events area of a luxury hotel

6 Simple And Easy Tips To Clean Up After Events

The last guest has walked out the door, the music has faded, and the last of the confetti has settled.

Now you’re faced with a mountainous task before you — cleaning up after an event. Whether it was a wedding or a corporate function, the prospect seems overwhelming.

But don’t let the mess dampen your post-event glow! This guide will equip you with 10 easy-to-follow tips that will speed up your after-event cleaning process. Your venue will be right back to where it was in no time at all.

If you’re cleaning up after a small event, then skipping this step is fine. But if not, crafting a cleaning checklist helps. 

Start by listing every area that needs cleaning, from the main event space and restrooms, to outdoor areas and parking lots. Break down each area into specific tasks like trash removal, floor cleaning, and surface disinfection

Here’s a sample after-event cleaning checklist that you can use as a template. Feel free to edit, remove, or add items as you see fit, depending on the scope and size of the venue:

Venue/Area

Task

Person/Team Responsible

Timeline

Completed

Main Event Space

Trash and debris removal (floors, tables, chairs)

Cleaning crew/volunteers

During & after event

 

Floor cleaning (sweeping, vacuuming, mopping)

Cleaning crew

After event

 

Table and chair cleaning and storage

Cleaning crew/volunteers

After event

 

Stage or platform cleaning (if applicable)

Cleaning crew

After event

 

Removal of decorations, signage, and equipment

Event staff/volunteers

After event

 

Cleaning of audio/visual equipment (if applicable)

Audio/visual technicians

After event

 

Restrooms

Toilet and urinal cleaning and disinfection

Cleaning crew

During & after event

 

Sink and countertop cleaning and disinfection

Cleaning crew

During & after event

 

Mirror cleaning

Cleaning crew

During & after event

 

Replenishing soap, paper towels, and toilet paper

Cleaning crew

During event

 

Kitchen/Catering Area

Cleaning and sanitizing of all food preparation surfaces

Catering staff/cleaning crew

During & after event

 

Washing and storing dishes, utensils, and cookware

Catering staff

After event

 

Cleaning and disinfecting appliances

Catering staff/cleaning crew

After event

 

Trash and recycling removal

Catering staff/cleaning crew

During & after event

 

Outdoor Areas

Trash and debris removal (lawns, patios, parking lots)

Cleaning crew/volunteers

After event

 

Cleaning of outdoor furniture

Cleaning crew

After event

 

Sweeping or hosing down of walkways and patios

Cleaning crew

After event

 

Other Areas (as applicable)

Cleaning of coat check areas, VIP/green rooms, vendor booths/stalls

Cleaning crew/volunteers

After event

 

Supplies and Equipment

Ensure all necessary supplies are available (trash bags, cleaning solutions, equipment, etc.)

Cleaning crew/event coordinator

Before event

 

Personnel

Determine the number of people needed and assign responsibilities

Event coordinator

Before event

 

Timeline

Establish a start and end time for cleanup, estimate time for each task, schedule breaks

Event coordinator

Before event

 

Contingency Plan

Prepare for unexpected messes or spills, have emergency contact information handy

Event coordinator

Before event

 

2. Start Early with a Clean Sweep during the Event

Don’t wait until the last guest has left to start cleaning up! Tackling small cleaning tasks throughout the event reduces the workload later and prevents messes from escalating.

Here are a few cleaning tasks you can focus on during the event:

  • Throwing away single-use plates and utensils into a trash bag
  • Taking away reusable plates, cups, and dishes to a designated dishwashing area
  • Wiping down tables and counters after each use
  • Emptying trash and recycling bins as they fill up
  • Refilling soap and paper towel dispensers in restrooms
  • Quickly addressing spills or messes to prevent staining
  • Collecting and disposing of any dropped food or drink items
  • Removing any stray decorations or signage that have fallen or become dislodged
  • Tidying up food service areas, including replenishing napkins, utensils, and condiments

Add more to the list as needed. Remember, discretion is key. Focus on cleaning areas that have  cleared out or are less crowded, and avoid making a fuss that could disrupt your guests’ enjoyment.  After all, the goal is to enhance the event experience, not detract from it.

3. Declutter and Sort: Time to Face the Aftermath

Time to tackle the biggest cleaning job: a venue strewn with debris, decorations, and remnants of the festivities.

Don’t let the post-even chaos overwhelm you though. Decluttering and sorting methodically allows you to quickly restore order.

