24 Worst Things to Do When Staying over at Someone Else’s Home

Are you excited for your next staycation at your friend’s house? If you are, you better be mindful of how you act—before, during, and after your stay. After all, you wouldn’t want to be considered a horrible houseguest who overstays their welcome or snoops around someone else’s house. We’ve got a list of the top 24 worst things to do when staying over someone else’s place, so make sure to check everything out so you can be the perfect guest who knows how to respect their host’s time, place, and effort!

Overstaying Your Welcome

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You might feel so at home at a friend’s house that you never want to leave. However, remember that, at the end of the day, it’s not your house. When you overstay your welcome, you disrespect the host’s time and space. You may also inconvenience them by disrupting their routines.

Acting Like It’s Your House

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Acting like it’s your house when it’s not is one of the rudest ways to behave when staying at someone else’s house. Doing this disrespects the host’s authority over their property and may also display a lack of gratitude.

Not Respecting the House’s Noise Rules

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People consider their homes safe spaces, and they typically have routines to follow, such as lights out or low noise levels at certain times. As a guest, you must adhere to the rules the host sets. One must be considerate of when others go to bed and, in the same way, when they wake up.

Arriving Uninvited

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No matter the circumstance, guests should always inform their host of their arrival—even if they give a heads-up just five minutes before. It’s common courtesy and a show of respect for their time. The NZ Herald notes, “It shows you have no respect for others’ time. You’re also putting someone in an awkward position.”

Leaving a Mess

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As someone visiting, you’re already inconveniencing your host in some way. So, adding the fact that you’re leaving them with a mess just shows that you don’t have consideration for them and respect for their property.

Breaking Your Host’s Belongings

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Allowing you into their home means your host trusts you in some way. So, when you break their things, you not only disrespect their property and inconvenience them, but you also make them lose their trust in you. They will become more hesitant to invite you over, and there might be a rift in your relationship, especially if what you brought is of sentimental value.

Snooping Around Your Host’s Place

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No matter the circumstance, snooping is an unacceptable act. You may argue that you and your host are very close and that they won’t mind that you went through their things. But the truth is, snooping, in any scenario, is a breach of others’ privacy.

Passive-Aggressive Cleaning

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When you’re invited to someone’s house, and they show you hospitality, paying them back with your efforts is only right. Offering to wash the dishes or clean up a bit is the least you can do. However, doing this with passive-aggressive behavior won’t help much. Psychology Today notes, “Passive aggression is particularly damaging in relationships; the target often feels frustrated and powerless, unable to secure the passive-aggressive person’s cooperation.”

Not Observing Bathroom Etiquette

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One of the main issues with not observing bathroom etiquette is unhygienic behavior. If you fail to clean up after yourself, especially in the bathroom, you could leave dirt and bacteria scattered around, eventually affecting the host and their family members. Aside from this, bathrooms are some of the most personal spaces in the house, and a guest should respect whatever rules were put in place regarding this.

Not Making the Bed

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Though a guest’s bedroom is one of the more private spaces in the house, it’s equally as important to clean up here as one does in the living area, bathroom, and kitchen. Martha Stewart quoted Diane Gottsman, author of Modern Etiquette for a Better Life, in her article. Gottsman notes, “When you are staying at someone’s home, you should always make your bed in the morning. It shows that you’re respecting their property and you’re taking good care of their home—plus, it shows appreciation.”

Bringing an Uninvited Plus-One

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This rule applies to almost any aspect of events—weddings, birthday parties, work parties, and even sleepovers! When you do this, you disregard and disrespect the host’s plans; they probably have the menu, sleeping arrangements, activities, and more planned out, and bringing a plus-one ruins everything. There may also be potential discomfort on the side of the host, as they didn’t expect anyone else to come; the plus-one you brought might also be a complete stranger that they’re letting into their house!

Putting Your Dirty Feet on Their Furniture

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This item on the list just screams rude! One’s feet and toenails are some of the dirtiest parts of the human body. In fact, feet are bacteria magnets with over 200,000 sweat glands producing around half a pint of sweat or perspiration daily! Imagine how disgusting it would be for a person’s feet to be on the furniture you use.

