Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Bed-Making Etiquette For Visitors

Living in Searcy, we have extremely frequent visitors. A regular part of having visitors is washing the sheets on the guest bed. When I was younger, I was bad about spending the night at people's houses, then not making the bed the next day. I've made a real effort to do that more regularly, but even as I do it, I wonder if it's a waste of time since they're just going to unmake it and wash the sheets anyways.

This last weekend, a dear friend of ours stayed one night with us, then left without making the bed. I noticed, but wasn't bothered. He sent me an e-mail and said, "Thanks for letting me stay. By the way, I know that you always wash the sheets, so I didn't make the bed in order to make your life easier." And actually, it did.

The best experience I've ever had with visitors was with our friends, the Dills. They stayed for about 3 nights when Bryan was holding a Gospel meeting, and they made the bed every day. Then, on the last day, we arrived home to find the bed made with a note: "Thanks for letting us stay with you guys! Just so you know, we took the sheets off the guest bed, washed them, dried them, then put them back on so you don't have to worry about it." That was awesome.

So how about you, O Reader? Is it better to go ahead and make the bed? Should you get the sheets off and put them in the laundry room for the host? What is your preference?


  1. Taking the sheets off is nice (and leaving them in guest room). I wouldn't expect them to take them to the washing machine. But I do not see any reason for folks to actually take time to make up a dirty bed after their last night at your place. That's my thoughts. My mother in law leaves a laundry basket in every closet in her house so that when guests come and they feel like being helpful they can pile things in the pretty wicker basket for her to gather at a later time. It works nicely.

  2. I've heard somewhere that with a house without servants (yeah, right) you should wash the sheets and fold them, place them at the end of the bed so they know they're washed. Or at least pull them off and leave them at the foot of the bed, so the hosts can just get them and pop them in the wash. I try to do one or the other when I leave. But I usually leave when no one's there, and i usually have a long stay where I am treated more like family than a guest.