Thanksgiving Clean Up Tips

Hosting a Thanksgiving dinner? Here are 5 simple tips to get the mess cleaned up quickly and easily.

Guest post by Andrea Davis

Thanksgiving is one of the most rewarding and exhausting holidays in the year. However, when it comes to the clean up, the sleepiness sets in. Never fear – help is here. Follow these quick & simple tips to minimize the extra work and get the mess cleaned up easily.

1. Clear off the Table

Putting dishes, silverware and plates in the sink or dishwasher is the simplest first step to tidying up the meal. Hopefully, everyone cleared their plates so all you need to do is rinse and place in the dishwasher. For the grimier dishes, you can just use a scrub brush or the rough side of a sponge. Then you can fill up the dishwasher and call it a night.

2. Store the Leftovers

You don’t want your Thanksgiving leftovers to rot in the night. So grab some Tupperware, scrape the food off the plate and place them in the fridge. If you hadn’t prepped room in there before, make sure to set aside a shelf or two for the food. If you have a whole turkey left, you might be better served taking the meat off rather than stuffing the whole bird in the fridge. For whatever food you don’t want to keep, use your garbage disposal and trash bins.

3. Get a Soaking Station Set up

Soak your pans and pots in the sink with soapy water. You can keep these overnight and either transfer them to the dishwasher, or you can hand clean them. It could be a good chore for your kids as well. When all else fails, use a scrubber! That will remove the food grime and get your pots & pans ready for the dishwasher.

4. Clean Those Linens

Thanksgiving is a messy holiday, what with the cranberries, pumpkin pie and so on. To avoid some set-in stains with your table cover and cloth napkins, put them immediately in the washer after guests depart. Make sure there’s soap and use warm or hot water to ensure the stain gets out. You don’t want to spend hours trying to soak or scrub a stain out of your linens.

5. Wipe Everything Down

Use a wet cloth or wipes to clear the remaining morsels from your furniture. This includes:

  • Dining room set (table & chairs)
  • Countertops
  • Sink
  • Couches & chairs if food was eaten there

You might not have the energy to vacuum, but a quick sweep will hold over the rooms until tomorrow. It shouldn’t take more than ten minutes and even less if the whole family participates.


Don’t let the work after Thanksgiving sour the whole experience. If you have a plan in place beforehand, cleanup will be quick and take less than an hour. For whatever seems too stressful, save it for tomorrow. Enjoy that food coma – you worked hard for it and will work it off in no time.


Andrea Davis is a freelance writer and editor. She owns Leave Your Imprint Consulting, which helps small businesses reach a larger audience online. She also is the owner of four dogs and a cat & works closely with rescues in Colorado.

Sam is the Content and Multimedia Specialist for Coldwell Banker Real Estate. He is Jersey born and bred, and currently resides in Weehawken, NJ. He is an avid reader, loves Games of Thrones and is a New York Yankees die-hard.

You can follow him on Twitter @World_Shalom

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