Do you crash on couches? Snuggle up in guest rooms? If you do (or if you have), you might want to check out this list of behaviors that might brand you as a bad house guest. (And don't worry, we've got tips on how to be a better house guest in case you spot any familiar behaviors!)
The truth is, there's a wide world of different folks out there, all tolerating different amounts and types of behaviors. What's annoying to one host might not bother another one bit. There might even be a school of folks out there that are appalled at even the idea of considering a guest inconsiderate.
But the truth is we think there are a handful of behaviors that many people would not appreciate receiving on the host end, and they are behaviors that if you've ever been guilty of, can be remedied.
Check to see if you answer "yes" to anything on this list and learn how you can change your ways. If you're a frequent host, be sure to weigh in about whether you don't mind one bit if folks do the things below, or if you've got a whole other list of things that should be added.
Do you...drop in uninvited, not give enough notice or phrase your inquiry in a way that makes it hard for a person to say no?
Plenty of folks (if they've truly got the room for it) don't mind an overnight guest every now and then. Most people enjoy sharing their home and getting to see friends who might not be able to come visit otherwise. But even the most laid back, always-clean-house hosts would probably appreciate a little notice. So ask about staying over as soon as you can to give a host plenty of time to make arrangements, and try to ask in a way that would make it clear that you would still value them as a friend even if they pass on the chance to host you overnight!
Do you...overstay your welcome?
This is one of those "depends on the host" kind of situations. Some people love a house full of friends and guests for as long as they can have it; others shudder at the thought of having their daily routine interrupted for long. First consider where you'll be staying in the host's home. If there's a separate guest room you might get away with staying longer than someone taking up residence in the middle of someone's living room. Then, consider the personality of the host. Are they a gregarious extrovert who loves being around people all the time? Or are they more of an introvert with a home that is their retreat from the world? And thirdly, and this is perhaps the most important one, you can just ask your potential host what an ideal length of time to stay is.
Do you...use a lot of their stuff without asking?
Your host will probably provide sheets, pillows, towels and wash cloths for you to use. Your host will undoubtedly not mind if you dip into their kitchen cabinets for coffee mugs and other dishes. Get a chill and decide to poke through their dresser for an extra sweater? That might be crossing the line. Again, this of course depends on how well you know your host. You might have understandings with family and long-time friends (though they would still appreciate if you asked first) but everyone else should be asked before you start using things around the house.
Do you...insist your hosts change their daily routines to match yours?
Are you a morning person or night person? If you know (and have a strong answer) you probably arrived at that conclusion thanks to lots of experience and even more trial and error. Guess what? Your host probably knows what kind of person they are, too. Though you might like bounding awake at 6am in the morning and noisily getting your coffee together, your host might not appreciate the rude awakening. The same with you being a night owl, loudly carousing or keeping them up late when they usually turn in early.
Do you...leave their guest room/living room a mess while you sight-see?
Some might say this item doesn't need to be on the list — if you're willing to host guests in your home you might feel like you're also understanding your home is going to look a little different for the duration of the stay. But even if your host is of the utmost accommodating style, still consider folding and stacking the sheets in the corner of the living room or making the bed in the guest room.
Do you...not say thanks?
You don't have to leave them a basket full of fruit or anything, but make your host know how much you appreciate them letting you stay while you're staying, and follow up again once more when you get back to your own home again.