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Thread: What is positive house guest protocol

  1. #1
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    What is positive house guest protocol

    Different posters have mentioned some challenges with houseguests over the years whether family or friends. I have had house guests and been one.
    Two questions to answer please
    1. What parameters do you follow when a house guest?

    2. What do you wish your houseguests would follow? Need male input here as well please.

    Answer
    1.Parameters that I follow:
    I ask if I can help with meal prep, grocery purchase, cleaning telling them I am a body available to assist wherever.
    I ask the wake-up time and if there are any preferred steps to follow for meals, laundry and activities.
    I tell the host where I am at all times.
    I provide one major meal - restaurant, takeout or special cooking.
    With my family especially, I always ask if the time of a visit that I am suggesting is convenient as do they when visiting me.
    A sibling has given me good advice - she calls it the fish test or something similar. Don't stay longer than it would take a fresh fish to go smelly.

    2. Parameters that I wish to be followed:
    Ask me if it is convenient to visit.
    Set a duration limit so that I have an idea of the food etc planning and how my other commitments will work out.
    Confine your belongings to the room that you have been assigned except for coat, shoes which get properly stored.
    Let me know of any dietary concerns ahead of time.
    Please respect my private spaces - ensuite bath, bedroom.
    Let me know your arrival time and when you will be in for meals.
    When you depart, ask if you should strip the beds and bring the towels to launder.
    Remember that this is MY house and you are very welcome but my house rules apply.

    Have to think some more about this. Waiting to read what others think.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  2. #2
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    Don't insult the host's food and reject a half dozen alternatives that are offered to you.

    My most recent guest left gift cards as a thank you which was nice. I have generally brought a gift with me and also contributed to the picnic basket or whatever when we go places, except when I travelled with my ex-boyfriend and we stayed with his friends. Then I figured it was up to him.

    Your parameters make sense if you are working, but a little formal if both host and guest are on vacation, in which case I would say sleep in don't set a wakeup time and eat when you are hungry rather than setting a mealtime and you don't all have to eat at the same time if someone is coming from several time zones away.

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    Most of our house guests are family and our house acts as a bed and breakfast, they know where things are and ‘make themselves at home’. I ask when they will be here for meals and plan accordingly. We usually go out to eat once and I pay. If I am hosting someone, I show them where the towels are, show them around the kitchen, etc. and tell them to ‘make themselves at home’. I will ask if what I plan for meals is okay or if they have other preferences. I also give them a house key (for the rare occasion we lock the door) in case they go somewhere and we go to bed before they get back. Guest have offered to remove bed sheets but I decline saying ‘no thank you, you are my guest and you not here to do housework’. I also try to be respectful of their lifestyle. For instance, we pray before meals but if I know that they do not then we do not. I have never had to ask a guest how long they will be staying as they say in the initial conversation. Very casual, no rules, it has worked so far. If they do something really inappropriate I would address it somehow.


    We have not been guests in another’s home in many years but when we were I offered to help with meal prep and clean up (while my husband sits and watches TV) and to help in any other way I saw appropriate.

  4. #4
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    We only stay at hotels and we live in a one-bedroom, one-bed house.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rosarugosa View Post
    We only stay at hotels and we live in a one-bedroom, one-bed house.
    I'm jealous right now.

  6. #6
    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    I usually walk them through where the coffee/tea stuff is and what options are available for breakfast in case they are up first. I've only hosted close friends and family, typically for no longer than a weekend, so it's typically flexible as to meals. I prefer they keep their personal items in their room when they aren't being used, but don't say anything about this.

    As a guest I watch to see what the family does and act the same. A lot of times people won't tell you their "rules" because they don't think of them that way, that's just how things are done. I try to respect privacy and not go into cabinets or closets. I will do that only in the kitchen as people don't tend to keep private stuff there.

  7. #7
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    What would happen if you just smiled and nodded, but didn't do anything related to the guest visit? " sure you can stay here. I'll let you figure out meals - feel free to eat here if you want. You might have want to go to the grocery store if you need things that I don't have in the kitchen. The clean sheets and towels are on the bed - sorry I didn't have time to make it yet. I'm going to be in and out of the house at various times so here's a key. Make yourself at home!"

