Welcoming invited guests into your home can be a wonderful experience if the guests keep in mind the efforts of their host(s) and are appreciative of such a gracious offer. Last week, I shared a list of things to keep in mind prior to and upon arrival, so this week I’d like to share tips on how to be a delightful house guest.
Let’s get started.
1. Be Presentable
Be sure to pack a set of presentable pajamas (top and bottom) that will be sure to make everyone comfortable even in the early hours of the morning while you are sipping coffee, as well as taking a moment to brush through your hair and any other tidying up that you may want to tend to before saying good morning.
2. Be Neat & Orderly
Whether you’ve been given your own room, but especially if you are sleeping on someone’s couch, each morning be sure to tidy up your living space, tucking, folding and putting away anything that otherwise wouldn’t have been there. Your host will appreciate your attention to something so simple as it is a way to show respect and gratitude.
3. Make Your Bed
Similar to No. 2, make your bed every morning as you would at your own home. A simple luxury to come back to at the end of each day is a welcoming boudoir.
4. If Contagious, Stay Home.
5. Offer to Purchase Groceries or Pay for Partial Utilities for Extended Visits
If your host will be making meals for you or you will be eating breakfast, lunch and/or dinner in their home, offer to pay for or shop for groceries. And if you are staying for an extended period, be sure to offer money as a form of rent for utilities and space used.
6. Limit Internet/phone Usage
If you don’t have your own access to internet and will be using your host’s computer, be very brief and keep in mind that others will want to go about their daily routines and spend time on the internet as well. And while everyone has a cell phone these days, be aware of when and how often you are on the phone. Remember that you are a guest and not the only one in the home.
7. Do Your Own Laundry/Dishes
I suggested last week that one of the simplest ways to thank your host is to offer to do the dishes after a meal. Another thing to always get into the habit of is washing and putting your dishes in the dishwasher as well. Never assume that someone else will be doing this job.
8. Strip the Bed and Any Towels Used
Prior to leaving when you are packing up and saying good-byes, take a few minutes and strip the bed placing all of the sheets into one of the pillowcases. This is a simple task that will save your host some time and be neat as well. Be sure to add any towels and washcloths also that you have used.
9. Send a Prompt Thank You Note
Be sure to put it at the top of your to do list (or better yet, while on your trip purchase a lovely thank you card in an inviting stationery store) to send a thank you note to your host upon arriving back home. While many thank yous have most likely been exchanged, a formal letter expresses sincere gratitude and thoughtfulness and puts a wonderful last memory to the entire stay.
Being a good house guest simply requires conscious effort of putting ourselves into the shoes of our host and treating them the way we would hope others would treat us if they were staying at our home. The goal is to create a memorable experience for everyone and while the host will keep themselves busy making sure this happens, so too should the guest.