Everyone has their own rules when it comes to their homes. Maybe no touching the glass antiques. No running around in the kitchen. Or no drinking from a 'cap on' beverage bottle in the house. That last one was little odd, right? Well not to these people. These people share their 'unique' house rules that got their guests raising their eyebrows. Content has been edited for clarity.
She Was Disgusted
“I honestly rarely have house guests anymore. I have had my fair share of bad experiences with them, including roommates. Between thefts and christening our floors with horror to the extent that professionals had to be hired to steam, disinfect, decontaminate and shovel them clean.
This one incident that happened, years later, is why I don’t let people use my restroom. It was the disgusting straw that broke the camel’s back.
I let a friend stay for about a week and it went fine but he wasn’t the cleanest person. I hung in there, counted down from a hundred, and got a grip.
But then one day I went into the guest restroom and though I was less than thrilled with what I saw, I thought it was ok, not the worst mess ever.
I saw a pink ring around the tub. Actually, it was pink mold.
I thought, ‘It’s cool. I’m totally fine.’
There was pee on the toilet and streaks on the seat. No big deal. Nothing a little bleach and a blow torch won’t fix. Then I closed the door to pick up the rug, it swung shut, and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing in front of me.
I just stood there. Staring. My mind refused to accept what my eyes were seeing. Then I shrieked his name.
What stood before me was a door and half a wall covered in nose harvest. Apparently, while he was leisurely taking his dumps, he sat marinating on the bowl. Not only breathing in mold spores from the tub and possibly populating his brain with spawn but was wrist-deep in his nose and flicking everything he found there as if he was training for the freaking booger flicking Olympics. And you do not want to know what a week’s worth of harvest looks like, proudly displayed on the back of a door. It was like a science project. Specimens lined up for a study, aging. (It wasn’t lined up, but it was everywhere and it was a lot. I’ve never seen so much before or since thankfully.)
My stomach curdled and there was nowhere to turn if I suddenly vomited. Should I aim it at the tub mold? The toilet spurge? Or the wall of surprise? Luckily, I didn’t have to choose.
I yelled at him instead.
Not sure what I said but when he asked me, ‘How do you know I did it?’
I responded, ‘Get the heck out of my house!’
When he faced with the prospect of living in a Walmart parking lot, he changed his tune. I went to leave and reflexively closed the door behind me then my hand touched the mess on the other side of the door. Cue massive reaction.
I was angry. I took the pins out of the hinges and told him, ‘Take that door and get out. Just get out!’
A day later, I had a new door and a bathroom so clean, it looked brand new. So my weird rule that I have is, I do not let anyone use my restroom.”
“We’re Old Fashion”
“As a musician, I lived a somewhat an unconventional lifestyle. A lot of my friends are freaks so I’ve had to establish a few rules for house guests that may seem weird to some people.
The first rule is for people that are into paranormal investigations, witchcraft, or collecting ancient religious artifacts. Please, cleanse yourself with sage before coming to visit. I don’t need any uninvited guests moving in. There are enough shadow people following me around and demonic possession is bad for my complexion.
Next: Guests are asked to refrain from suicide attempts during their stay. It’s hard to have respect for people that lose control. I don’t mind people that like to party but I would prefer that people keep it together while out at my house.
Third, guests are urged not to pee off of the pouch or around the house in general. And definitely don’t let the guest’s dog in my drum room so it can scent mark all of my cymbal stands.
Fourth, I asked guests not to kill the rattlesnakes when they are trying to crawl away. Or smash spiders or lizards that get inside the house. We relocate them outside around here. There’s no need for guests to spray pesticides. I don’t use pesticides because the spiders, snakes, and lizards eat the pests.
Lastly, during their stay, if a guest is in their birthday suit then it isn’t an invitation for anything further with any member of the household. We may be open-minded about alternative lifestyles but we’re old fashion about courtesy and respect.”
“My friend Gabe moved out of his parent’s home quite young, whilst still in high school. He got himself a little one-bedroom apartment where he lived on his own. Gabe was of course now responsible for all the cleaning of his humble abode and he was a man of ordered and tidy sensibilities. What he came to discover fairly soon after his foray into independence was that standing and peeing into a toilet, regardless of how careful one was will always result in a bit of splashback. If one was not careful it was an obvious mess.
Gabe decided he was not one bit keen on having urine, even small amounts of splashed around his bathroom, and did not wish to scrub his bathroom all the time to clean these stray droplets or streams up.
