How To Be an Awesome Houseguest

How nice to leave your host’s place even better than when you got there. How do you practice being a good guest? If you’re not on a do-my-laundry-in-your-washer level of familiarity, leave the bed linens and towels in a tidy pile. My mother always does this, and recent houseguests did this for me and what a relief! I appreciated her foresight and consideration — and that, for the sake of my preparations, she told me she would do this beforehand. Try to notice the rhythms and rituals of your hosts. But if you have specific dietary or health needs, it’s nice to take care of them yourself rather than expecting your hostess to learn about and provide for your needs. For instance, before I was more familiar with gluten-free diets and before gluten-free alternatives were ubiquitous, a houseguest of mine brought her own gluten-free pasta. Strip the sheets. I’ve had many people stay in my home, from family to friends of friends I’d never met before. Otherwise, if you can swing it, do the sheets and put them back on the bed. (Image credits: Andie Powers) But what about when you’re the guest? Of course, items like coats and shoes (which we don’t wear in the house), are left out, and I am happy when guests take it upon themselves to notice where they belong and put them there. If their habit is to sit and eat around the table together, join them rather than grazing, even if that’s what you’re used to. As someone who aspires, at least, to keep her house in order, I really appreciate it when my guests do their best to keep their suitcases and extra belongings in their designated areas. Here are some things that make me feel cared for as someone who lets others into my home, and what I try to keep in mind when I’m the guest. Fit in.

Updated: 06.12.2014 — 07:03