In honor of National Homeownership Month, we wanted to explore the ins and outs of house rules. Do you have house rules? Are they followed? Wondering what the most common rules are—or the biggest faux pas you can commit as a guest in someone else’s home?
Well, we did some research … and here you go!
Most Common House Rules
A study conducted by OnePoll of parents with children ages 2 to 18 say these are the top 10 most common house rules (in order):
- Say please and thank you.
- Be kind.
- Finish homework before playtime.
- Put things back where you found them.
- Clean up your plate after eating.
- Eat dinner together as a family.
- No phones at the dinner table.
- Help carry groceries in from the car.
- No shouting.
- Don’t go to bed angry.
Here’s the thing, though. Despite these being the most common house rules (according to this poll, anyway), not everyone follows them. For example, only 41% of families have a rule about no phones at the dinner table.
Funny enough, 78% of the parents polled said they wish they spent more time together as a family, but only 29% had a rule that carved out family time. And 84% of parents agreed that having regularly scheduled family time would result in more quality time with their loved ones.
The good news here is you can always change your rules. This survey can be the inspiration for that!
Biggest Houseguest Faux Pas
Visiting someone else’s home means engaging in a whole new set of house rules—some of which you may not even be familiar with! Thankfully, most guest etiquette is universal, at least within the U.S.
Want to stay on your hosts’ good side? Hoping to score an invite back? Then avoid these habits:
- Being on the phone during meals.
- Asking for the home’s Wi-Fi password.
- Making a lot of noise late at night or early in the morning.
- Wearing shoes on the carpet.
- Letting the host clean up after you.
- Entering bedrooms without permission.
- Opening the fridge/getting something to eat without permission.
- Coming to a dinner party without a gift.
- Putting your feet on the furniture.
- Bringing a pet without permission.
Rules for Rentals/House-Sitting
House rules don’t go out the door with the host. There are still considerations that should be followed whether you’re house-sitting for a friend or renting a vacation pad on Airbnb.
Here are a few rules to keep in mind:
- Don’t leave doors unlocked.
- Figure out exactly where you can and cannot park.
- Shut windows if you suspect/anticipate inclement weather.
- Always leave an entry in the guest book (if there is one).
- Put things back in their original position before you leave/the host returns.
- Clean up spills immediately.
- Ask for that house’s/host’s specific rules.
No one expects us to be saints 24/7, but good behavior should be a given both when we’re hosting and when we’re hosted. The easiest way to avoid an awkward situation is to communicate, communicate, communicate.
Ask your host ahead of time if there is anything specific you should know, including a list of things to bring or not bring.
When in doubt, be extra courteous. Remove your shoes before your feet hit the carpet. If the host doesn’t care about such a thing, they’ll let you know, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. And leave Fido at home … unless their name is specifically on the guest list!