Hiding Spills and Dirt

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Aside from keeping secrets from your host, hiding the mess you made in someone else’s house can harm your host and their family’s health. If dirt gets stuck somewhere that’s never been cleaned, it could lead to mold, allergens, dust mites, and more. Later, these can also cause respiratory problems.

Moving Things Around

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As a guest, you should know your boundaries and limits and actively check yourself to ensure you’re not disrespecting their space and hospitality. You’re staying at someone else’s house—not yours. Therefore, you have no right to move things around as you please, especially if you don’t have permission!

Trashing Your Room

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Another way of disrespecting your host is trashing the room they’ve given you to stay in. The odds are high that your host makes an effort to make you look nice and comfortable, so you’re taking advantage and being unappreciative of their efforts if you do this.

Asking For the Wi-Fi Password as Soon as You Arrive

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People who invite you into their homes want to spend time with you. So, asking for the Wi-Fi password as soon as you get there undermines the purpose of your visit. Aside from that, you’re making your host feel as if the internet and social media are more important than the bond you share.

Bringing Pets Without Asking

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There are a multitude of things that can go wrong if you suddenly decide to bring your dog, cat, or even pet bird without asking for permission. First, they might have kids, and since your pet is not accustomed to their kids, you might endanger your host’s children. Second, someone in their house—even your host—might have dog or cat allergies!

Bringing in Allergens

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Similar to bringing a pet without asking, you can also bring lots of allergens into people’s homes. For example, you can come bearing gifts like peanut butter, but it would be a disaster if they have a child allergic to it. So, before bringing any allergens, make sure you ask for permission. You might mean well, but things don’t always go as planned.

Expecting a Tour

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Inviting you to their homes makes them busy as it is. So, you shouldn’t always expect a tour from your host. Let them finish what they’re doing first and follow their timing. Remember, you’re a guest in someone’s home; make sure you respect their space and their time.

Waiting Until You Get To the House to Ask for a Favor

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Hosts plan ahead for people’s visits; they even go grocery shopping for things you might need. So, waiting until you get to their house to ask for a favor—especially a big one like allergens and more—can be a pretty big ask. Make sure you’re considerate enough to think about their time, too.

Feeding the Dog Without Permission

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You might think there’s nothing wrong with feeding your host’s dog, but this can be the start of everything going downhill. Dogs and other animals can have allergies or food and diet restrictions that they must adhere to, so feeding them random things without the owner’s permission can harm their health. VCA Animal Hospital explains, “The most common food allergens in dogs are proteins, especially those from dairy, beef, chicken, chicken eggs, soy, or wheat gluten; each time a pet eats food containing these substances, the antibodies react with the antigens, and symptoms occur.”

Showing Up Empty-Handed

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Your hosts spend time, effort, and money inviting you to their house. So, it’s just common courtesy and a show of appreciation and gratitude to bring a little something for them. The Emily Post Institute notes, “A gift is a lovely way to thank your host for their hospitality. Always appreciated—it doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive; simply consider the nature of the occasion and local custom when making your choice.”

Not Giving a Heads-up About Dietary Restrictions

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Hosts typically start planning weeks—or even months—before your arrival. Chances are they already have the full menu before you enter their doors. So, not giving them a heads-up about food you can’t eat or any other dietary restrictions is simply inconsiderate.

Staying on Your Phone for Extended Periods

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Why get together when you’ll only stay on your phone most of the time? Just imagine how sad your host would feel if you were face-to-face but not having a real-time conversation. Reader’s Digest Australia shares, “Cell phones can destroy all your interpersonal dealings. You should not even give the screen a glance while you’re speaking to someone at a party or a dinner.”

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Author: Karen Danao


Karen is a writer and also a marketing and advertising professional. Beyond the keyboard and the screen, she is someone who’s out to enjoy every bit that life has to offer!

Poetry, philosophy, history, and movies are all topics she loves writing about! However, her true passion is in traveling, photography, and finding common ground to which everyone from different cultures can relate.