    Then you make all of your medical appointments and brunch dates with friends and personal excursion plans during their visit. Everyday you have your own schedule and you smile and wave as you leave the house.

    You are no longer personal hostess and concierge. You are simply sharing your house.

    That's what your husband does with going to his job when they are there. You do the same.

  8. #8
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    I have been a house guest recently, and also hosted a younger relative/guest for a few days at my place. So beyond what was already mentioned, I'll add a few observations:

    In the very nice house we stayed at: no table lamps in the guest bedroom. Only light was an overhead light, which made it inconvenient for reading and just lounging there. So my recommendation for hosts is just hang out in the bedroom area you're expecting to offer to see if you can spot those little details that may be missing.

    For my younger relative I made sure to let them know my home wifi password right away. They are happiest when connected, so he was relieved when he got internet access right after he settled in. Also I had some local travel magazines in his room for him to browse because I had a few places in mind to tour him around, but he may have had some other local place that appealed to him more and I would have been happy to switch up plans.
    I also provided a small fan in the guest bedroom because I know some people rely on white noise and/or moving air to sleep better.

    It is nice to have extra toothpaste, shampoo etc. in case guests forget.

    Where I differ is that I prefer no "help" in the kitchen. Ours is a galley/one person kitchen, and insisting on helping is actually getting in the way. Meals were simple and several were outside the home as we were touring around, so it was no big deal to have another person to feed for a few days.

  9. #9
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    <Lainey>, I have had guests ask for our wi-fi password to which I respond that we do not have wi-fi, only internet access is on our smart phones. The ‘youngin’s’ usually give me a blank stare when I tell them that, although many homes have wi-fi, we do not. I also wish to work solo in meal prep and clean up. When a guest offers to help, I thank them for their offer but ask them to please go enjoy each others company, take a nap or whatever and that it is my pleasure to ‘serve’ them. We have never had house guests stay for more than a week so if it were longer I would think differently.

    I do have fans and clocks in each guest room but did not even think about lighting. We live in an old house with only ceiling lights and a lamp for ambiance but nothing for reading. I will have to put some sort of reading light in the guestroom as we have in our bedroom.

  10. #10
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    You know, I have never told anyone to "make themselves at home" this is my home. If you want to spend time with me you are welcome and if I like you, I will try to accommodate you as best I can.

    you can eat anything in my kitchen any time you want unless I specifically ask you not to eat something (Ie, please don't eat the A, I bought it to make B on xday) I will tell you where things are if I am nearby. Otherwise, if it's a kitchen thing, look for it in the kitchen, and if it's a bathroom thing, look for it in the bathroom (which has only open shelving) and help yourself to the clean towels on the bathroom shelves and there are clean sheets on your bed, unless you are my mom, one of my kids, or a surprise, in which case I will sometimes hand you clean sheets.

    if I am making dinner I will tell or sometimes ask you what time. If I invited you, I will try to plan something you like (if you invited yourself, maybe not)

    i will warn you to please ask if you want anything - because I will probably fail to anticipate even your most basic needs. Not on purpose, it is just who I am.

    don't go in the barn alone without asking. If you go through a gate, rechain it behind you.

    and I beg my inlaws to leave the sheets on the beds and the towels in the bathroom - because having the sheets and wet towels stuffed into pillow cases and piled on my top loading washer in my tiny hallway laundry room just makes my life more difficult. But they know that the right thing for guests to do is to do that, and so they will do it no matter what. (I have seriously considered putting a lock on the laundry room, and then when mil said "I can't get into the laundry room. What do you want me to do with my sheets?" I would say "please put them back on the bed." But I will never do that. Because the one time I insisted on not doing things her way, she decided to "help" me by doing them "my" way - instead of leaving it and letting me do it as I had first asked and then argued - and she either proved herself a complete idiot or deliberately misunderstood me in an attempt to show that I was a complete idiot, and she destroyed something I really liked.)

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