The Dos of a Good House Guest


Have you ever stayed in someone’s house and wondered the protocol? Here are some of my tips if you’re like me and find yourself in the homes of generous people often. Sometimes we feel like we can never repay our host but these little tricks will put your gratitude on full display.

1.    Help Yourself

If someone is kind enough to invite you into his or her home you can reciprocate the favor by helping yourself. If you want a drink of water ask where the cups are and if you can pour your host a glass as well. A good houseguest never turns their host into a servant.

2.    Lend a Hand

I work from home so if someone is kind enough to host me I typically spend a lot of time at home. When I stay at my sisters I keep an eye out for what I can do while I’m home and she’s at work—laundry, unload the dishwasher, or put away toys. Going the extra mile to lighten your host’s load because opening up your home isn’t easy.

3.    Strip the Bed

Just do it, especially if you were there for more the 2 days. Your host will wash your sheets so make it easy for them and bring them to the laundry room. If the washer isn’t running maybe even throw them in the wash. Don’t leave the bed bare and the pillows in disarray—make the bed with the comforter and pillows.

4.    Communicate

Let your host know your comings and goings. Don’t bore them with details but it’s nice to know when you’re arriving, leaving, and if you’ll be in and out all day. If you’ve ever hosted someone you know the pain of wondering the logistical details of your guest… you don’t want to sound rude and say “when are you leaving” but you’d also like your space back. Don’t leave your host wondering if you’re going to pop in unexpected.

5.    Leave a Gift

It does not have to big, and maybe you order something on Amazon, but always leave a little token of thanks. Some ideas are: coffee grounds, flowers, the host’s favorite drink, witty napkins, thank-you note, or sweets. It’s the thought that counts.