The budget is a little tight this year, so you plan to keep the company holiday party in-house. You’ll knock off a little early on that last workday before Christmas. You will transform the office into a holiday party center complete with all the decorations your employees can dream up. And there will be food – lots of it. But what about afterward? Who will clean up?
Holding the company Christmas party in the office is a great idea. You save money by not having to rent an outside facility. You and your employees also don’t have to worry about commuting to and from a separate location. You just set aside an afternoon and go for it. The downside is that the annual holiday party leaves a mess behind.
You might already contract with a commercial cleaning service to come in after everyone has gone home. And if that’s the case, cleaning up after the holiday party will be mere routine. But there are things you and your employees can do to make life easier for the cleaning crew. And of course, all these things apply if you and your employees will be cleaning up after yourselves.
Prepare Before the Party
One of the best things you can do to minimize holiday party mess is to prepare ahead of time. Maybe you plan to run the party between the break room and your main conference room. They are right next door to one another in the main hallway. Great. Your preparation should include extra garbage cans with liners in both rooms AND in the hall.
Extra garbage cans do not guarantee that people won’t leave their trash lying around. That might still happen. But you’re guaranteed to have trash problems if you don’t increase the number of available garbage cans.
Another thing you can do is plan the decorations for easy takedown. If removing the decorations and packing them away ends up requiring a ton of labor, nobody is going to want to do it. That could lead to carelessness and eventual damage involving the decorations, the property, or both.
Cleaning After the Fact
Cleaning up after a successful holiday party can be time consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. A good way to avoid putting too much time into the deal is to plan ahead of time. For example, here are some of the common tasks that will need addressing:
- Picking up loose trash and discarding it.
- Taking down holiday decorations.
- Sweeping, vacuuming, mopping, etc.
- Cleaning up spills and stains.
- Cleaning the restrooms.
It is a good idea to ask for one or two volunteers to keep an eye on things so that drops and spills are cleaned up immediately. Doing so reduces the likelihood of permanent stains. Likewise, a volunteer or two willing to man the trash cans can prevent the garbage from overflowing.
In terms of planning, lay out a schedule of what will be cleaned and who will clean it. If you are already working with a commercial cleaning service, you likely already have a schedule in place. A few modifications might be necessary to accommodate what your party leaves in its wake.
If you are handling cleaning in-house, assign specific tasks to each member of the cleaning team. As long as employees know what is expected of them, things will get done. Also try to spread the work out evenly so that one person isn’t left holding too big a bag. When all is said and done, the goal is to make cleaning up after the holiday party as easy as possible.