Everybody wants to be the perfect houseguest, but unfortunately, that’s easier said than done. There are countless unspoken rules to follow in this regard. Recently, men and women with extensive experience hosting houseguests met in an online discussion to reveal how guests can ensure they’ll be welcomed back for a future visit!
1. Keep the Noise Level Down
Nothing annoys a host more than a loud, inconsiderate guest. The perfect houseguest exists quietly, not infringing on others’ personal spaces. While being the ideal guest is impossible, you can take common-sense steps to ensure you get close. Use headphones, don’t blast the volume on the television, and generally keep your voice level at the same as your gracious host(s).
2. Offer to Cook a Meal
It’s always a good idea to offer to cook your host a meal, but the key word here is “offer.” As one recent houseguest explains, don’t assume they want you to start rummaging through their kitchen to make a meal on a whim. “I tend to cook a meal or two when I visit my or my wife’s siblings, but I am kind of the ‘foodie in the family, and I guess they like my cooking,” reveals one man. “I would never just start making meals without discussing it with the host.”
3. Don’t Expect Meals to be Cooked For You
Conversely, don’t expect your host to prepare meals for you throughout your stay. While many hosts do this, it shouldn’t be expected! Countless hosts confess they’ve gotten into confrontations with their houseguests because of expectations of being fed that couldn’t be met. Better communication is always ideal in this scenario.
4. Don’t Be Messy
For goodness sake, don’t be a slob! This is an excellent rule for life in general, in addition to being an ideal houseguest. Clean up, practice personal hygiene, and make your bed each morning. These are easy ways to show your host that you are the kind of person who will be invited for another stay in the future.
As with most relationships, communication is vital. The more you communicate with your host (without being overbearing), the more likely you’ll be welcomed back. “Do communicate if something is interrupting your sleep if it’s something that can be controlled,” advises one woman. “Road noise and noisy planes aren’t things you can control. But if you need a better pillow or another blanket because you feel cold, feel free to mention that. A little communication goes a long way.”
6. Don’t Do Chores
Doing small chores around the house, like cleaning, dusting, or doing the dishes, can send the wrong message to your host. “Don’t ever come to someone’s house and start doing chores,” reveals one woman. It’s rude and basically saying that they don’t have their house in order.” Remember: It’s not your job to clean the house!
7. Be Respectful
When living at someone else’s home for an extended period, respect is the name of the game. Employing common courtesies, such as asking before you use things, shows grace and understanding. Think about it: Would you want your houseguests helping themselves, without asking first, to a bottle of wine you’ve been saving for months? Of course not!
8. Be Mindful of Your Children
Bringing your children with you adds another layer of complexity to any visit. Be mindful of their actions; you never know what the host will feel is disrespectful. “If you bring your kids to a home that is usually child-free, be extra aware of what they are doing,” confesses one man. “I had my carpets ruined after a guest let their five-year-old play with makeup in our guest room. They didn’t see it as a big deal because they are used to ‘not being able to have nice things.'”
9. Don’t Invite Friends Over
All houseguests must realize the reality of their situation: They are guests in someone else’s home. I was shocked to find out how many hosts reported incidents where their guests would invite friends and family over to their homes as if the guests lived there! This unacceptable behavior often results in a quick push out the front door.
10. Have a Positive Mindset
No host enjoys opening their home to someone constantly negative about everything. Have a positive mindset, and you’ll avoid being resented. “Try to be positive about things and life in general,” explains one man. “We just had a three-day guest that complained about everything. It was like setting off a nuclear bomb of negativity in the household! We couldn’t wait to get rid of them.”
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