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Clean Up After the Reunion

Cleaning up is part of every family reunion. Here are things to remember and suggestions for dividing up the work.

After your family reunion is over you'll want to put things back in order. If you held your family reunion at a hotel or restaurant, the staff there will likely handle much of the clean up. If you held it at someone's home or at a church or park, you'll likely need to clean the facility. There may be bags of trash as well as dishes to wash, floors to clean and so on.

There are likely to be furnishings, such as chairs and tables, that need to be put away or folded up and returned to the location from which they were borrowed or leased. Decorations and signs need to be taken down. Be sure to remove any signs you put up such as the one at the entrance and signs posted along the road.

If the food was potluck, you can send it back with those who brought it. If it was catered you can parcel it out to family members who are leaving, freeze it and feed it to your own nuclear family members or donate it to a food bank. It depends on how much there is and how you purchased it.

A few items may be the type you'd like to save for a future reunion. These include t-shirts and other identity items, decorations and signage. If you have space in your home to store them, you can put them in boxes until you need them next time. Alternatively, you can send some items to family members who didn't make it to the reunion, involving them in the reunion so they feel part of it. Or, if your family tree includes young families with small incomes, you may donate the clothing to them to help ease their clothing burden.

Ways to Handle Clean Up

A couple of ways to handle the clean up are:

  • Do it yourself, perhaps with the help of your spouse or children.
  • Ask a few members of the family to be the cleaning committee. It's not a job that anyone likes but it can be made fun.
  • Use some of the family reunion funds to hire a cleaning company to come in and do the work.
  • Hold the reunion at a hotel or other facility that will handle the clean up as mentioned above.