Gabe started sitting whilst he peed and discovered this to be an effective mitigation strategy. As he was the only one of his friends who lived on his own his buddies were often at his place hanging out. As much as he didn’t want to clean his own pee up, he was downright disgusted by the prospect of cleaning up his friends’ urine. He made a rule, which he both verbally informed his guests of, and went so far as to put a sign up in his bathroom, stating all guests were to sit whilst using the toilet. Fair enough.
A few of his friends scoffed at that rule and stood while urinating. These fellows who ignored his house rule were also a bit or a lot under the influence at the time and made a very obvious mess in Gabe’s bathroom. He would give them cleaning products, made them clean up after themselves immediately. He then unceremoniously told them to leave and that they were never to come back to his apartment. Gabe completely stuck to his word got around quickly that everyone needed to be seated during their time on or around his toilet or suffer the consequences and his rule was without fail adhered to.
A few of his male buddies complained a bit that it was unmanly to pee whilst seated to which Gabe was quick to reply, ‘If your sense of manliness is so fragile that sitting on a toilet threatens it. You must be very insecure in your masculinity.’
That would end the complaining right there with the complainer usually walking away quite red in the face.
I got an apartment in my last year of high school with a female friend of mine and we took the same hardline as Gabe. Both of our bathrooms were always immaculate. We also came to discover that the rule in question acted as an excellent way of weeding out guests and friends who were too self-centered to respect our rules and the cleanliness of our respective homes so not the sort of friend one really needed.”
“He Was Wearing Alligator-Skin Boots”
“The first weird house rule I have is to shut the downstairs bathroom door when you are done using it. The cats like to pee in the shower in the downstairs bathroom. The only clue I have as to why is that the previous owner of our house had dogs who were kept downstairs with a baby-gate, and maybe the dogs did the same thing. Whether or not the cats would smell that area for almost two years.
The second is the big one. When you come inside, take your shoes off and leave them on the rug in front of the door, or put them on the shoe rack.
I was raised to believe that shoes were strictly for outside. It made immediate sense to me, even as a child. Your shoes get covered in dirt, mud, rainwater, engine oil from the road, and God knows what else you stepped in on a daily basis! My house stays ten times cleaner and only needs to be vacuumed/mopped once a week – mostly due to my cats.
Well, apparently some people were not raised in a similar fashion and actually get offended at the fact I ask them to remove their shoes. Three occasions stand out to me:
First was the last Christmas holiday, a friend of my aunt’s joined us for dinner. He was wearing alligator-skin boots, you know, the expensive kind that will scuff hardwood floors. When I asked him to remove his boots, he refused and was willing to eat his Christmas dinner outside rather than take them off. I couldn’t believe such a simple request nearly started a fight. Long story short, I caved for the sake of being a gracious host and then spent the next two hours cleaning my floors and removing scuff marks after everyone left. I told my aunt he wasn’t coming back to visit unless he removed his shoes.
Another time, one of our friends had a hang-up about removing his shoes unless he is lying down in a bed. I love him, but I wasn’t going to deal with extra housework each time he came to visit (which is pretty much twice a week). We found a compromise that has fit everyone by buying him a pair of house slippers that he immediately slips on once his shoes come off.
Lastly, another one of my friends has a girlfriend with children. The girlfriend refused to tell her kids to take off their shoes, and they ran around my entire house with them on… after coming in from the rain outside. Her excuse?
‘Oh, we only take shoes off at our OWN house. That way, their socks stay clean for when they walk on our floors at home.’ She would say.
I’d seen the state of their house and I don’t feel bad for saying I could have dumped a wheelbarrow of dirt in the center of my living room and it still would have been cleaner. It goes without saying that she and her kids have never been invited back.”
“No pooping in our main floor restroom. This is a horribly embarrassing rule to explain. Alas, there appears to be just enough missing slope between the drain and the pipe to our septic tank that a day or two after a guest uses the bathroom, the drains begin to gurgle and are followed by sewage overflowing into the basement.
If we have a guest who we forget to warn and linger too long in the powder room, the whole family springs into action. One child fills the upstairs bathtub. Another puts stockpots of water on to boil. I open the clean-out valve in the basement, while my husband opens the one outside, and we guide a 20-foot snake into the stack. I seal up my side while hubby furiously snakes the drain. The pots of boiling water are poured down the toilet. If there’s a visible flow, we proceed to a power flush (all three toilets at once). If we are still clear, we do a second power flush coinciding with the tub drain. The clean-out valve gets sealed again, and we bleach our rubber gloves and snake. Then we collapse and wait for the poop smell to diminish.
Three plumbers have not found a reason. It’s just a part of life now.”
