#49 Super Fast Group Clean-Ups

Everybody loves turkey dinner.

Nobody loves the massive spread of crusty dishes, gravy boats, and sticky-smeared cutlery afterwards. It looks like hours of work for the poor soul stuck with doing it all.

But that’s when a Super Fast Group Clean-Up can make all those problems disappear. Just grab one of these jobs and work at double time for ten minutes to get it done:

1.The Table Clearer. Are you good at Jenga? Or how about making giant piles of dirty laundry not fall over? If so you are an ideal Table Clearer. Your primary job is piling all the plates as high as possible, while constantly moving dirty knives, forks, and random scraps of food to the top. Another important skill is delivering your dirty dishes to The Dishwasher at a good pace. Too fast and the counter gets crammed. Too slow and you’re in the wrong profession.

2. The Dishwasher. This sudsy someone needs to have a well established Dishwashing Plan. Maybe they’re a two-sink, soapy rinsy, kind of gal, or a furious power-washer kind of guy. The important thing is that the dishes are clean and move straight to Dryer Guy in no time flat. The Dishwasher must be speedy but also have an eye for quality. It takes a long time to build trust and only one half-chewed kernel of corn stuck to the bottom of a plate to lose it.

3.The Putter-Awayer. Salt, pepper, ketchup, we’ve got a home for you. The Putter-Awayer works in tandem with The Table Clearer to get everything back to the fridge or cupboards. Now, The Putter-Awayer has the steepest learning curve of any job because it includes tasks both easy (putting ketchup in the fridge), medium difficulty (arranging half-used salad dressings in the fridge door so another one fits in) and advanced (figuring out the right sized Tupperware container for spaghetti leftovers). We need someone good at geometry here.

4. Dryer Guy. Sorry, man. This is the loser job. If The CEO throws a tea towel at your face and tells you to dry dishes that’s slang for “We don’t trust you with anything else.” Proof is that your entire job can be made obsolete by leaving them on the rack for an hour.

5. The CEO. This is the leader of the group. They assign tasks, put music on, direct traffic flow, and help relieve bottlenecks on the line. They also do small jobs that don’t get noticed like getting a new garbage bag, cheering the group on, and giving everyone a handshake afterwards. The CEO needs to have a solid understanding of all roles so they can assign the best person for each job.

Yes, the Super Fast Group Clean-Up makes a messy kitchen disappear in minutes. A fine ballet of sweatsocks, tea towels, and clinking plates blossoms for ten minutes on the stained linoleum floor and suddenly everything is sparkling clean.

Special points if everyone whistles the Seven Dwarves song from Snow White while doing it.


Photos from: here and here

40 thoughts on “#49 Super Fast Group Clean-Ups

  1. LOL!
    love the reference to snow white at the end ;) my favourite movie as a child! :)

    and just yesterday, I was the Table clearer!

  2. That’s it. You officially know my life to a scary degree haha My Swing Dance Club friends and I volunteered at a homeless shelter and cleaned up an entire load full of old materials and donated items. The manager was impressed at how quickly we got it all cleaned as a group. My friends and I were talking just last week about how great babies were and when you posted about someone returning a lost wallet to you, it was the day after someone returned mine from a club.

    You make me smile :)

  3. Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work we go…

    This one is great – and completely true. The difference between a big group putting in the effort together and being left to clean up a whole kitchen solo (or even as a pair) is huge!

    We have a big annual get together with all of our friends one long weekend every year. There are usually about 18 or us or so, for a whole weekend, so it’s pretty important that we get our roles down pretty well. Usually, we try to break half the team into meal prep (getting everything ready for dinner while the other half of the group can chat, listen to music, eat appetizers and drink wine), and then the clean up crew to scrub everything down while the meal prep team gets to rest and relax after a delicious meal. Works out great.

    Not awesome? The guys who try to ride the pine on both sides of the meal. There are always a few of them, and they think they are going unnoticed.. but trust me – you’re noticed.. and everyone thinks your laziness stinks!

    In other words, don’t be the 8th Dwarf, Slacker.. :)

    1. Love it, very cool=8th dwarf, Slacker! Methinks you should devise a new list of dwarves to accompany a new story/poem sometime. Would be creatively fun and I think you could be onto something here!

