Houseguest Manners

Today’s Topic: Houseguests.

Adam Lowe,
April 8, 2007

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Today’s Topic: Houseguests.

When you stay in another person’s home, or have guests stay with you, the situation can present many opportunities for awkwardness or misunderstanding, so here are a few tips to help make your stay or your guests’ visit a more pleasant experience.

How to be a Good Houseguest

When staying at someone’s house, be sure to bring a small gift for your hosts.  It can also be a good idea to take your hosts out for a meal during your stay if the opportunity presents itself.  

While you are a guest, try to store your clothes, luggage and toiletries away as neatly as possible.  Make your bed, and re-store a folding bed unless instructed to do otherwise by your hosts, and strip the bed, fold up blankets and tidy up the room after your last night.

During meals, you should offer to help in the preparation, and certainly help clear away dishes after the meal.  Note that cleaning etiquette may be different if there are household staff, in which case you should let them go about their normal activities.  In general, you should offer to help with household chores and pitch in whenever possible.

Bring your own toiletries with you; your hosts should provide you with sheets and towels, but if you are going to be at the beach you may want to bring your own beach towels.  Clarify the length of your stay in advance, and try not to overstay your welcome.  Bring enough clean clothing to last your stay, unless you have been specifically invited to use the laundry.