In the old house, with its carpet-under-the-only table we ate at and schooled at and baked at and crafted at, clean-up time was one of misery, frustration and woe for me and Steve. Cottage cheese, paint, and anything else you can think of got kind of crushed "away" by the trusty old vacuum, so gross, yet what else could I do?
Now we have not only wood floors under our dining room table, but a whole other room and table to use as an alternate for eating and schooling and everything else. Such a blessing!
Clean-up after a lunch like we had today, which was make your own black bean nachos, goes something like this:
Take all the chairs away. Tip and shake the high chairs onto the floor and take them away. By away I mean to another room. Put up the Giant Purple Babygate to "lock" everyone away from the area to be cleaned. Or send them all into a bedroom for a few minutes to play with Casey and Charlie. So then I pick up all the things that go back in the refrigerator, and take the giant push-broom (the kind you use outdoors for leaves and grass) and work all debris in the way of cheese and beans and rice into a big pile in the corner. Then I wipe down the table, wipe down the chairs, and scrub out the high chairs. I replace all the chairs and vacuum the rug which is in part of the dining room that sometimes gets a bit of miscellanea on it. Then I take the vacuumhose and suck up all the beans and stuff! I can now safely take down the baby gate and hear them beg for DESSERT!