    2. Ohhhh yeah, Slacker dwarf. He exists, for sure. In college, we’d take turns cooking every couple nights. All of us had quite the initiative in getting things cleaned up — I mean, that’s when the real fun could begin. Wellllllll, Ol’ Slacker dwarf somehow ALWAYS had to use the bathroom, make a phone call, do 20 minutes worth of homework, or some other completely flimsy excuse. Like we didn’t catch on to that. Pssh. No shame, that one.

  4. I think this would have to be my favourite post from the past few weeks. I was laughing all the way through it!

    (By and by, I enjoy being the “putter-awayer”, just because the title sounds fantastic. Hi-ho… hi-ho…)

    1. I personally don’t agree with the “We don’t trust you with anything else” sentiment. People don’t trust me to dry because I’m a butter fingers, and asking me to dry results in many broken dishes.

      If you’re a dryer, it’s cos you’re a master of dexterity!

      1. Same here; couldn’t agree more ltbg!
        At our humble abode #4 must also ensure there are no calamities which this can be tricky when there’s a crowded house with little kidlins running around too! *Big responsibility! Perfect for a kid-pro like you Trixierix:)

      2. I will also dispute the “loser” label on the dryer. In addition to not dropping those wet, slippery china dishes, you have to be able to figure out where everything goes once you’re done with them, and keep yourself supplied with a steady stream of dry towels.

        I’m often the washer, and I can attest that having a good dryer is key to keeping the washing moving along. Pet peeve: dryers who take the dripping dish directly out of your hand, ignoring the half-dry already stuff in the rack.

      3. I, too, will have to disagree with the ‘loserness’ of drying the dishes. For one, I make an excellent rat-tail, so along with drying dishes, I’m also great with entertainment and…lasting impressions for the whole group. :)

    2. I have the utmost respect for the dryer. It’s a suck-y job; the hardest of all, if you ask me. I ABHOR drying dishes! I always jump in there and start washing before I end up assigned to drying. So, it’s not that you’re not trusted, trixie, it’s that you’re gracious and apparently don’t complain when assigned kind-of-crappy chores. You make it so much nicer for the rest of us who hate drying! BIG THANKS to ya!

  5. Gotta love group meals and group clean ups! I’m usually the dishwasher, but if the meal happens at my house, then I’d rather be the putter-awayer because I know where everything is supposed to go :P

  6. Back in high school I use to help my bff clean up her house all time. We were a great team. She’d stand at the dishwasher and I’d stand by the cabinets and she’d toss me the dishes. We never dropped anything and cleanup was super fast.

  7. I live in a house with 8 people that has the tendency to be trashed, but then Sunday cleanings before our meetings are fantastic. Love the breakdown of the team!!!

  8. YES! I LOVE this! A solid team get’s the job done well! We send any and all Grumpy’s to the parlour to pass gas…we do not want anyone getting in the way of our whistling while we work…rooting, tooting good time!

  9. Well, as much as I agree… It’s been way too long since i was part of a “group cleanup”. I have to practically beg for help in the kitchen, and when I get it, it comes with attitude and grumbling, so, I usually just do it myself. That’s two teenagers for ya. Oh, and that includes the big meals I spend half a day on, then half to spend half the evening cleaning up after. If I refused to clean up and asked the minions to do it, it still wouldn’t be done by the next day and if it was, I’d have to redo half of it anyway cause they refuse to ensure what they are cleaning ends up actually clean.
    ok, rant over…..

    1. Sometimes I feel that the cleaning goes much faster when its just me. I know how I like things done and no one is in my way. I haven’t had a decent cleaning partner since my best friend.

  10. I love this! I have the ultimate clean-up team in my classroom: 27 little worker bees who are just dying to do anything besides real work. We can have the whole classroom scrubbed down in under 20 minutes! Definitely awesome. We clean almost every Friday, so by now, everyone is pretty good at knowing their place.

  11. Seeing this makes me smile because about a year ago (right around this time actually), I got to bond with a great group of peers at someone’s house, and we all pitched in to put their house back together after we stayed for the weekend. We did it again a few months afterwards when we were all living under one roof again. It’s a small thing, but working together like that makes me all warm and fuzzy thinking about how well and harmoniously we worked together. I love and miss these people!!

  12. I would have to add the garbage dude!!! This is key especially if there are beer bottles, pop cans, disposable dishes and napkins kicking around. Garbage dude is a key step in taking away everything that doesn’t need to be cleaned…

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