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Guests - Do You Want Them To Stay A While? Or Leave Soon?

Updated on September 19, 2011

So you have guests coming over. There are two possible scenarios with guests arriving at your home. It can be either a good thing or a bad thing.

It can often start out great, then for some reason, whatever that may be, it may become a real problem. Let's start with the bad first (I like to leave the good news for last).

You have been preparing for your guests to arrive all morning, then all of a sudden, it hits you. Yes, it's a migraine head ache. You invited your guests, but you don't recall sending out an invitation to the headache. Regardless, it shows up uninvited. Just like some of your guests may. You think you can bear it for the couple of hours while your guests are in your home, but as the time nears for your invitees to arrive, it just gets worse. What are you going to do? Cancel on them? You could. They would probably understand. Maybe they won't. Maybe they'll think that you have found something better to do with your time than to entertain them. Now they have to turn around because you have just "flaked out" on them.

So you bite the bullet, and you just let the headache rage on and your guests arrive. You don't want to be rude, but you also do not want them to overstay their visit, so here are some tips to make guests go away sooner than you planned for them to be at your home (by the way, this works for unannounced guests as well).

First, and one of the most important things is lighting. Yes, lighting. People are like moths. Well, not really. More like the opposite of moths. Moths tend to see a light and just want to crash into it repeatedly. People on the other hand, tend to go away from light when they are trying to relax. I learned this in my days of working in the restaurant industry.

We had two phases to our evening in the last restaurant that I managed. The first phase, was dinner. We wanted people to come in, hang out for a while, but then we wanted them to leave right after dinner. After that group of people left, the bar would thrive. We wanted this group to stay, drink and order more chips and queso as the night went on.

In order to make the dinner guests go away, we would have dimmer lights at 3/4 of the way turned on. Once 8:00 PM hit, the dimmer lights went down to a comfortable park here and don't move setting. Accent lighting was turned on and the drinkers would stay... All night.

You can do the same in your home. If you have guests that you want to get rid of, then lighting is extremely important. Turn on as many lights as possible. This gives people anxiety, especially if they've had a glass of wine or two. There will be no relaxing.

Another thing you can do is turn off any accent lighting. Make the place dull and bright. Turn off all warmers, candles, night lights and accent lamps. Do this before they arrive of course. If you must do this while the guests are there, then be subtle about it. Any time you get up, turn on a light. I'm sure you have seen this done to you in a restaurant or bar when it's about closing time.

Now, what if you do want guests to stay? All you have to do is the opposite of what you have just read above. If you have a Scentsy Warmer, turn it on. Put your favorite scent in the bowl before your guests arrive. A pleasant aroma will make guests want to stay. Also, Scentsy Warmers provide beautiful accent lighting. Make sure to place it in a darker area of a room where the light will escape through the port holes on the sides, creating nice shapes on your walls.

Dim your lights. If you don't have dimmers, use lamps, and turn off main recessed lamps that provide too much light. You want your guests to be comfortable and camp out. Keep two areas that are well lit. Preferably the kitchen where people can see what they are doing and don't trip over the margarita machine or the dog's water bowl. The second well lit area should be where you will be sitting most of the evening. If it is in the living room, keep it well lit, but not stadium lights well lit. I say this because you may end up playing games, or having discussions, telling jokes, and people want to see who they are talking to.

Well, there you have it. Just a couple of tips on keeping your guests or getting rid of them. Comment below and let me know if you have your own tips or suggestions on how to keep or lose the guests. Also, please be sure to visit our website for the warmers that we talked about above. Happy hosting!


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    • TrueWickless profile image

      TrueWickless 6 years ago from Houston, TX

      I too have found that daytime guests are a bit difficult to get rid of. In this situation, I have actually resorted to extreme temperature change. You know your guests, they're usually your friends or family. I know that my family is extremely hot natured, and living in Houston, TX, it is extremely hot here. I use nature as a guest deterent haha!

      I'll turn the A/C completely off, and even discreetly open a window nearby to increase the heat. They begin to feel uncomfortable. They have asked though, about the heat, and my reply? "I'm not sure... I may have to call the a/c guy again. This will make it the third time in two months!"

      They don't last too much longer after that:)

      If it's winter time, then you just turn off the heat, open the discreet window, and let them freeze hehehe.

      I know, it sounds terrible, but sometimes there are people who don't take hints very well, and one must resort to extreme measures to keep from hurting feelings and being rude.

      Hope that helps!

    • profile image

      Giselle Maine 6 years ago

      Hi, the lighting is a fantastic idea for evenings and not one I'd previously thought of. Good tip. Actually we don't tend to have the problem of guests overstaying in the evenings, and we're happy to entertain then, but I do occasionally get the issue of getting daytime visitors e.g. women's coffee group or lunch group to leave (when there's no need to increase lighting because there's already lots of natural light in the home). Any ideas? So far I've been resorting to the possibly-overly-obvious "Oh - look at the time!" or "wow, it's already time for my 1-yr old to be having a nap" - although I get scared with the latter that people might say "Oh, that's fine, we'll just wait here while you put him to bed!"