extra rug or two in the entryway in case of wet shoes. We actually have a lipped rubber floor "tray" by both the front and backdoors so that whatever comes off of the dripping shoes we put in the "tray" doesn't end up soaking into the floor.
- Place trash bags and cans throughout your home. If you are using paper products or disposable serving pieces, you'll need to have plenty of trash containers around the house for easy clean up. Even better: put extra trash bags in the bottom of each trash can so that as you clean up and empty the trash during your football party, another bag is then within an arm's reach.
- Encourage your guests to recycle. Keep a clearly marked recycling bin within guests' reach for empty bottles and cans.
- Start with an empty dishwasher. You don't want to spend time emptying the dishwasher at the end of your party before you can load it with the newly dirty dishes. Instead, start the party with the dishwasher emptied.
- Protect your table. Cover your food table with wax paper or butcher paper for easy cleanup and to avoid any water rings—important if you have a wood table.
- Have a "cleaning bucket" ready for cleaning emergencies. Make sure to include carpet cleaner and an absorbent rag. A spot from a spilled drink is easy to clean if you are prepared in advance. (Here are more stain removal and home cleaning tips to keep in mind for Super Bowl parties.)
- Help keep guest hands clean with messy food. Place packages of moist towelettes near appetizers or on the coffee table. That way when your guests eat any messy food, they have an easy way to grab something to wipe their hands so their "messes" don't end up on your furniture or your floor.