Unexpected guests

Hosting family and friends from out of town always seems like a good idea in theory, but it doesn't come without its challenges. Two-thirds of Americans say they've told a guest to "make themselves at home" and later regretted it. According to a new survey of 2,000 Americans, 72 percent have told guests to make the space their own, and 91 percent have regretted it later.

Some reasons respondents have regretted letting people make themselves at home include overstaying their welcome, guests expecting more meals than planned, and making a mess. Survey results also looked to see who makes the worst guests, with siblings, friends, and in-laws topping the list. For 35 percent of respondents, the situation has become unpleasant enough that they've told someone they're a terrible guest.

On the other hand, 75 percent of Americans surveyed think they're a good host, with 31 percent of those saying they're an excellent host. The survey, commissioned by Avocado Green Mattress and conducted by OnePoll, looked at the lengths hosts go to and the steps people can take to ensure their home is inviting. To be a good host, over four in 10 have bought a new mattress or bed for people to sleep on when they stay the night or purchased new furniture to ensure guests are comfortable.

The furniture investment seems well-received as it is one of the first things respondents notice when entering someone else's home, after the décor and general aroma or smells. Avocado's Senior Vice President of Brand Marketing and Sustainability, Jessica Hann, admitted in a statement that furniture can be pricey. However, she added that the right piece of furniture can last for years while making your home feel unique and comfortable. Respondents also say they use other people's homes as inspiration for theirs, with 43 percent purchasing an exact piece that they saw as a guest in someone else's home.

With that in mind, 60 percent are more likely to purchase a copy if they know it was made sustainably. Two-thirds of Americans surveyed say they feel better about having people over when items in their home are sustainable, which may be why 70 percent are concerned about buying sustainable home items. As a guest, 35 percent of respondents admit they've judged someone else's home for not being sustainable.

Having house guests can be fun. Spending time with family or friends you haven't seen in a while is nice. However, it can also be stressful, with guests interrupting your routine and spoiling plans you had in mind for yourself. Sometimes, they overstay their welcome, and what was supposed to be an overnight visit turns into an uncomfortable two-week stay. Figuring out how to get guests to leave your home puts you in an awkward position. Short of taking legal action, which seems extreme, how do you let your guests know it's time to go? Here are some ways to get rid of unwanted house guests.

Don't invite them.

Sometimes, people invite themselves to stay with you. You see them at a gathering, they find out where you live and say they've always wanted to visit there and invite themselves to stay with you. However, take this chance to turn them down politely and don't let them walk away thinking they're invited to visit anytime. Saying no isn't always a bad thing. You're protecting your most precious space, and that's your home.

Offer to put them in a hotel.

Having people visit, especially your close friends or parents, may be unavoidable, but that doesn't mean they have to stay with you. Let them know they'll be staying in a hotel, and the reservations have already been made, so there's no getting out of it. Of course, not everyone has the budget to do this, but it's a good option if you do.

Set a time limit.

If you do invite guests to your home, set a time limit as part of the invitation and make that clear from the beginning. As the last day approaches, mention how fast time has gone and how you can't believe it's almost time for them to go. Subtlety can work miracles.

Assign chores.

No one wants to stay at your house only to be put to work. If you have an unwanted house guest, give them lots of chores. Insist that anyone who stays with you must contribute. Taking out the trash, vacuuming and doing laundry are tasks no one expects to do while vacationing.

Insist that they pay.

Sometimes, people like staying in others' homes because it's free. They would leave as planned if they stayed at a hotel, paying for accommodations and food. Let your guests pay for their meals or groceries, transportation, or ask for a contribution to the household bills. If they're cheap, they'll leave quickly.

Stop being helpful.

Entertaining guests and offering to take them where they want to go is part of good hosting etiquette. However, you don't want unwanted guests to be super comfortable in your home. Stop being overly helpful and volunteering to pay for things. They may get the hint that it's time to leave.

Annoy them.

Any gracious host always wants to be considerate of their house guests, but unwanted guests are a different story. Try doing annoying things that will make them want to pack their things and leave. Wake them up early repeatedly, play loud music, or ask invasive questions. All of these actions are sure to make them uncomfortable. When someone is uncomfortable, they want to make it stop.

Tell them to leave.

Subtle hints don't always work with everyone, so tell your unwanted guests it's time for them to leave. This method is the simplest way to let visitors who've stayed too long know it's time to move on, but it's not easy. It can strain your relationship with the guests, and if you're a polite person who hates conflict, doing this can be stressful. When you do speak up, try to be polite and stay calm. Explain to them why you believe it's time to go.

Dealing with unwanted guests isn't easy, but it's necessary when you've got people staying in your home who are no longer welcome. Hopefully, these tactics will give you some ideas on how to get rid of unwanted house guests.

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