Rules for being a stellar house guest.
It seems that every time I am part of a wedding, I end up camping out at someone's house. That could mean the bride's mother, sister or aunt's house because we are hosting a shower or planning a girl's night or having a group sleepover the night before the big day. Or maybe the wedding is in another city, so to save on costs, someone puts me up for a few days. And then there have been just as many times when I have hosted people at my home as part of wedding festivities or even just for a fun weekend getaway for friends who are in from out of town.
The fact is, at some point in your adult life, whether you are part of a wedding or not, odds are that you will be a guest in another person's home. It could be for a weekend in another city or for a week at a summer home. Regardless of the occasion, there are a few important things to keep in mind as a house guest. With wedding season once again rearing its head, here are a few tips for how to be a good house guest.
How to be a good house guest.
- Leave a small footprint. Don't unpack your suitcase in the middle of the hallway or spread your toiletries throughout the entire bathroom. Keep your things together in one place so it doesn't add clutter to the house.
- Make yourself useful. Offer to help with dinner or take out the garbage. Even walk the dog. Provide an extra set of hands to make things easier on everyone.
- Contribute to the house. I always like to bring a gift or prepare a meal of some sort. By no means do you have to replace everything that you use, but if the host runs out of toilet paper, just go pick some up without making a deal about it.
- Clean up after yourself. Don't leave dishes in the sink or remnants of makeup around the bathroom vanity. Try to leave the home the same way you found it.
- Collect dirty towels. Odds are, you are going to shower while staying at someone's house. Take the dirty towels and put them in a hamper or a pile. They are certainly going to want to wash them before the next guest arrives.
- Strip the beds. Ask the hostess if she prefers you remove the sheets from the bed. Some families won't wash them after just one use, but many people will appreciate you removing the sheets and starting the washing machine. Just find out their preference first.
- Write a thank you note. After your stay, sending a little message of thanks can go a very long way. Drop a card in the mail and hope you get invited back again.