Advice from the masters: Fraternity tips for cleaning up after a party

If you clean up spills immediately, you can avoid sticky floors


Courtesy of Flickr Commons

Cleaning up messes as they happen is key to preventing nauseating smells.

BLAINE ROSS, Evergreen columnist

The house party is a rite of passage for the college student. However, parties can turn the nicest apartment or chapter house into a farmyard pigpen. To learn the most effective ways to clean up after a party is to learn from the best: fraternity men and their friends.

Obviously, house parties can get a little wild; look at the film “Project X” for example. But fraternity parties, because of all the outside people visiting the house, can get even messier.

On Snapchat the other day, I saw a friend of mine in Pikes cleaning up the mess of a party the night before, and their floors were covered in mud from people walking through their yard to get in.

This goes to show how intense the next-day cleaning process can be for fraternity members.

Generally in fraternity (and sorority) life, there is a house mother and other hired staff who help maintain the appearance and cleanliness of a chapter house. Other houses have the position of senior steward to help keep their members in order and delegate chores to keep the house clean.

Senior international business major Rodnay Rodriguez holds this position in his fraternity. One reason he said his job can be difficult is because of all the different factors that go into how dirty an event can make the house.

“It depends on the event. If it’s a normal cooking event, then the kitchen gets messy,” he said. “If it’s a drinking event, then people leave more of a mess. The kitchen is a mess, the living room is a mess, and sometimes they can make the bathroom a mess.”

Rodriguez suggests making sure party attendees come back to clean it up the next day or clean it up at the moment, if everyone isn’t too messed up.

As someone who is personally affiliated with Greek life, I can say this is easier said than done, especially if it’s not a Greek-affiliated event. And I feel that it would be even harder to get people to help clean up a house party in Apartment Land than it would be at a chapter house.

No matter where a party is held, spills are bound to happen, especially when drinking is involved. People spill their drinks on carpets, tables and counters. It can be disgusting, creating a sticky mess that ends up stinking in a couple hours.

They can potentially be a problem, creating slippery floors that turn to sticky floors. However, Rodriguez said they’re easy to clean if you clean it up quickly.

“I don’t have tricks,” he said. “I just wipe it up with a paper towel or actual towel and put something on it so it doesn’t get sticky.”

Items thrown away in huge quantities after parties are red plastic cups and aluminum cans. If the party is large enough, you may find these scattered all over your house even days later. Rodriguez said he cleans up garbage with his hands. But if that method doesn’t float your boat, he suggests using “one of those little claw grabbers.”

If you want to clean up after your party even quicker, keep the cardboard boxes your cans came in so you can simply toss the empties into the box once you’re done and speed up the process. It’s like they say: “Ashes to ashes and dust to dust.” Everything should go back where it belongs, so why not put your cans back in the box when you’re done with them?

House parties are fun, but they can potentially wreck your place. However, if you stay on top of cleaning, you can get your security deposit back no problem. Remember, folks: Coffee tables or couches can easily hide your sloppy friends’ spills from landlords or visiting parents.