8 Terrible Things a House Guest Should Never Do

house guest lazing on couch

It’s always lovely having guests over.

Or is it?

We’ve all encountered irrational guests who don’t give two cents about our house rules – or any basic rule, for that matter. They don’t flush, they disrespect the furniture, and when you tell them to “make yourself at home,” they take it way too literally and start leaving their dirty laundry all over the living room or dumping the dirty dishes in the sink without even offering to help wash up.

We compiled a list of eight things that guests do that get on our nerves. See if you can relate to these, and if so, be sure not to do this as a guest!

1. Not watching over the kids

Don’t get us wrong. We love little guests! However, as a parent, you should be watching your kids. Some guests allow their children to run around the house freely and use the hosts’ belongings without the latter’s permission. This may result in accidents or awkward situations where the host needs to interfere and stop the children from endangering themselves.

Asian child throwing tantrum
Photo credit: Shutterstock

2. Doing a DIY house tour

If we want to show you around the house, we will do it. So if the host doesn’t offer to give you a house tour, don’t ‘volunteer’ to show yourself around. The last thing we want is for someone to barge into private spaces like bedrooms and wardrobes.

guest opening bedroom door
Photo credit: Striped

3. Making a mess

“Make yourself at home” does not mean “feel free to leave cookie crumbs all over the sofa and carpet.” However, the common welcome phrase does mean “keep this place clean as if it were your own home.” We don’t mind the accidental spilling of drinks (accidents happen, we get it), but do offer to help clean up and don’t leave us to clear the mess alone.

messy living room with children's toys
Photo credit: Our Humble Abode

4. Leaving the bathroom lights on

Have you had guests who don’t turn off the bathroom lights after using it? Perhaps it’s because they forgot, but this trait still gets under our skins! The electricity bill is not going to look pretty.

bathroom lights switched on
Photo credit: Bellacor

5. Commenting on the home’s hygiene

This takes guest etiquette faux pas to a whole new level. There’s a type of guest who would comment on how dusty or grimy your home is, volunteers to clean it, and then say something along the “I told you so” lines after they’re done. Unless that person is our parent or sibling, Elle Decor dubs this guest the passive-aggressive cleaner: doesn’t this person remind you of a passive-aggressive boyfriend / girlfriend?

wiping table
Photo credit: Filipino Pod 101

6. Overstaying

If we invite you over for lunch, we’re only prepared to have you until lunch is over. The reason we didn’t ask you to stay for dinner could simply be because we have other plans or we’re entertaining another set of guests. If you need to stay a little longer due to certain issues, we’d appreciate that you let us know earlier.

dining with wine
Photo credit: Fairmont Mountains Vacation Villas

7. Putting feet on the furniture

Again, “make yourself at home” does not really mean to act like you’re at home. Putting your feet on the sofa, chair, or coffee table is not a polite gesture. Besides, it’s not really hygienic to have your feet on the coffee table where we serve food and drinks.

feet on coffee table
Photo credit: Traverse City Organics

8. Helping yourself with the cups

Most cups are meant for guests, but some cups are reserved for ourselves. Everyone has a personal coffee mug that they don’t like to share. When we serve you drinks in a specific glass or cup, we’d really appreciate that you use the same one and not help yourself with the others in our cabinet.

hand holding a cup with coffee
Photo credit: Unsplash

As hosts, we need to learn to tolerate and, at the same time, stand our ground when it comes to guests with behaviours that we dislike. Some are serious mistakes, while others could be minor things that don’t tally with your personal preferences.

Now while there are irrational guests, let’s not forget that there are also irrational hosts. So to avoid being labelled as a bad host, the first thing to do is to keep your house clean and clutter-free so your guests feel comfortable and welcomed in your humble abode. Don’t leave week-old socks lying around, clear those dirty dishes in the sink and keep the corners of your room dust-free. Keeping the house clean doesn’t have to be hard – just hire professional cleaners at affordable rates!



written by Esther Chung