Festivals such as Diwali are a great opportunity to get together with loved ones, but if you often celebrate at a family member’s house, you may not realise just how much effort goes into hosting such a big event. Your host will spend days cleaning, de-cluttering the house, and doing all sorts of preparations to ensure their guests are happy – so is there anything you can do to make their lives a little easier? Here are 10 good house rules for guests that, although easy, will make a huge difference to your host:
To be a good house guest at any time of the year, it’s important to bring appropriate gifts for your host. Choose these according to the length of your stay – if you are going to be there for longer than a week, it is well worth bringing a series of small gifts for any children in the house, and spreading them out over the course of your stay. Gifts such as sweets or small games offer them a little extra entertainment during your visit.
1) Stay Neat
If you want to know how to be a good house guest, then this is the number one rule. If your guest bedroom doesn’t have much storage space, like closets or drawers, try keeping your clothes neatly packed away in your suitcase rather than leaving them lying on the floor or the bed.
2) Offer to Help In the Kitchen
Similarly, if you want to know how to be a good dinner guest, you should always offer to help in the kitchen, if your relationship with your host and hostess allows it. Many hosts will turn down offers of help with the cooking to keep the kitchen from becoming cramped, but they may be happy to have a bit of help with the cleaning up after.
3) Put Your Rubbish Away
If you want to be a good house guest, don’t leave your rubbish lying around the house. If you can’t see a bin, ask where you can put any dirty wrappers and tissues, rather than leaving them on tables. Alternatively, store any small bits of rubbish in a bag and take them home with you.
4) Do Your Own Laundry
Being a good guest over a long period, such as the run-up to a holiday, is all about being independent, rather than relying on your host to do everything for you. Try to wash your own clothes if your relationship with your host allows for it. Instead of having them wash your dirty undergarments, you could simply ask where the laundry detergent is kept, and for quick instructions on the washing machine settings.
5) Talk to Your Kids
If you’re bringing your children along, make sure you explain to them that they can’t be as messy and untidy as they might be back home. Suggest that they tidy up any toys when they have finished playing and make sure they help the host with simple household chores.
6) Ask Where You Can Store Items
If you’re travelling with large suitcases or any other large items, and are unable to fit them underneath your bed, always ask your host if there’s somewhere you can store them rather than having them clutter the floors – you don’t want anyone to trip over and hurt themselves.
7) Keep Clean
When you’re away from home, it can be tricky to follow your usual personal grooming regime. Packing a wash bag could help you avoid awkwardly asking for personal items or letting things slip. Be prepared for any eventuality – even a small amount of liquid detergent (decanted into a small airtight bottle) could come in handy in case of an accidental food spill. It may sound obvious, but keeping yourself clean can transform a dirty house guest into a great house guest.
8) Clean Up After Yourself
After you’ve showered and brushed your teeth, give the areas you’ve used a quick clean. Wash any soap from the shower curtain, and make sure you rinse any toothpaste from the basin before it dries. You want the bathroom to look the same as when you went in.
9) Extra Hands Make the Work Light
If you are staying longer than a night, ask how you can help out with everyday chores. It doesn’t have to be anything major, but an extra pair of hands can halve the amount of time it takes to fold and put away clothing, for example, leaving you with more time to relax and socialise with your host and their family.
10) Share Tips
If you see your host struggling to clean an area, why not share your own tips to try to make things easier as you help them? Of course, your host might have their own way of cleaning, but it never hurts to share your knowledge, recommend cleaning products, or suggest new techniques.
To be a good guest, think about how you would want your family and friends to behave if they visited your home, and act in the same way. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to bring your host a gift to show them how much you appreciate them for opening up their home to you.