How to Get Dinner and Party Guests to Leave Your Home

People Laughing at Dinner Table

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After the plates are empty, the bellies are full and your guests’ waistbands are being stretched to their limits, your Thanksgiving holiday should be over. Unfortunately, your friends and family may not be ready to leave when you’re ready for them to, so you have to gently guide them out the door. As the hostess with the mostest, you’d never be rude, but you deserve to rest, too. So this is how to kick your guests out at the end of the evening, politely, of course.

  • Set a timeline beforehand- This doesn’t have to be as formal as a paper invitation with a set end time, you can just outline the timeline when communicating to friends and family. Something like: “We plan to gather at 1pm, eat around three, then clean up, play games and watch movies and wrap up by seven so the little ones can get to bed.”
  • Hand guests a plate of leftovers- One of the best hints that it’s time for guests to mosey along? A slightly passive-aggressive, but effective three-step approach involving leftovers:
  1. Ask who wants a plate of leftovers. The question serves as a warning alarm that this gathering is shutting down soon, people.
  2. Be loud while filling those containers of leftovers to signal that your home is no longer a place for lounging.
  3. Hand them the leftovers and hope they understand that this means it’s time to go.
  • Stand up and talk about the day in the past tense- Don’t sit back down while you’re chatting and say something like: “I know, it WAS such a great night” or “It WAS so much fun seeing everyone.”
  • Put the booze away- Nothing says party’s over like cutting the guests off. You can also start walking around and collecting empty glasses asking, “Can I take this for you?” And bring out the guests’ coats and put them in an easily seen spot.
  • Talk about your plans for the next day- Drop a hint that the event is over by saying, “Well, we have an early day tomorrow because we’re going to … ” even if your activity is made up.
  • Have a wing person- Use a friend or partner to help you motivate your guests to go. They can suggest heading to another location, like a bar, or they can just stand up and say, “Well, I know you’ve got an early day tomorrow, so I’m going to head out” and hope everyone else follows along so you can unbutton your pants and relax in peace.


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