‘No Caps On’ Rule
“Not anymore but we used to have a strict ‘no caps on’ rule. What this meant was any sort of plastic beverage bottles that had caps, i.e. soda bottles, water bottles, etc. had to either be in the fridge or kept with the cap off if they weren’t. Particularly if they were low or empty and being put in the trash can.
Why? Because when the cap is on partway, or on at all on an empty, they will make a single pop popping noise every few minutes or so. It’s not that loud, but audible if you’re in the same room. Well, my first dog was epileptic, and his seizures were sound-induced. Certain noises, mainly jackhammers, smoke alarms (oddly the chirping was worse than the actual alarm), and that plastic popping sound of air escaping a non-full bottle, would cause him to have a seizure.
Once when my partner had a new friend over and had not told him the rule, he came frantically running out of the bathroom yelling, ‘take the cap off’ while pulling his pants up. Apparently, his friend had finished a soda and the bottle popped loud enough for him to hear it down the hall. Luckily my dog was outside at that particular moment so he wasn’t set off by it. His friend thought he had lost his mind and started laughing, but once he explained he felt very bad.”
A Porcellio What?
“I suspect all of my ‘weird house rules’ would revolve around the nonhuman inhabitants of the house.
- Don’t leave doors to the outside open. You may have been born in a barn, but our cats are indoor-only cats. Yes, I know that in the UK people let their cats out. That’s their cats, not my cats. My cats are fully indoor cats and I want them to stay that way
- If the pale cat leans away from you when you approach her, don’t try to touch her. She bites. And if you get in her bad books, good luck at convincing the (usually friendly!) grey cat to come say hello.
- Don’t open enclosures. You don’t know what’s in each of them and I haven’t gotten ’round to putting scientific-binomial labels on everything, let alone common-name labels. If you don’t know the difference between a Porcellio hoffmannseggi and a Pandinus imperator you don’t need to mess with their houses.
- If you want to see what’s in a cage, ask me and I will either point out where the animal is hiding (for animals that do not like being touched, should not be touched, will be on the ceiling if you touch them and require me to catch them, will harm you if you touch them or are in lockdown for health concerns) or I will fetch the animal out of the enclosure for you.
- No, you can’t hold that tarantula. Not that one either. Don’t you see him kicking hairs at you? No, you can hold exactly none of the tarantulas. You aren’t asking to hold the goldfish, don’t ask to hold the tarantulas. Here, hold the vinegaroon instead.
- Yes, those are exotic cockroaches. No, they’re not invasive. Want to hold one of the hissers? Hamster fling it and you’re disinvited.
- If a door upstairs is closed, don’t open it unless you’re opening the bathroom door to let yourself out of there. You don’t need to open doors that have been shut in this house – we have rooms cats don’t belong in unattended.
- Taking off your shoes is optional.
- No, seriously, don’t open enclosures. If one of the Japanese rat snakes grabs you because you opened their enclosure and they thought you were feeding them, I’ll laugh my butt off before going to fetch the mouthwash to convince ’em to let go.
- If you see a loose spider, leave it alone. We hired him to deal with escaped crickets. If you see a loose cricket, feel free to tell the cats ‘get it, go get the bug’ If you see a loose snake or lizard shout for me and I’ll catch it. I know where it’s supposed to be and you don’t. And why isn’t it where it’s meant to be? Did you ignore rules 3, 7 or 9?”
Rules or Quirks
“Don’t drink the tap water. I don’t care if you drink it at home, or if you insist that British tap water is always fine to drink. It’s not fine in this house. I don’t know if it’s metals or something organic and gross in the tank, but don’t drink it. My brother always ignores me, and always gets ill when he stays a few days. Personally, I wouldn’t even cook with it or use it for tea, let alone drink it straight from the tap. There’s plenty of bottled water. (Bathing in the tap water is fine.)
The whole plumbing system in this house needs to be rehauled, but I’m not going to be able to afford that for a long time. I’m certainly not doing it before you visit.
Aside from that, my rules aren’t terribly weird.
Smoking and vaping outside only, please – even vapes leave a residue on the walls and I already spend too much time cleaning up after Mom, so I’m trying to streamline that process as much as possible.
The cat bites, so pet him at your own risk. (He probably won’t let you get close enough.)
I prefer not to have dogs in the house. I’m allergic, though I will occasionally allow it. (I’m fine with you bringing your dog to a BBQ if they’re well-behaved and won’t terrorize the cat.)If I do allow your dog into the house, under no circumstances are they to go in the bedrooms.
