If the rest of your guests are arriving and you're not quite ready (hey, it happens), don't worry about scrubbing the dishes. "With pots and pans, you can put them in the oven. If that's still in use, set the dishes in a container in the pantry or a spare closet," says Debra Johnson, a training manager for Merry Maids
. After all, no one's going to take away your "Amazing party!" bragging rights if you move them to the sink after everyone's left and deal with them the next morning.