5 Ways to Get Party Guests Out of the Kitchen

published May 22, 2017
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(Image credit: Rachel Joy Barehl)

No matter how small your kitchen happens to be, people always end up hanging out in there during parties. Bummer, right? It leaves you wondering if you should have skipped cleaning every other room of your house and just focused on cooking the food instead.

The problem, of course, is that it can become a logistical issue for you if you’re trying to get stuff done and people are all sorts of in the way. Here’s how to give your well-meaning guests the boot.

1. Lure them into the living room.

Fluff those pillows and turn that playlist up! Basically make your living or dining room vastly more appealing than the kitchen. If they can get their booze and appetizers in the living room, they’ll have even less of a reason to go into the kitchen. Don’t be above sending your adorable pet in there to flop belly-up and request a tummy rub as a last resort.

2. Start the trend.

If you want people to sit in the living room and relax, lead by example. The best way to make that possible? Plan a menu that doesn’t need a ton of attention from you. Something like a lasagna that you can prep ahead of time and then just pop in the oven is really the way to go. Make-ahead meals are always your ticket outta the kitchen.

Some Menu Ideas

3. Enlist help.

No, not in the kitchen. (That will only encourage people to hang out in there even more!) Instead, run a tag team with your partner or a friend who knows you need everyone out of the kitchen. Have a signal for when you need some space and they can shepherd people into the living room. They can offer drink refills or even go as far as showing off a new piece of art in the living room.

4. Remove comfort from the kitchen.

Remove any signs that you might want company. That set of chairs or bar stools? Get them out of there! Move them into the room you want people to be in and they’ll feel less invited to come in, sit down, and stay a while.

5. Just ask.

What a concept, right? You don’t need to be mean or snappy about it, so be sure to tell them to vamos before it gets to that point. Make it about them and you’ll come across as extra sweet. Say something like, “Oh my kitchen is so cramped, you should go make yourself comfortable in the living room. I’d hate to accidentally splash or spill something on you.” Look how thoughtful you are!

Do you have any other effective methods?