If you’re like most parents, you will throw your little one at least a few super cool birthday extravaganzas before they graduate elementary school. Although a big celebration puts an even bigger smile on a child’s face, the cleanup can be anything but fun. Read on to learn four ways you can throw your child an unforgettable birthday bash without the mess.

Isolate the Party

A smaller space means a smaller mess. Confine home parties to one area, such as the garage or living room, and keep doors to bedrooms locked. If your child’s birthday falls during the warmer months, consider keeping the party outside. Although you’ll still have to pick up trash, spilled food and drinks become a non-issue outdoors.

Keep Trash Bags and Bins Handy

Trash bags are your best friends at any children’s party. Stock up on lawn and leaf sized bags to contain gift wrap, paper dishes and packaging. Remember to put out plenty of trash bins so your guests don’t have to stow garbage in unwelcome places. Choose bins in bright colors to make them more visible and place extra ones near areas where food is being served.

Use a Party Venue

Hosting your child’s birthday party at a venue is a lot of fun, and it also means you won’t be on the hook for cleaning up afterward. While birthday parties at special venues can be pricey, there are many affordable options. Consider renting space at a bowling alley, go-kart racing track or miniature golf course. Small venues like an arcade or fast food restaurant can suit even the tightest budgets and may even be cheaper than hosting a party at home.

Rent, Don’t Buy

It might be tempting to purchase party supplies like folding tables, chairs and inflatables so you can use them year after year. However, purchasing these things means you have to pack them away and store them when the party’s over. What’s more, little Madison or Grayson will probably be over the Spider-Man bouncy castle by the time their next birthday rolls around. Avoid the hassle by renting party supplies instead of buying them.

Remember, your child’s birthday party doesn’t have to be a large event in order to be fun. If you’re on a budget or concerned about the mess, it’s okay to have a small party with a few select friends instead. Consider alternating small parties and larger ones or save the blowout celebrations for the most important birthdays.

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