Tuesday Tips: 5 Tips To Be A Good House Guest


Today’s Tip: 5 ways to be a good house guest

In my time I’ve had a bit of experience with house guests, from people staying overnight to a few weeks. Or, in the case of Husband & I who ended up homeless after our attempt at purchasing our first home failed completely, quite a few months. These simple tips will help you to be the kind of house guest people will want to have back.

1. Arrive with a thank you gift

When arriving at someone else’s home, especially for an extended stay, a gift should be given to the host. How close you are and how long you are staying will affect the value of the gift. No one expects something large, but something as simple as a flower, a candle, a card, or some chocolate will show appreciation to the host for supplying you with a place to rest your head.

2. Share and respect schedules

By sharing your schedule, including your arrival time, you ensure everyone is on the same page. Maybe you will want to spend some time with your host, however you may also have other people to see or places to go. By being completely transparent you ensure your host knows what to expect, and you aren’t expecting your host to entertain you or plan out your stay for you.

Note: Arrive for your stay on time. While you may consider it OK to be late or early, your host may have other obligations or may be doing a last minute clean up.

3. Be clean and tidy

Tidy up after yourself (especially when you are staying on a couch in their lounge room) to ensure you keep the guest’s home to a standard they would be proud of. This also includes doing your own dishes and, if applicable, your own laundry. A particular place to take care is in a shared bathroom, ensure you have not left any puddles on the floor or haven’t left your many ointments and cleansers and toners and moisturisers across the bench. Making your bed in the morning is a nice way to keep the host’s home to a nice standard and upon leaving the bed should be stripped and any towels/wash cloths used should be placed in the laundry.

4. Offer to help

Offering to help out with household tasks will ensure you endear yourself to your host and demonstrate appreciation for the things they are doing. This may include helping with cleaning, cooking, dishes, laundry or helping out with bills if you are there for an extended stay. Offering to assist, especially with cleaning up after a shared meal, will be hard to turn down and will always see you invited back.

5. Don’t overstay your welcome

Linked in with tip 2, this is a fairly obvious one – ensure before your stay both parties are on the same page regarding a departure time. This includes both departure day and time, even something as simple as staying until Monday instead of Sunday can upset a schedule or cause your host to feel taken advantage of. For an extended stay, it is important to ensure you’re not there longer than you are wanted. Always try to leave on a high note and, like any good TV show, keep them wanting more rather than partying in your absence.

These 5 tips should keep you in good stead to ensure you will always be invited back.

Do you have any tips to share? Any horror stories? 

  • Gary

    Great tips Tamsin. I reckon this post would make a great postcard for people to use around holiday time to pin to the back of the toilet or bathroom door so that houseguests can read what’s expected :-) Sadly some of the clueless ones won’t get it.