The food was good, the company was good, the swimming was good, but all good things must come to an end and your pool party is no exception. The only problem is that your friends are having so much fun that they just don’t want to leave. You, on the other hand, are done partying and have a lot to cleanup. How do you get your guests to leave without being rude?
Adjust the Lighting
The first thing you should do is adjust the lighting. By the time your party is winding down it is probably dark outside. People have gotten used to the atmosphere created by the pool lights and tiki torches. Turn on a few more lights to brighten things up. It will instantly change the mood of the party and signal your guests that the end of the party is coming. It will also help you to be able to see as you begin to clean.
Start Cleaning Up
That brings us to the next step, start cleaning up. You don’t want to go into a full on cleaning frenzy, but you could begin picking up a few things. Throw away empty plates, put away the leftover food, things like that. Just don’t throw away your guest’s drinks, that takes your message from subtle to a loud and clear “get out”. As you begin to clean up, your guests should start getting the hint that the party is over and hey a few guests may even pitch in to help!
Turn Off the Music
As part of the clean up process, you should turn off the music. The music going away will gradually change the atmosphere of your party. Have you ever been in a store that wasn’t playing music? You may not have noticed it right away, but when you did, it probably started to feel really strange. Stores play music to make shoppers more comfortable so they will stay in their store longer. Turning off the music has the opposite effect on people. Just like in a store, it will be helpful in winding down your pool party.
Use Verbal Cues
If your friends are a little slow on the uptake, or just die hard partiers you might need to use some actual words to help them get the hint. For example, if you have kids you could give them the "5 minutes until time to get out" warning. Have them go get cleaned up and start talking about getting ready for bed. If you are a parent you’ve probably already used this excuse from time to time. If you don’t have kids there are other verbal cues you can use to get your guests moving. Try phrases like “man it’s getting late” and “Boy, that was a great party”, just to name a few.
The key to ending your party is to get one or two of your guests to head out. Once a few guests leave, the momentum has started and you are on your way to freedom. There is just one possible hurdle left, occasionally there is that one guy who likes to stay after everyone has left, he might operate under the guise of “helping to clean up”, but in reality he is just sticking around as long as possible. Our only advice for him...excuse yourself to the bathroom, then quickly turn out all of the lights and lock the doors. That should help him get the picture that this party is over.