Simple rules for house guests

To help visits go smoothly, talk with your guests about how your household works.

 

Make sure everyone has a good time by being upfront about how the visit will go:

  • Coordinate calendars: Confirm when guests are arriving—and leaving. Tell them in advance where you’ll be and when, so they can gauge how much time you’ll have together.
  • Discuss eating habits and sleeping schedules: Ask guests about any food preferences they have (is anyone a vegetarian?). If they are early risers, show them how to work the coffeemaker and where you keep breakfast foods.
  • Tell visitors how you want to handle mealtimes: Inform everyone which meals you plan to prepare. For the rest, set out the appropriate groceries and encourage visitors to help themselves.
  • Explain your policy on pets: Consider in advance whether anybody in either family has an allergy to dog hair or cat dander, if you’re willing to host pets in cages (like hamsters or gerbils) and who will supply food for the visiting pets.
  • Let guests know they will be responsible for tidying up after themselves: Demonstrate how to use the dishwasher and washing machine and dryer, and make detergent and dryer sheets available to everyone.