The 10 unspoken rules for being a good house guest.

Growing up, my family was the type of family to let all sorts of people walk into our home and stay

Sometimes for a few hours, sometimes for a few nights and sometimes... for much too long. 

I've had some bizarre experiences, like the time my mother moved my sister and I out of the bedroom we shared and moved in four young women from church so they wouldn't be homeless. Sure, it was a beautiful sentiment, but sleeping head-to-toe with my mum wasn't exactly on my bucket list at 13 years old. 

Essentially, what I'm getting to is... I know a lot about house guests. I've welcomed more than a few. I've also been one on several occasions. I've slept in the homes of some odd people and welcomed others just like them into my home. 

And I've learned a lot of lessons. 

How to act and how not to act. What is appropriate and what isn't. What actions will get you a slap on the wrist and which of them will leave you on the street. 

Watch: Holiday mistakes that attract burglars. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

So I thought what better way to flex my intelligence than to share with you everything I've learned. 

Here are my top tips for being a good houseguest. Read thoroughly and heed my words. 


Pick up your socks. Wipe down the bench after eating. Do the thing that you know is right to do. 

Obviously, how one is meant to act in someone else's home changes with every host. But there is a general standard of decorum that must be upheld, surely? 


Like, it should be common sense to put the toilet seat down after you've taken a big 'ol p**s, yanno?

2. Keep your feet off the coffee table, pls. 

It should go without saying, but some people still need to be told. 

A coffee table watches a newborn become a toddler. A coffee table sees a girl become a girl boss and an iPad kid become a Skincare Tween, a puppy become the goodest doggy and a kitten become a pain in the a**. 

A coffee table can see a family through for years. It's where one plays board games and eats dinner. It's the centrepiece of the home. A coffee table deserves more respect than we give it, so we should and we MUST give it the honour it deserves. 

All this to say, do not put your feet on the coffee table. 

It's rude!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

3. Make your bed. Every morning. No excuses. 

Because why are you in someone else's home with an unkept bed?? Are you waiting for the maids to come and change your sheets for you?? 

Newsflash mate, YOU ARE THE MAID.

You're not in a hotel. Please. Make your bed. 

4. A thank you gift is compulsory.

It's probably best to give a bottle of wine, or a box of chocolates or a handwritten card attached with a gift card for groceries, at the beginning of your stay. 

As in, it should literally be the first thing you do as soon as you step foot inside your host's home. 

But I'll accept a thank you gift on the way out, too. Just as long as one is given, so the people you've been staying with - whether they are a friend or family member - feel loved and appreciated.

5. No bringing uninvited guests back.

No one should step foot into your host's door without their say so. No throwing parties, either. 


If you're not paying rent, you don't get a say. 

For some reason, people do not get this. So I'm happy to say it loud and clear: NOT YOUR HOME. DON'T INVITE PPL TO SOMEWHERE NOT YOUR HOME, OKAY?

6. Offer to pay for something. 

Groceries. Dinner for the night. A bottle of wine. Maybe some astro turf if they need it. 

Think big. Think small. Think with love. 

What does your host need? How can you repay them for putting a roof over your head and saving you hundreds of dollars in hotel bills? Hmmm? 

7. Take care of your belongings and theirs. 

You don't want to be responsible for the broken tap in the guest bathroom, do you?

8. There is a line between being polite and being annoying.

'Cause if your house host doesn't want you to help with the laundry three nights in a row, it might be best to quit asking. We all love a polite guest; someone who wipes up their crumbs after they've finished eating and somebody who leaves their shoes by the door. 

But at some point, you're gonna annoy the friend or family member you're staying with if you keep asking to help out where you're not needed. 

9. Don't s**t where you eat. 

I've had to tell a few of my friends this. But if you're staying with a mate, do not sleep with them for god sakes. 

Talk about awkward!!!!!! 

You also can just ignore me, I'm nowhere near as emotionally tied to this rule as I am the rest of them. 

10. Don't use their expensive stuff.

That Aesop body wash isn't for you. The Le Labo candle is only for special occasions (you staying there does not constitute a 'special occasion' by the way).

Keep your hands to yourself. And try to enjoy your stay, because there is nothing more lovely than being warmly received. 

Feature Image: Getty.

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