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Mar 16, 2007 02:11 PM

Hosts cleaning up/doing dishes while guests still around?


I was wondering if more people feel the same as I do about this situation:
We are a group of about 3-5 families who meet for dinner about once in 1-2 months, with 1 family hosting it. It is pretty informal, we've known each other for years, our kids are in the 3-14 year range. Just meet, talk, socialize, maybe a movie in the background, and kids playing by themselves, mostly. These last from around 7:30 - 11:00 pm or so.
There are 1 or 2 houses, where the hostess, after dinner & drinks & dessert, get their kitchen in spic& span shape, all dishes in the dishwasher, sink clean & scrubbed. all food in the refrigerator, garbage bag changed, glasses/cans picked up from everywhere etc.

During all this cleanup, in which the hostess sometimes has her hubby help her too,
we are relaxing/talking to the other guests. I feel I would rather they do the basic cleanup, like putting away some food, clearing the table, and soaking the dishes etc, say a quick 15-20 min effort and then socialize/ be with the guests. When the hosts are finally ready to sit down with us, it is really late,and kids really need to get home which is 30 min away.

I leave the major cleaning till the guests leave. They make sure the house is such that they can lock the door behind the guests and go straight to bed. I say, if that is how they do it, fine, but I will leave when we need to but that upsets the hosts.
Is it the norm that detailed cleanup gets done when guests are still around ?


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  1. It depends. At our house when we have dinner guests, some seem to gravitate to the kitchen and some toward the den. If they're kitchen types we clean up, if not we don't.

    1. I clean as I cook. Maybe if you volunteer to help it can get done faster and you can socialize while cleaning up.

      1. i am one of those compulsive i have to get the kitchen squared away types. i suspect it is a symptom of Type A itis and neat freak itis. my wife prefers to let the mess stay until the guests leave. the wife BTW just cant prepare even a simple meal without turning things upside down in the kitchen.

        1 Reply
        1. re: MarkG

          Honey, is that you? My husband would say the same thing about us! He NEEDS to get up and do the dishes after dinner. Of course I have dirtied every single pot and dish while cooking, not to mention not emptied the dishwasher. But our table is in the kitchen so he continues talking to everyone throughout the clean up. I, on the other hand, think it rushes the evening and would rather enjoy the meal and company and let dishes sit until guests are gone.

        2. Our family gets together with a few other families for Christmas Eve dinner every year. We all know each other really well, and as dinner is done, we all stay in the kitchen and clean up. Usually my dad and I do the majority of the cleaning, while my mom prepares the dessert, but everyone helps by drying dishes and putting things away -- and if they aren't helping, they're there in the kitchen, talking. Could you make arrange it so you are in the same room as the busy cleaners? Then you can relax, hang out, and they can still clean up everything. Also, cleaning while cooking is a great idea -- maybe you could model it for them the next time they're all sneaky about it!

          1. it's their house. they're nice enough to have a bunch of people over. offer to help, or stop being annoyed and enjoy the other guests. some people can't relax if their kitchen is a mess.