Here’s your action plan:

  • Start by collecting all the obvious trash, like empty cups, plates, napkins, and food wrappers.
  • Consolidate the waste with a large garbage bag — this also makes it easier to transport.
  • Organize different areas for different types of waste — general trash, recyclables, and compostables (as applies).  
  • Disassemble and store temporary structures, decorations, or signage. Keep them somewhere safe instead of throwing them away completely.
  • If you have leftover food or supplies that are still in good condition, consider donating them to a local food bank or charity in your area. Waste reduction and waste disposal go hand in hand, after all.
  • If any valuables were left behind by guests, collect them and store them in a secure location. Notify the owners and immediately arrange for their return.

4. Clearing Out the Event Venue

Make room for deep cleaning post-event by tackling the big stuff first. You’ll need to coordinate with the venue staff or a dedicated team to ensure heavy items like tables, chairs, and equipment are moved safely and efficiently. 

Clearing these out first will create more room to maneuver and make subsequent cleaning tasks more efficient. Depending on the venue’s policy, tables might need to be disassembled and chairs stacked. 

 If your event featured a stage or platform, coordinate with venue staff to have it cleared of any equipment, decorations, or signage. Similarly, rented items like linens, tableware, or furniture should be gathered and prepared for return. Remember to inspect for any damages and report them to the rental company.

If a catering service was involved, coordinate with them to remove their equipment, leftover food, and any other supplies. If you handled catering yourself, ensure that all reusable items are cleaned and stored appropriately.

5. Clean Surfaces Thoroughly

wiping down table

Time for surface cleaning. This step is crucial for eliminating germs, bacteria, and any lingering stickiness or stains that might have accumulated during the event.

Your surface cleaning gameplan:

Gather cleaning supplies

Get an all-purpose cleaner, a disinfectant, glass cleaner, and stainless steel polish. Don’t forget microfiber cloths, sponges, and scrub brushes for tackling stubborn grime.

Wipe down tables and chairs

Wipe down easy-to-clean furniture with damp cloth and appropriate cleaner. Pay special attention to food spills, sticky residue, and fingerprints. For upholstered chairs, use a fabric cleaner or upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner.

Disinfect high-touch surfaces 

Clean door handles, light switches, handrails, and other frequently touched surfaces. These are hotspots for germs. Disinfect them thoroughly with a disinfectant spray or wipes.

Leave the disinfectant to sit on the surface for the recommended contact time for maximum effectiveness.

Clean windows and mirrors

Use a streak-free glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth to wipe down windows and mirrors. A squeegee can be helpful in removing excess water and preventing streaks.

Polish stainless steel

If your venue has stainless steel appliances, fixtures, or surfaces, use a stainless steel polish to remove fingerprints and smudges and restore their shine.

Don’t forget the floors

Sweep or vacuum floors to remove debris before mopping. Use a disinfectant solution for hard floors and a carpet cleaner for carpets or rugs.

Address specific areas

If your event involved food preparation or service, make sure thoroughly clean and sanitize all flood contact surfaces like countertops, cutting boards, sinks, and appliances

6. Sweep and Mop Floors

Time to tackle dirty flooring. Whether it’s a ballroom littered with confetti or a conference room sticky with spilled drinks, thorough, and deep floor cleaning is the final touch the brings the entire venue back to its pre-event look.

Here’s the step-by-step guide to effective floor cleaning

  • Step 1: Prepare the surface by sweeping or vacuuming the entire floor area. This helps remove loose debris like confetti, food crumbs, and dirt.

     

  • Step 2: If you encounter stubborn stains or sticky spills, address them properly with a suitable cleaner. Blot the stain gently with a clean cloth or sponge, working from the outside in to avoid spreading it further.

     

  • Step 3: For vinyl or concrete, fill a bucket with a cleaning solution appropriate for the flooring type. Wring out the mop thoroughly to avoid soaking the floor, and mop in sections. Rinse the mop head frequently in a bucket of clean water.

     

  • Step 4: Vacuum carpets or rugs thoroughly to remove embedded dirt or debris. For heavily soiled areas, consider using a carpet cleaner or hiring a professional carpet cleaning service.

     

  • Step 5: Wipe down baseboards and edges with a damp cloth to remove dust and scuff marks.

Hire Professional Cleaning Services to Make Your After Event Cleanup a Breeze

two women vacuuming a floor

Cleaning up after an event doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By planning ahead, starting early, and following these simple tips, you can ensure a spotless venue.

But if the thought of tackling the post-event cleanup still feels overwhelming, don’t worry — you don’t have to do it alone. Craddock’s Cleaning Services offers professional post-event cleaning in Dallas-Fort Worth

We take the hassle out of cleanup and leave you with a sparkling venue. Blazing fast turnaround. Sparkling clean guarantee. That’s the Craddock’s promise.

Request your FREE quote today and we will get in touch with you in 24 hours or less.

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