This Memorial Day weekend you may be thinking about having friends and family over for a bar-b que. Who doesn’t love a party? Enjoying some good food with people you haven’t seen in awhile, maybe having a some wine, watching the little ones run around the yard chasing each other, running into your house with mud on their shoes, touching your TV, touching your clean walls with their dirty little hands, the adults spilling food and wine on your carpets, leaving trash piled up on your counters…Okay, no one looks forward to the mess, but it’s inevitable at a party, especially if little ones will be in attendance. Luckily, there are some safety precautions you can take to prevent this mess!
While you could try to corral everyone on your patio or deck and deny entry into your home, anyone who has ever thrown a party knows that between bathroom trips, showing off your photo albums, and the necessary indoor breaks from the sun, this tactic is unlikely to work.
Still want to have your party but wonder how you can keep your home protected from muddy shoes, spilled wine, and dropped food?
Fear not, with these tips you can still protect your home while enjoying the company of friends and loved ones this Memorial Day (and summer!).
Use Rugs to Protect High Traffic Areas
You can’t make them wear booties and you can’t keep them out of your house. Instead, place a welcome mat right inside the door that will be used during the party. This way everyone will have a chance to wipe their feet, which will remove a lot of dirt and debris tracked in from outside. If you want to protect your wood floors and carpets, invest in a carpet runner or a few small rugs that you can throw down in the areas that will be used the most, like the living room and the hallway to the bathroom.
Wrangle Wanderers and Save Power
Don’t want anyone going into your bedroom? Keep doors closed to any rooms you don’t want guests visiting. Save energy by also closing the vents in the empty rooms. This keeps the air conditioning in only the areas you are using for your party.
Lock Up Valuables
Just in case you have any guests who ignore the closed doors, make sure to lock up any valuables including jewelry and important documents in a safe, and keep it in a closet or somewhere else that is out of sight. Even expensive pieces of art should be put away somewhere your guests will not be gathering. This way nothing will be accidentally damaged or slipped into anyone’s pocket.
Anchor Your Furniture
Children love to climb, and that entertainment center may look like Mount Everest from where they’re standing. Protect them from serious harm by anchoring your furniture and TVs to the wall. Children are fast and small, and it only takes a few seconds’ distraction for the little ones to get out of sight and into trouble where something terrible can happen. By ensuring your furniture and TVs are secured to the wall, you can enjoy the party without having to run after every child that goes inside.
Provide Tables to Protect Surfaces
If you have ever been to a party then you know that if there is a flat surface, someone is bound to leave their drink on it; the condensation causing those annoying circular stains on your wood tables. Keep guests from leaving their drinks and plates on your entertainment center, desks, and bookcases by making sure there are plenty of party tables spread out anywhere your guests will be gathered. These tables are also a good place to leave spare napkins, plates, and cutlery, which will help keep the mess down and the guests from going inside.
Get Those Stains
Keep stain remover and a cloth on hand during the party for those times that spills do occur. Readily available clean-up and a quick reaction will save your carpet from any lasting damage, and ensure that you focus less on spills and more on enjoying your party. For your furniture invest in slipcovers to protect against stains, mud, pet fur and other damages.
Don’t Spray Pesticide
It’s understandable to want to get rid of those pesky mosquitos and wasps, but most pesticides are dangerous to humans, animals, and beneficial bugs. Spraying your yard with insecticide before a party may seem like a good idea, but there are natural ways to keep your yard pest-free long term, such as planting flowers that attract insects like ladybugs and dragonflies, which are naturals at pest control. For the quick fix, try keeping citronella candles and torches around the yard to ward off bugs during your party.
Bugs Belong Outside
What if it’s not hot enough for you to run your air conditioner? If you want to keep the door open to let the fresh air inside, but don’t want the bugs following, try a magnetic screen door. These mesh doors open with a simple push and automatically seal closed with magnets. Your guests can go in and out without bringing pesky insects into your home.
Keep Foods Mess Free
People bump into one another, plates fall, food splatters all over your kitchen floor or living room carpet. At parties, this is hard to avoid. But you can lessen the mess by serving easily portable foods. Finger foods that are easy to take and eat without much clean-up are the best way to make sure no one is dripping sauces onto the floor or leaving a trail of crumbs behind them.
Having friends and family gathered for Memorial Day means you are guaranteed to have a good time, and with these safety precautions you can stress less, enjoy more, and smile rather than cringe when the little ones start making mud pies.