Always flush the toilet, even if all you did was pee, and try not to use so much toilet paper.
Please don’t drink so much you puke.
I don’t do sleepovers unless we’re partners, and usually not then either. There have been a total of three people in my life that I can sleep comfortably next to. Anyone else who drinks too much and can’t drive will be poured into an Uber, at your own cost, no matter what time of night it is.
Don’t visit me if you’ve had a stomach bug in the last week, or a cold or flu in the last four days. I’m immunocompromised. Your cold or stomach bug could easily kill me.
I don’t give a care in the world if you wander around clotheless but don’t show anything that you’re not OK with my mother seeing.”
“It’s Not A Game”
“Do not show up at my house unannounced.
Please call ahead so I know to expect you. Do not bang on my door like the police. That will not end well. Under no circumstances should anyone just walk into my house unannounced. I don’t know what you all are used to, but I’m from Texas. And coming into someone’s house unannounced will definitely get a cap in your behind. There are no exceptions to that rule. None.
I have come close to shooting a lot of people, including my own children. I have shot at cops kicking in my door looking for someone and no, it didn’t matter whether they announced themselves or not. If I didn’t extend an explicit invitation, you do not come in.
This is less about safety and more about my health condition. I have a serious heart condition and I have to take special care not to be startled or frightened. I can be scared to death. I don’t do anything for Halloween for that reason.
This is a condition that will leave me vulnerable to violation and attack. Just don’t come to my house unannounced. Just don’t do it.
My sister’s dad (mom’s previous marriage) accidentally shot and killed his own son for the same reason because he did not announce himself. So he fired a .12 gauge, hitting his son in the chest. He later died at the hospital.
It’s not a game. So don’t play.”
“We have a vacation home in upstate New York, bordering the Adirondack mountains. We frequently have guests come to the house.
In summer, I have to explain that lights can not be left on after dark.
You see, the screens on the windows only act as a deterrent to the bugs that are attracted to the lights. The house is rural and next to one of the largest open areas of the northeast United States, over 1,000,000 square miles. There are more bugs than one can imagine!
A light left on makes one feel as if attacked by aliens. Bugs will cover the screen and many will find a way in!
We use a low voltage string of holiday lights in the living room year-round so one can see to walk around, but that’s about it!”
“They Feel Like I’m Bossing Them Around”
“Never bring pets to my house, don’t use the kitchen except to grab a drink unless I am there to tell you what to do, and no TV during visits.
First off, I have a pitbull and cats. Our dog is a very socialized beyond most dogs, and by most I mean almost every dog I meet of any species. We have worked our butts off with him. I trust my dog, but I don’t trust yours. Every encounter I have ever had while out with my dog has been because someone’s ‘non-aggressive’ breed picked a fight with my dog and the owner always blames my dog even if they witness their dog walk by and pick the fight. My dog could kill your dog. The fact that your pet walks away alive with no wounds is a testimony to my dog’s amazing temperament and self-control.
This happened once with someone who brought their dog uninvited into our home. A friend of a relative that we had never met. The dog growled and tried to bite me and my dog, unprovoked for simply walking into the room. It was a small dog, so guess who got threatened with physical harm and cussed out?
ME AND MY DOG. Because it’s ok if her dog bit and acted aggressively, he couldn’t kill us. But I better put my dog up because he could be dangerous if he reacted to getting bitten. HOW STUPID CAN YOU BE?
Also to mention that other dogs will growl at my dog, chase my cats, sometimes pee on my floors, beg at my table (which is not allowed in our house but usually allowed by the type of people who take their dogs everywhere), and generally expect to own this space that they were not even invited to.
If you bring a dog to my house without asking first, you will be asked (told) to leave. Don’t care who you are or how badly it offends you. Have some manners, please.
As for the kitchen, we keep a kosher home. I’m not the best at it (nor observance in general), but I try my best and my kitchen is well planned out. Our dishes look pretty similar to visitors, but I have three sets. One for meat-derived items, one for dairy-related items, and one for Shabbat evening. At Passover, we buy disposable dishes and cheap cookware to avoid taking up kitchen space all year. Many people have tried to help in the kitchen and I generally wouldn’t mind, but it surprises me the things people don’t realize are meat or dairy.
I can cook with no effort because I know the kitchen like the back of my hand. But for other people it is confusing and they feel like I am bossing them around when they try to help since we have both Jewish and non-Jewish family/friends as converts. I don’t like doing that to guests so I handle the kitchen. Don’t bring food to our house unless it is cold vegetables or cheese like a salad.
Tonight is my treat, just enjoy it.”