House Guests Etiquette | photo of a suitcase with a hat on top and a cup and saucer with coffee

House Guests Etiquette Cottage Charm 9

House guests etiquette. This can be a hard one because it seems many children today don’t treat their own homes with respect, so why should it be any different elsewhere? My adopted grandpa used to love to have children come to visit him, but unfortunately, the joy faded away as the sweet children got there and proceeded to tear the house apart. They would break lamps, electronics, books, and furniture. It was like the locusts descending on well-tended crops and leaving chaos in its wake.

House Guests Etiquette – When House Guests Manners Goes Wrong

I remember helping him clean up the messes and not understanding why they thought it was ok to climb all over furnishings, run in the house and cause general mayhem. 
 Let’s begin that someone’s home is not a playground. We do not run, climb, or scream in it but treat it with respect. If things are old or new, shabby or fine makes no difference. We never speak with outside voices as we would at the playground but talk quietly as you would at the museum, or at church. We walk not run around because in running we could break the person’s things or knock someone down.

House Guests Etiquette – The Don’t Touch Rule

Unless someone gives you permission to, do not touch their electronics or books or other items. We can enjoy beautiful things without touching them, look with our eyes and see beautiful things but do not touch them with our hands. 

House Guests Etiquette – Keeping Food In The Proper Place

Unless told otherwise keep all food items in the kitchen. Never assume it is ok to take food and drinks in the living room or bedrooms of someone else’s home. If you do spill something, clean it up quickly to avoid it staining on carpet or furniture. Never play with outdoor toys inside or play rough outside games inside the home. 

House Guests Etiquette – Grown Ups Need Etiquette Too

It is important not to overstay our welcome.  It is wonderful to visit your friend or family member but do not stay on and on and let them tire of the visit.  This reminds me of a historic home in our area.  The person giving the tour was talking about the beds and how they have ticking mattresses on rope supports on the bed.  It was important to keep those ropes tight so that the sleeper would be comfortable and not fall through the cracks (this is where the phrase “Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite” comes from.  He went on to explain that if the visit grew too long and they tired of their company they would loosen the ropes under the ticking mattress making for a very uncomfortable time for their guests. 


House Guests Etiquette – In The Bath

If you are staying overnight or longer, bring your own toiletries.  Don’t use their body wash, shampoo and conditioner but use your own.  Clean up after yourself.  Do not leave your towel or clothing in the bathroom on the floor or counter.  Put your toiletries away when you are finished with them. If you have made a mess, clean it.

House Guests Etiquette – In The Bedroom

Etiquette in the bedroom is so important.  Don’t let your clothing be thrown all over the room and furniture.  Make your bed tidy when you get out of it and pick up your clothing and pajamas and put them away when you take them off.  Keep your shoes tidy.  If you have children with you, remind them to pick up their things and keep the room nice.


House Guests Etiquette – In The Kitchen

There is nothing like a lovely meal with friends. Being able to catch up with your family or friends around a dinner table and rekindle times gone by. This can be a great time for you and your hosts.  One way to make it even better is to offer your help in the kitchen.  Not a top Chef? No problem! It does not take Top Chef skills to stir a pot of soup, chop up a head of lettuce or set the table. These are small ways that you can help take the pressure off your host that comes with having extra mouths to feed. 


House Guests Etiquette – Attitude Is Important!

When a house guest, remember to be flexible.  This family has its own schedule and timeframe.  Remember to be open to doing things differently and new things that you have never tried before.


House Guests Etiquette – Share The Cost


If you are going to be with them for more than a couple of days or if your family is quite large then offer to pay for the food you and your family will eat.  This will help to ease the cost for the family and make it less stressful if their budget is tight.  


House Guests Etiquette – Show Your Thanks


It is important to show your thanks for the hospitality that was shown to you and your family. Bring a small gift to the hosts to show your thanks. It does not need to be extravagant (although it could be), but just something to say that you appreciate them.  Make it something for the home or if you know their likes well, something you just know they want or would enjoy.


House Guests Etiquette -Have Fun


Have fun, relax, make memories, laugh.  These are things that will draw you back together again and again.





House Guests Etiquette – Following Up

Follow up your visit with a nice handwritten thank you note thanking your guest for hosting you and telling them how you appreciate them and how you enjoyed your time with them.  This will really make them feel appreciated.  Do this within a week or so of your visit to them.  


How pleased your hosts will be at your great manners and how happy they will be when you come again to visit.


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