My Top House Rules (and Tell Us, What are Yours?)

My Top House Rules (and Tell Us, What are Yours?)

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Eleanor Büsing
Mar 26, 2015
(Image credit: Sophie Timothy)

Does your home have rules? If you've got kids, I imagine that it might have— bedtimes, TV limits, that sort of thing (maybe even this sort of thing). But if you don't, or even if you live alone? Most of us have a set of guidelines or habits we try to live by, that together make our homes happier, healthier and more organized.

My personal "home rules" are a mix of serious and frivolous, but all are things I've done for a long time, in various homes, and can see myself sticking to in the future, no matter how my living situation might change.

(Image credit: Simplyvonne)

No shoes.

I know this is a continuing and controversial topic here at AT (come at me in the comments if you must), but this is something I grew up with, and I just can't shake it. Divesting myself of shoes and wearing only socks or slippers in the house makes me feel more relaxed, and it actually stresses me out to see other people wearing shoes inside when I'm not. It's like come on— stay awhile.

This isn't a hard rule to enforce: usually, friends will notice that I'm not wearing shoes (or notice the pile of shoes in my hallway, more like) and comply. Nor is it set in stone: if someone prefers to keep their shoes on, no biggie. And of course, for parties this goes out the window; I wouldn't want anybody's carefully-chosen outfit compromised on my account, and let's be honest— I'll need to clean the floor the next day, anyway.

(Image credit: So Haute)

Keep the bar stocked.

I aspire to be the kind of girl who always has a bottle of bubbly in the fridge, just a cork pop away from celebrating an unexpected promotion, a new client, or, you know, a Thursday. I might not be there yet (I'd probably just end up "celebrating" every week and spending rather a lot of money), but in my flat, we do know the value of a tipple with friends. At the very least, you'll always find in my home the makings of a gin and tonic, a bloody mary, and some chilled white wine. Because life.

(PS— The best way to stock your bar is to have a party. Seriously, invite everyone you know 'round and they will conveniently arrive with provisions.)

(Image credit: Ariel Knutson for The Kitchn)

Clean up after yourself (and be generous).

I live with a flatmate, and cleaning-wise we're a good match for each other. We're both tidy, but relaxed about it. As in, we'll always take care of our own dishes, but no one is angry if something stays soaking in the sink until the next day. We also have no problem taking care of each other's messes once in a while; I mean, if I'm doing the dishes, I'm hardly going to leave half of them just because I didn't dirty them! Same thing for loading/unloading the dishwasher: we both do it, and no one keeps track.

(Image credit: Lucy Hewett for The Kitchn )

The household that cooks together, stays together.

I love cooking, and could happily spend entire days holed up in the kitchen by myself (and occasionally do). But you know what I really love? Cooking with someone. It's what I do with my parents when I go back home, with my sister when I visit her house, and with my friends, when I can rope them into coming over and rolling up their sleeves (they actually have it quite easy; I have no requirements for a sous chef beyond keeping my wine glass topped up, and good conversation).

My flatmate and I are both busy people, and sometimes we won't even see each other for a week. But when we have the time, we love to plan a meal together and share the work in creating it.

Does your home share any of these "rules"? If not, what guidelines do you follow?

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