Party On! Protect Your Furnishings from Game Day Disasters

Party On! Protect Your Furnishings from Game Day Disasters


Drinks get spilled, food gets dropped, stuff gets dirty — your home inevitably takes a beating when the gang comes over for football and snacks. Have a plan in mind to keep your furnishings intact so everything looks as good after the get-together as it did before. Follow these suggestions and you’ll never worry about spills and stains again.

To protect flooring:

If someone accidentally knocks over a bowl of chili onto the carpet, you won’t freak out if you’d thought ahead and put inexpensive, washable area rugs on top of the carpet — they’ll take the brunt of the spill. But don’t wait until everyone leaves to address the mess — clean it immediately before liquids seep through the rugs.

To protect upholstered furniture:

A plate of nachos and your lovely new velvet couch should never meet, but on game day there’s a chance they will. The day before, spray a fabric and upholstery protector all over your couch. “Using a fabric protector will definitely help, as it creates a barrier between the spill and the fabric, making clean-up easier,” says Melissa Maker, host of the Clean My Space YouTube channel. It repels liquids and blocks stains, even from melty cheese; all you have to do is blot the mess with a clean white rag. Reapply the protector annually. Another solution that’s quick and easy: throwing a temporary furniture cover (similar to a slip cover) over the sofa, which will protect the seat, back, and arms from staining. But as with flooring, if any food or drink penetrates the protective fabric, deal with cleaning the mess immediately.

To protect your glass or wood coffee table:

“Use coasters or cover it with a tablecloth,” says Maker. “So that no one places hot plates on a wood table, make sure you set out trivets before your guests arrive so there is somewhere to put hot food.”

To protect your treasures:

If you have valuables or family heirlooms, such as the crystal vase your grandmother received as a wedding gift decades ago, don’t risk losing them if you’ve got an exuberant crowd that likes to jump up and down! Move valuables to a room that’s off-limits to guests, like your bedroom. Consider moving any fragile pieces of furniture out of the viewing room too.

To take care of immediate messes:

Have the basic cleanup tools at the ready, like a broom and dustpan, an all-purpose spray, microfiber cloths, and bottles of seltzer. Maker recommends having a handheld vacuum for last-minute cleanups and quick fixes.

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