Step 6: Wind It Down
Signal that the party is over (subtly). Lower the music, blow out a few candles, turn on one light. If guests don’t get the hint, resort to plan B: Start cleaning up.
Dole out leftovers. “Buy Chinese to-go boxes for people to take extras home,” says Kobrin. “The more you get out and give away, the better.” (Takeout boxes, 50 for $19.50, save-on-crafts.com.)
Tidy up a tad (then hit the hay). After guests are gone, take out the trash and recycling so your house doesn’t smell like a bar when you wake up. “Check for furniture or carpet stains and treat those immediately, but otherwise leave the heavy cleaning and furniture moving until morning,” says Andalman.