Let's face it: Super Bowl Sunday is a messy day. The majority of Super Bowl parties are celebrated inside a home, and if that home happens to be yours this year, you need to prepare yourself for the inevitable. Dips will drip onto upholstery, chips and popcorn will be crunched into the ground, and drinks will be spilled on the carpet when everyone jumps up cheering during that final touchdown. Then at the end of it all, you will have a kitchen full of dirty dishes, plus pots and pans if you cooked everything yourself.
With all that in mind, here are a few tips to make your Superbowl party a little less messy:
- Put bowls full of liquids or dips on plates. Dips and things like soup or chili are known to run over, especially in an excited environment such as a Superbowl party. By keeping the bowl on a plate, any overrun will be captured before it can make a mess.
- Have an excess of napkins and wet wipes. This is a pretty basic tip, but one that is often overlooked. When you are at the store buying party supplies, buy way more napkins than you think you'll need, and keep wet wipes nearby. Most party foods are sticky, messy and stain fabric, such as hot wings or cheetos. By making sure your guests have every option to clean their fingers off, you really cut down the chances of someone accidentally wiping something on your couch.
- Give your guests adequate surface in which to place and eat food. The worst mistake you can make is to send half a dozen men into the living room to sit on the couch with plates and cups. Make sure they have a surface to set their food onto, or better yet, a surface in which they can eat over. Since they will want to be planted firmly in front of the television, coffee tables will work, but TV trays are even better. If you use TV trays, try having 1 for every 2 people, set sideways between them. This way everyone can get up without knocking over their trays.
- Don't fill anything to the top. A large amount of spills happen when carrying the "spillable" item while walking. Since so many people will be walking from the couch to the food table, only fill things 3/4 of the way (or less). This way it is less likely something will spill if the container tips or if the person is bumped into during transit.
- Try to buy as much as you can pre-made. Again, this is pretty basic, but a lot of people don't realize how many good finger foods can be bought pre-made. Most grocery stores sell things like hot wings, dips, vegetable trays, and sandwiches made fresh that day. Because of the quantity of food you'll need, and how quickly it will be consumed, cooking everything can be more trouble than its worth on this day.
- Use disposable plates and cups. This isn't just for the mess factor from the food, but also because if a glass plate gets dropped, it's very likely to break, which can be dangerous with a lot of people in the house. Also most people go back for seconds, thirds, fourths...and they get a new glass or plate each time. Buy a lot of plates and cups to help meet this need. If you are worried about the waste, check out places like GreenFeet, which offers eco-friendly food packaging.
- Keep cleaning supplies nearby. I have recently discovered that Resolve's Multi-Fabric spray and Tide's To-Go Pen do wonders when you've spilled something on your couch. Since it's very unlikely that you won't have any spills at all, keep cleaning supplies handy. Most messes won't stain if you treat them right away. You can even spray Scotch Guard on all of your furniture to give it extra protection.
Have fun during the Big Game!