7 Etiquette Mistakes That May Accidentally Make You an Impolite House Guest

Avoid these etiquette mistakes if you want to be invited back as a house guest.

Hosting guests is one of the kindest things someone can do, but there's certainly work that comes along with having friends and family stay in your house. Beyond readying the house and stocking up on food, it takes entertaining and hospitality. It can be a treat for both parties unless the house guest dampens the mood by acting impolite.

Most people are happy to entertain but don't want to be taken advantage of, worry about not having enough food because of too many people, or feel the need to manage clashing attitudes. Unlock the secrets of being the best house guest by avoiding these mistakes and following the basic etiquette of staying in someone else's home.

House Guest Etiquette
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Leaving Belongings Around the House

The biggest no-nos here are regarding the bathroom and common areas. Don't leave makeup scattered on the counter or wet towels on the floor—especially if sharing a bathroom with another room or guest. Otherwise, always pick up after yourself and not leave clothing and other clutter in the common areas of the house.

Showing Up with Unexpected Guests

Sadly, this also goes for your furry friends. Never show up with a pet unless the hostess clarifies that pets are welcome. Additionally, don't arrive with extra guests under any circumstances. It should go without saying, but never drop in unexpectedly to ask for a place to stay.

Being Inconsiderate of Noise Levels

This rule can apply to both morning and night. If staying up later than the hosts, be mindful of how loud you are, whether socializing, watching television, listening to music, or moving throughout the house. In the morning, be aware that other people in the place might still be sleeping, especially if you're an early riser or want to make coffee in the kitchen before everyone is up.

Not Offering to Help Clean Up

After meals, it's customary to offer to help clean up. Most of the time, your hosts will tell you to sit down and relax, but you should always offer. After cocktails or coffee, ensure not to leave glasses and mugs around the house—place them in the sink or the dishwasher, or wash them yourself.

Being Demanding

It's one thing to ask for something you need or to be honest when the hostess asks your preference. However, some guests take it too far, demanding the hosts to go above and beyond what would be considered polite. In general, try to also adhere to their schedule for meals and any other proposed outings. And never expect them to entertain you at all times.

Forgetting a Hostess Gift

In the South, this is one of the most important shows of etiquette as a house guest. It can be something as simple as a candle or bottle of wine. After you've left, always send a thank you note.

Overstaying Your Welcome

The cardinal rule of being a house guest is never to overstay your welcome, particularly when there has already been a set number of nights discussed. Anything more is a burden on the hosts. Don't be that guy!

Avoid these mistakes, and you should be a perfect house guest welcomed back again.

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